This section answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Montessori education and MSB.
What are the benefits of Montessori education?
A Montessori-based education is child-centered; it is based on a child’s need, interests and learning style at that moment in their life. Instead of applying a “one approach fits all” style of learning to an entire classroom of children, the Montessori-based approach takes into account the fact that children do not all learn the same way nor have the same needs.
Montessori helps children to become self-motivated, self-disciplined and focused, and retain the sense of curiosity that so many lose along the way in traditional classrooms. Children are given the tools to be successful in their future lives. They typically become life-long learners and problem-solvers, innovators and good team players. They tend to act with care and respect towards their environment and each other. They are able to work at their own pace and abilities.
The Montessori curriculum encompasses not only an academic curriculum, but also focuses on a child’s personal and social development. Success in today’s world is not only measured by grades and degrees. Strong study and work habits, self-motivation, independent thinking and excellent communication skills are essential for academic and career success and an integral part of Montessori education.
What are the key differences between a Montessori-based and traditional curriculum?
Montessori-based Curriculum Traditional Curriculum
Educational ideology A child-centered educational ideology respects the children, focuses on teaching methods and ability development, as well as the holistic development of characters. A teacher-centered educational ideology that emphasizes imparting knowledge and skills, but fails to take into account the development of children's personalities.
Core of education An education system with children's work at its core. Teachers will guide and inspire children at proper times based on children's inner needs at different development planes. Children learn to discover internal connections and laws of things by themselves. An education system with teachers imparting knowledge at its core. Children fail to enjoy the process of self-discovery; self-summarization, self-recognition, and self-development.
Educational Basis Prepare the learning environment based on children*s sensitive periods, so that all-round development will be achieved in an easier way. Syllabuses compiled based on the general laws of development, failing to take the different growth paces of each child into consideration.
Curriculum Practical life, senses, language, math, culture (including health and wellbeing, society, art, science, astronomy, biology, peace) Health and wellbeing, science, society, language, art
Teaching content Children can choose their own learning contents based on his or her own interests, which promotes the child*s interest in learning. All children have to learn the same subject content decided by the teacher, which makes children feel boring or even tired of learning.
Teaching Format Students are able to choose their own work based on their interests, with individual study^ pair work and group work taking place at the same time. The teacher is able to tend to each students needs. Students as a group listen to a specific teacher's lesson at a given time, but the teacher is not able to provide tutor-ingto each student
Learning approach A hands-on learning approach combined with teachers ' demonstration and guidance, allowing children to learn in a pleasant environment. Children can only passively stay in a "closed" classroom to receive the teaching of book knowledge. Children have no opportunities to experience learning through their senses. As a result, children's interest in learning declines and children's creativity is stifled.
Why are the classrooms multi-age? What are the benefits?
One of the core principles of a Montessori-based education is the belief that mixed-age groups and flexible groupings allow the children to learn at the best rate.
A mixed-aged classroom is an inherent motivator for children to constantly challenge themselves. Older children benefit tremendously from this environment where they are teachers and leaders, developing confidence and independence. They reinforce their understanding of the material by teaching it to the younger students, while the younger ones have it taught to them in different ways. Sometimes another child can word a concept in a way that an adult can't, facilitating better understanding for both children involved. This process of knowledge sharing reaffirms what the children have already learned. Younger children usually want to do what the older children are doing and benefit from having role models in their classroom environment.
Multi-age classrooms also allow children to excel. Children can individually advance in the complexity of their work without waiting for the group as a whole. With higher-grade level materials easily accessible, and the possibility to teach children at different levels, students with a high aptitude in a subject matter can easily work above grade level. In other words, a well functioning multi-age classroom will be able to adapt to the needs of each child, promoting enrichment and support in the specific concepts that each child needs to work on.