Montessori schools are very popular in India but not everyone knows about their existence, pros, cons, how it has the potential to change a person’s thinking capabilities, and their importance in a child’s life.
If you ever talked to a Montessori Educator you are most likely to open the dam of praises that follow this amazing method of teaching. This is unlike the common teaching methods which are considered by the students as a burdensome and monotonous task that ends when the bell rings.
Dr Maria Montessori established Montessori Education in the early 1900s. This system is a child-centred education that encourages child-led activities in the disguise of work. This is a method of education that is necessary for a student’s life and beneficial for them in the long run. Parents often ignore the Montessori method of education and focus more on the prevalent primary education method which focuses on book-led learning and in some sort, puts the child in a box of limited imagination and experience.
How does the Montessori curriculum help?
- This type of education method helps students to learn things with hands-on experience through activities. With activities including materials like geometric solids, alphabets, magnets, and coloured beads for arithmetic problems, students are encouraged to learn independently.
- With child-led projects, students learn at their own comfortable pace and are able to cultivate a firm foundation for their education.
- It enhances social interactions. A child learns best from their environment, keeping this in mind, the Montessori method of education promotes peer-to-peer learning.
- It gives students a sense of confidence in their abilities and independence because the learning for students is self-directed.
- This method is inclusive of children with special needs. With the presence of peer learning and the freedom to learn at a comfortable pace, students with special needs find it comparatively easier and students have less pressure to keep up with their classmates.
Challenges of Montessori Curriculum
“Everything good comes with a prize”. With that saying, the Montessori method has its own disadvantages that the parents and the students can not overlook. This education may be a life-changing experience for a few people but it has some issues that have to be considered and carefully weighed with its advantages.
- The Montessori education method in itself is expensive due to the cost incurred by the high-quality teaching materials used and the in-depth training for the students to use those materials for learning. People regardless of their financial status should be able to provide their children with a method as beneficial as the Montessori method.
- While this method is beneficial for students with a comparatively slower pace of learning, students with a faster pace might find it too loosely structured for them. For example, a student who has no knowledge of a certain subject will have a slower pace of learning in that class while the same student might be well versed in some other subject and have a fast pace for that subject. This allows for a loophole to intervene in the learning process.
- This education method does not include the value of working in a collaborative setting as it encourages independent thinking and working.
- An open-ended structure of the class might not be suitable for many students as many students have already gotten used to the strict class teaching with benches, a blackboard, and on average, the same age category. Learning in an atmosphere of an open-ended class structure can get overwhelming for them.
- It becomes difficult for a student of CBSE international school to adjust to a different method of education.
- The lack of availability of Montessori schools adds to the remaining schools becoming more expensive and fake claims by many institutions that are not following the Montessori method make it hard to find the original and credible data on this issue.
Montessori Education and India
Montessori education in India is designed for elementary students of age 6 to 12 right from Montessori preschool and extends to adolescents between the age of 12 and 18. Many people not being aware of this fact is the reason Montessori schools are barely present in the northern part of India. The number of these schools increases every year in the southern region but there is barely any progress in the northern region of India.
The adolescent Montessori education is fairly new in India but the method is modified and remodeled for it to conduct high school examinations. Many Montessori schools follow the NCERT books and when the students leave school, they are highly aware of the opportunities available to them. India also has a history with adolescent Montessori education. When Maria Montessori visited India, she interacted with older children in the country and it greatly influenced her method.
This educational method of the CBSE international Montessori schools is said to be more inclusive and accepting of the differences among the youth in the community and this method is a necessity for every child. With the concept of “keep up with the classmates” out of the way, the pressure on the students also reduces and provides for a safe environment for learning.