Someone asked a very important question about why parents may not like Montessori schools which is resulting in some Montessori schools actually dropping everything Montessori and going traditional!
I could therefore think and name this article “In Defence of Montessori”. But I am well aware that if truth be told Montessori as a method of educatong a child does not need any defending. For anyone who cares to look into this method you would see the evidence that
1. It works. And
2. It is the best way to educate a child.
On the other hand it is apparent that parents do need some help with actually understanding what is going on in the Montessori setting.
Montessori as a method of educating the child has been misunderstood by many all over the world.
The Nigerian situation is therefore no different.
Apart from the fact that our parents unwittingly expect far too much from our children far too fast, you also have schools that unfortunately allow their pockets to sidetrack the mission at hand.
Parents who have a problem with the method do so for several reasons:-
1. They think it is a very slow method.
2. It is too expensive, school owners too think this…A story for another day.
3. Children are allowed to choose their work… Unheard of!
4. Children work together in multi aged classrooms!
‘Why is my 5 year old son in the same class as my 3 year old daughter? These people don’t know what they are doing!’
Wrong! They are actually preparing the child for life as an adult
Is that not really what a good education is supposed to achieve?
5. Children are not flogged in Montessori schools. Or should I say -they are not supposed to be flogged!
Surprisingly some of us do want our children to be beaten with the cane! So that they will grow up right!
Hello! There are much more effective ways to teach our children how to behave. We just need to learn new ways and consistently implement. You never know, not using the cane may stop you from ding damage to your health as well!
Anyway lets continue…
6. Homework is another issue. Complaints come in fast and furious about not giving homework and when you do its not enough!
7. Children are not forced to write and parents definitely cannot grasp exactly why this is so.
8. The children don’t seem to use much textbooks!
“How can they learn without text books?”
These complaints fester and grow because :-
Parents definitely need reeducating about what education actually is.
Education is not about learning facts and figures. It is all about understanding oneself, ones community and the world.
The goal is the enable the child coexsist in the world, achieving his potential and adding value to his community, nation and the globe as best they can. Education is for life.
Even when a child memorizes facts and figures does he understand?
Understanding is key.
Montessori works. Why because it is anchored on understanding the child, training the heart of the teacher and always making sure that the classroom or learning environment setting matches the developmental stage of the child you are educating.
Most of us think that Montessori begins and ends with preschool but it doesn’t.
Maria Montessori the founder of this method only established schools up to age 12 during her lifetime. But through her writings, her vision for Secondary schools has been translated into reality.
Now we are looking forward to the establishment of a Montessori University. This will complete the education cycle of the child from birth to 24 years, which is when Montessori believed that the child grows inro adulthood!
So there is much more to understand about Montessori, do your child a favour. Don’t discard Montessori yet. Instead find out more it is the key to the world and the universe for your child.