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"Educating Your Children Through Authentic Montessori Education"

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Research shows benefits of Montessori education

Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Research shows benefits of Montessori education – Published in the Education Guardian, Friday 29th, September 2006 A method of schooling that focuses on personal development rather than exams produces more mature, creative and socially adept children, scientists have found. Psychologists in the US found that across a range of abilities, children at Montessori schools out-performed those given a traditional education. Five-year-old Montessori pupils were better prepared for reading and maths, and 12-year-olds wrote “significantly more creative” essays using more sophisticated sentence structures. Some of the biggest differences were seen in social skills and behaviour. Montessori children displayed a greater sense of “justice and fairness”, interacted in an “emotionally positive” way, and were less likely to engage in “rough play” during break times. The schooling system was invented in the early 1900s by Maria Montessori to educate poor children in her native Italy. There are more than 5,000 Montessori schools in the US, and around 600 in the UK, where they are privately funded. The method discourages traditional competitive measurements of achievement, such as grades and tests, and instead focuses on the individual progress and development of each child. Children of different ages share the same classes, and are encouraged to collaborate and help each other. Special educational materials are used to keep children interested, and there is an emphasis on “practical life skills”. The researchers, who reported their findings in the journal Science, compared children aged three to 12 at a Montessori school in Milwaukee with those at other schools in the same area. Parents won places for their children at the unnamed Montessori school by entering a “lottery” run by the local education department. All parents of pupils at the schools studied, had similar incomes of between $20,000 (£10,500) and $50,000 (£26,000). Children were tested for mental performance, academic abilities, and social and behavioural skills. Angeline Lillard, from the University of Virginia, who co-led the study, said: “We found significant advantages for the Montessori students in these tests for both age groups. “Particularly remarkable are the positive social effects of Montessori education. Typically the home environment overwhelms all other influences in that area.” Not only were five-year-old primary school children better prepared for the “three Rs” at primary level, they also had higher scores in tests of “executive function”. This is the ability to adapt to changing and complex problems, and is seen as an indicator of future school and life success. Although the Montessori children were not regularly tested or graded, they did just as well in spelling, punctuation and grammar exams as those given conventional lessons. Older Montessori pupils were more likely to choose “positive assertive responses” when dealing with unpleasant social situations, said the researchers. They also displayed a “greater sense of community” at school. The scientists concluded: “Montessori education fosters social and academic skills that are equal or superior to those fostered by a pool of other types of schools.” Dr Lillard plans to continue the research by tracking students from both groups over a longer period of time. She also hopes to repeat the study at other Montessori and traditional schools, and assess specific Montessori techniques. The Montessori method has had its share of criticism. Some parents believe the classroom environment is “too free”, while others question Montessori teaching priorities, or the fact...

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Montessori Education Provides Better Outcomes than Traditional Methods, Study Indicates

Posted by on Jun 2, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Montessori Education Provides Better Outcomes than Traditional Methods, Study Indicates The study appears in the Sept.29th, 2006 issue of the journal Science. A study comparing outcomes of children at a public inner-city Montessori school with children who attended traditional schools indicates that Montessori education leads to children with better social and academic skills. The study appears in the Sept. 29, 2006 issue of the journal Science. Montessori education is characterized by multi-age classrooms, a special set of educational materials, student-chosen work in long time blocks, a collaborative environment with student mentors, absence of grades and tests, and individual and small group instruction in academic and social skills. More than 5,000 schools in the United States, including 300 public schools, use the Montessori method. The Montessori school studied is located in Milwaukee and serves urban minority children. Students at the school were selected for enrolment through a random lottery process. Those students who “won” the lottery and enrolled at the Montessori school made up the study group. A control group was made up of children who had “lost” the lottery and were therefore enrolled in other schools using traditional methods. In both cases the parents had entered their children in the school lottery with the hope of gaining enrolment in the Montessori school. “This strategy addressed the concern that parents who seek to enrol their children in a Montessori school are different from parents who do not,” wrote study authors Angeline Lillard, a University of Virginia professor of psychology, and Nicole Else-Quest, a former graduate student in psychology at the University of Wisconsin. This was an important factor because parents generally are the dominant influence on child outcomes. Children were evaluated at the end of the two most widely implemented levels of Montessori education: primary (3- to 6-year-olds) and elementary (6- to 12-year-olds). They came from families of very similar income levels (averaging from $20,000 to $50,000 per year for both groups). The children who attended the Montessori school, and the children who did not, were tested for their cognitive and academic skills, and for their social and behavioural skills. “We found significant advantages for the Montessori students in these tests for both age groups,” Lillard said. “Particularly remarkable are the positive social effects of Montessori education. Typically the home environment overwhelms all other influences in that area.” Among the 5-year-olds, Montessori students proved to be significantly better prepared for elementary school in reading and math skills than the non-Montessori children. They also tested better on “executive function,” the ability to adapt to changing and more complex problems, an indicator of future school and life success. Montessori children also displayed better abilities on the social and behavioural tests, demonstrating a greater sense of justice and fairness. And on the playground they were much more likely to engage in emotionally positive play with peers, and less likely to engage in rough play. Among the 12-year-olds from both groups, the Montessori children, in cognitive and academic measures, produced essays that were rated as “significantly more creative and as using significantly more sophisticated sentence structures.” The Montessori and non-Montessori students scored similarly on spelling, punctuation and grammar, and there was not much difference in academic skills related to reading and math. This parity occurred despite the Montessori children not being regularly tested and...

