Montessori Education Pros and Cons List
Deciding upon the proper educational experience for your child can be a challenge. With so many different options available, sifting through all of them and selecting the correct one is incredibly difficult. Montessori education has grown in popularity in recent years, as more parents have decided that they prize their child’s ability to learn how to think independently and develop naturally.
There are others who believe that a Montessori education is a terrible choice to make and that it will set their children back, giving their peers a chance to outpace them from a young age. So what are the pros and cons that are most typically associated with the obtainment of a Montessori education? Read on and learn more.
List of Pros of Montessori Education
1. Children’s Independence Is Enhanced.
One of the more common complaints about the traditional educational system is that it does not teach children how to embrace their independence and make decisions for themselves. With a Montessori education, children are able to thrive within a nontraditional classroom structure, one that encourages them to discover what they are truly passionate about.
With a Montessori education, children are not forced to sit down in a classroom, face forward and listen to a teacher speak for the duration of their days. They are able to roam freely and there are teachers present to provide help whenever it is required. This gives children the chance to find out where their interests are, as opposed to being forced to fit into the greater whole.
2. Children Are Able To Learn From One Another.
Children often respond best to instruction from their peers, as opposed to having a teacher loom over them and tell them what they are supposed to. Parents who believe that water finds its own level are far more likely to send their children to a school where they will receive a Montessori education.
At Montessori schools, children are not always going to be grouped with children that are their own age. Having older children spend time around those who are younger is a great way to ensure that children who are not comfortable with the traditional student/teacher relationship can still receive the education that they need, without being forced into an environment that is not supportive.
3. Kids Can Set Their Own Learning Pace.
It should be no secret to anyone who has been paying close attention to the learning processes in modern schools: kids do not all learn at the same pace. There are numerous ways to learn and to force children to learn at the same rate of speed ignores this reality. By giving children the chance to learn at the pace they are most comfortable with, this also increases the desire to learn new things.
When attending a Montessori schools, children are no longer forced to fit the same mold, they are able to set their own learning pace and stick to it, without intervention from well meaning teachers and school officials. A Montessori education provides children with the opportunity to ascertain which way of learning will work best for them and continue to explore their preferred method further.
List of Cons of Montessori Education
1. Lack of Structure Not Always Conducive To Learning.
While there are children out there who do not need to be instructed and are more than capable of learning on their own, there are also many children who thrive in a structured environment. An unsettled learning environment can come across as chaotic, especially to a child who comes from a highly structured home environment.
This is why detractors of the Montessori educational structure often speak about the importance of providing a learning environment with structure, so that children who are unable to chart their own course for learning can continue to be educated in a school where the teacher’s word is still law.
2. Secondary Education Transitional Period Becomes Tougher.
Even a child who thrives under the Montessori educational structure will eventually have to move on and continue their education in a more conventional classroom setting. There is a strong fear that children who are receive unconventional early education will struggle when they are forced to transfer into a traditional secondary education setting.
There are very few Montessori schools that allow children to continue into their high schools and almost no colleges to speak of that support this educational style. Some children will be able to easily make the transition into high school and college, while other students often become intoxicated by the level of freedom that they receive during grade school and do not have the ability or desire to make the switch.
3. Increased Costs of Attending.
As you may have guessed, Montessori schools tend to be much more expensive to attend, making it difficult for middle class parents who agree with their educational philosophies to send their children there. Any private schooling is going to come at a much higher cost than what is typically associated with public schooling.
While supporters of the Montessori educational experience will always point to the number of financial aid packages that are available for prospective students who hail from working class backgrounds, there are not enough financial aid programs available to accommodate the number of students who seek them. Since there is such a large amount of competition for financial aid and grants to attend these institutions, a parent cannot feasibly expect to receive help paying for their child’s Montessori education.