Research shows benefits of Montessori education
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.
“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 tested and graded slightly differently to children in traditional schools, they did just as well in spelling, punctuation and grammar exams.
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.” (Taken from TheGuardian.com)