The Montessori Method: FAQs(Part 2)

This is a sequel to our “The Montessori Method: FAQ” series and continues to answer some more questions.

Have Montessori children studied enough to adjust to traditional schools?

Children making the transition to traditional schools find it difficult to adjust to the same age group of students, the heavy bags they have to carry, the amount of homework given, the lack of friendliness of the teacher etc. to name a few.

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However, they understand and grasp concepts faster or are on par with their traditional school counterparts. Their Montessori background has made them active “learners” “creative thinkers” as they “learn” to study independently without much help from their elders.

Do Montessori Schools discipline their students? Do their students only “play” with “toys” in school?

Children concentrate and work with the materials they have chosen and are quiet by choice and out of respect for others within the environment. The teachers talk softly and use courtesy phrases like “please”, “thank you” etc. frequently and the children pick up good manners and basic courtesy by observing how the adults communicate with and among themselves.

montessori kidsThe items found on the shelves in the classroom are “materials” rather than “toys.” The children “work with the materials” rather than “play with the toys.” This allows the children to gain the most benefit from the environment by giving them a sense of worth – the same sense of worth adults experience as they go to their jobs and do their “work.”

How do Montessori Schools assess the child if they don’t give tests, exams and homework?

Instead of tests and exams, assessments occur daily through the teachers’ keen observations of the children. The children are taught how to test themselves or each other so they can know if they’ve really mastered something, such as math facts.

There are some things that do need to be memorized and there is minimal homework.
At the end of each term, teachers provide each student and his or her parents with an overview of the student’s progress, pointing out areas that need improvement.

Is Montessori a new and foreign method of education? Will it suit Indians?

The Montessori Method is a scientific, practical and realistic method that has been in existence since 1907 and is suitable for Indians who need to stop encouraging rote learning.

Maria and Mario with the Sarabhais (Nachiappan 1939)
Maria Montessori visited India and was an active member of the Theosophical Society. Rabindranath Tagore also founded many “Tagore-Montessori” schools in India with some of the earliest Indian Montessorians who studied in Italy to propagate it in India.

We hope this series was helpful and informative. Feel free to get in touch with us as we’d be more than happy to answer more questions and elaborate on some if needed.