What makes children who have had a Montessori education different? What is it that sets these students up for future success beginning in their early childhood?
One thing that strikes me when talking to our Alums who have made the transition to different school settings, is how eloquently they are able to express themselves and how successful they go on to be in other environments.
Children in their early years lucky enough to be in a Montessori environment are guided to develop their social and emotional intelligence, not just their academic intelligence.
A central tenet to the Montessori philosophy is respect for the child. We demonstrate respect for the child, not only in our interactions with them, but Dr. Montessori designed materials that are developmentally appropriate with a built-in control of error.
Working with the Montessori materials allows the child to experience success independently, without adult intervention. As a child works with a material, they are given the opportunity to discover and solve problems by themselves. The child experiences their own naturally occurring ‘ah-ha!’ moments, which builds self-esteem, self-confidence, and independence.
A Montessori environment also cultivates a love of learning that becomes lifelong. As children self-select works they feel autonomous. Given the responsibility of choosing their work, they have the freedom to study what interests them, this in turn develops an intrinsic joy of learning.
Children also learn empathy at a young age in the Montessori environment. When a conflict arises the adult is available to mediate a reconciliation. The children are given the opportunity to express their feelings and emotions. They hear the other’s point of view, and whilst they may not agree, they understand and respect the rights of each child to feel the way they do.
These are only a few elements of the Montessori environment, but they are central to the difference a Montessori education can contribute to the success of our young people in all of their future endeavors. Having a strong sense of who you are as an individual and possessing an intrinsic motivation to learn sets them on the road to success. Having compassion and a sense of community allows them to become future peacemakers and leaders.
The difference a Montessori education can make to the child, is the development of the whole child.
The difference a Montessori child can make in the world is limitless.