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Montessori Builds Innovators- Harvard Business Review

Posted by on May 26, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Montessori Builds Innovators – The full article is found: on the Harvard Business Review website. There are strident disagreements these days over every aspect of American educational policy, except for one. Everyone thinks it would be great if we could better teach students how to innovate. So shouldn’t we be paying a great deal of attention to the educational method that produced, among others, Larry Page, Sergei Brin, Jeff Bezos, Jimmy Wales, Peter Drucker, Julia Child, David Blaine, and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs? They were all students in Montessori schools. According to a Wall Street Journal article by Peter Sims, there’s a “Montessori Mafia” among the creative elite. So maybe there’s something to the method Italian physician Maria Montessori came up with around the turn of the 20th century. The cornerstones of this method, according to Wales’s brainchild Wikipedia, are: • mixed-age classrooms, with classrooms for children aged 2½-or-3 to 6 by far the most common, • student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options, • uninterrupted blocks of work time, • a Constructivist or “discovery” model, in which students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction, and • specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators. That list rings true to me. I was a Montessori student in northwestern Indiana from a very early age through third grade, which was as high as the school went at that time. The teachers were an earnest group of the biggest hippies that could be found in small-town Hoosierland in the 1970s, and they gave us a lot of room to explore stuff that we found interesting. For me this included the beads Maria and her colleagues came up with to teach us about numbers. No matter how young you are, after you see five beads on a wire next to 25 arranged in a square and 125 in a cube, you have a grasp of 5^2 and 5^3 that doesn’t leave you. And after you hold the five-cube in one hand and the ten-cube in another, the power of taking something to the third power becomes very real. One is eight times as heavy as the other! The parents of Larry, Sergei, Jimmy, Jeff, and all the others gave their kids good genes and nurtured them in many other ways beyond sending them to Montessori (I know that’s true in my case). Butresearch indicates that Montessori methods work even for disadvantaged kids who are randomly selected to attend (although this might not be the best idea for dental school). And as far as I can tell from my quick glance at the studies, Montessori kids don’t do worse than their more classically educated peers on standardized tests. So why do we spend so much time on rote learning and teaching to the test? When I got too old for my Montessori school and went to public school in fourth grade, I felt like I’d been sent to the Gulag. I have to sit in this desk? All day? We’re going to divide the day into hour-long chunks and do only one thing during each chunk? Am I on Candid Camera? Am I Job? I’m really glad to learn that Montessori methods are entering public schools. And I look forward to more research...

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Introducing a second language to your child

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

RAISING A WORLD CITIZEN As our children grow up and become part of the world’s workforce, understanding those other cultures — and other languages — will be even more critical. If you speak more than one language (or studied another in school) and/or have traveled abroad, you may already appreciate the increased world and cultural understanding that comes with learning a language, and want that for your child, too. Before your child is even ready for school, you can take steps to introduce one — or more — languages to your child. Too soon? How soon is too soon to introduce a second language to your child? Many would say never! More than a few kids grow up in multi-lingual homes — hearing, learning and speaking two or more languages during formative language acquisition years. The result is multi-lingual adults, not language-confused adults. And the languages learned don’t have to be similar in origin. German and Chinese at the same time? Sure! The spoken word The best way to learn any language is to be immersed in it, to hear it all the time. If you are multi-lingual, you could agree with your partner that you will speak only French to your child while your partner will speak only English. Very quickly your child will be learning and speaking both languages. If you don’t speak a second language, but a close family member does — such as a grandparent — enlist his or her help. Spend more time with that person and ask that relative to speak the other language with your child. Media Only know one language? You can still introduce a language using other media. Having foreign language books and DVDs around the house isn’t quite the same as constant speaking, but it’s a good way to start. If you are still more serious about your child learning a second language, you can introduceonline/computer-based programs to your child’s routine, such as Rosetta Stone or Mango Languages. Better yet, introduce such a program as part of your one-on-one time with your child; it’s more fun learning a language together. Additional benefits An increasing number of studies suggest overall cognitive benefits of learning a language earlier than later. Kids who speak and/or study more than one language tend to be ahead of peers in other academic subjects, scoring higher on standardized tests, among other evaluations. While learning a foreign language doesn’t guarantee academic success, it can support and encourage it. If you aren’t bilingual, introducing a second language to your child can feel daunting. Your child doesn’t need to be fluent by age 5, however — it’s an introduction, a foundation for further learning. Introducing the language, along with the idea of other languages and cultures is just the first, very manageable step. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of teaching your child a second language here are a couple useful links you may enjoy. http://www.early-advantage.com/articles/topten.aspx http://otaesl.org/the-benefits-of-learning-a-second-language...

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