Early in the 20th century, Dr. Maria Montessori did envision a radically different approach to education, an approach grounded in close and insightful observations of children. Children applaud the days when they are out of school. A positive emotional climate within a classroom has been shown to be the most powerful predictor of students’ motivation to learn.
Infants have an intense drive to learn, yet from the early years of schooling, children’s motivation to learn in school steadily declines. Montessori Education plays a significant role to tackle this issue.
Traditional Schooling is in Constant crisis: India’s education system is facing a real crisis. In the prevailing situation in India, School can be considered as a factory and the child as a blank slate where Education is essentially mechanical Montessori education treats child as a motivated doer, rather than an empty vessel.
Does Montessori education provide a viable alternative to traditional schooling?
Current scientific research provides astounding support for Montessori education. Modern research in psychology suggests the Montessori system is much more suited to how Children learn and develop than the Traditional system is.
The eight principles of Montessori Education are:
1. Movement and Cognition:
The first principle is that movement and cognition are closely entwined. Our brains evolved in a world in which we move and do, not a world in which we sit at desks and consider abstractions
Dr. Montessori noted that children seemed to thrive on having choice, and she envisioned development as a process of the child’s ability to be independent in his/ her environment.
A third principle is that the best learning occurs in contexts of interest. Montessori education capitalizes on interests that appear regularly at particular times in development, Montessori education capitalizes on unique individual interest..
4. Extrinsic Rewards Are Avoided:
Dr. Montessori saw extrinsic rewards, such as gold stars and grades, to be disruptive to a child’s concentration.
5. Learning with and from Peers:
Children help each other in learning materials and performing other activities.
6. Learning in Context:
Children in Montessori learn largely by doing. Their learning is situated in the context of actions and objects.
7. Teacher Ways and Child Ways:
Montessori prescribes a style, one consistent with what is called authoritative parenting and known to be associated with the most optimal child outcomes.
Order in Environment and Mind:
Montessori classrooms are very organized, both physically and conceptually. Montessori speculates on the potential neurological impact of presenting orderly sequences of materials intended to tune the senses.
Research on Montessori Outcomes
The majority of published work on Montessori shows positive outcomes; Psychologists in the US found that children at Montessori schools out-performed those given a traditional education. Montessori children displayed a greater sense of "justice and fairness", interacted in an "emotionally positive" way.
The Montessori method has had its share of criticism.. However, The Scientists found that the Montessori education fosters social and academic skills that are equal or superior to those fostered by a pool of other types of schools.