Eli5 What is Montessori learning??


I just had a baby and I’m looking for future nannies, one of the applicants says she only uses “Montessori style learning,.” I’ve looked into it but I feel I’m missing something. Can someone please explain it to me like I’m an invalid so I can wrap my head around it.

In: 9

It’s basically how all pre-school learning is done. You provide access to activities that allow the child to participate in self-directed learning.

For example, you know those bead and string sets, well in Montessori you’d show the child the set and observe how they choose to play with it. Maybe they’ll thread the beads onto the string, or maybe they’ll sort the beads by shape or colour, maybe they’ll throw the beads at their sister and blame it on the dog. Either way, you observe the behaviour and you encourage the good things they’re doing. You don’t force them to do things one way.

It makes more sense in a group setting, where traditionally kids are encouraged and often forced to behave and interact in a uniform and proscribed fashion. To go back to the beads and string example, making all of the kids thread their beads in a specific pattern to teach them fine motor and pattern recognition skills. Montessori developed as a counter to that style of learning.

The Montesorri method was developed by Italian Physician Maria Montessori as an alternative to traditional classroom teaching methods.

Montesorri schools emphasize hands on learning and independent teaching vs the regimented type learning in a traditional classroom. They also don’t use the traditional grading systems.

Children are encouraged to choose from different activity stations throughout the day vs a pre-determined lesson plan that all children have to follow.

Proponents of the system say that it encourages social development and allows children to learn at their own pace while switching activities on demand to prevent boredom and encourage interaction.

It is also well suited to children with special needs including highly intelligent children as they all can learn at their own pace.

While downsides include it being expensive and inaccessible due to it being an alternative to mainstream schools.

But more importantly such schools focus on independence so there is less routine, regime, organization, and discipline. A traditional classroom with desks all lined up and a teacher maintaining a clear lesson plan can be very beneficial to students.

The lack of routine and organization can be negative to a child’s development as it does not help prepare them for a traditional workplace.

Montessori learning is more structured for the child. For example, they get a bin of mixed coloured beads and need to sort them based on colour. This is different from non Montessori type environments when that same bin of beads can be used by the child to get creative and make a necklace or invent a new game with them. Usually you just need to experiment between the two, your child’s personality will dictate which program is better for them. Do they like routine, structure, and clearly defined goals or are they creative and exploring types? Personally I think there is room for both styles in most kids upbringing.