Montessori Misconceptions

Montessori is just for preschool children.

While the majority of Montessori schools in Bangalore are preschools, Montessori programs exist at age levels from birth to eighteen.

Montessori is just for special learners — the gifted or the learning disabled.

The methods used in Montessori schools are highly effective with both learning disabled and gifted learners. The reason for their effectiveness, however, is that the learning environments have been designed to ensure success forĀ allĀ children.

Montessori schools are religious.

While many private Montessori schools do have a religious orientation because it is such a common practice , FWS is not religiously affiliated in any way, and Montessori itself is not religiously oriented, finding itself quite at home in public settings where religious instruction is inappropriate.

Children in Montessori classrooms are relatively unsupervised and can “do whatever they want.”

Montessori is based on the principle of free choice of purposeful activity. If the child is being destructive or is using materials in an aimless way, the teacher will intervene and gently re-direct the child either to more appropriate materials or to a more appropriate use of the material.

Montessori classrooms are too structured.

Although the teacher is careful to make clear the specific purpose of each material and to present activities in a clear, step-by-step order, the child is free to choose from a vast array of activities and to discover new possibilities.

Montessori is against fantasy; therefore it stifles creativity.

The fact is that the freedom of the prepared environment encourages creative approaches to problem-solving. And while teacher-directed fantasy is discouraged, fantasy play initiated by the child is viewed as healthy and purposeful. In addition, art and music activities are integral parts of the Montessori classroom.

Montessori is out of date.

While appropriate changes have been made to the original Montessori curriculum (including the introduction of computers and modifications to the Practical Life exercises to keep them culturally relevant), the basic pedagogy has not changed much since Dr. Montessori’s lifetime. Contemporary research and evaluation, however, seem to be confirming Montessori’s insights.

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