It’s been more than 100 years since Dr. Maria Montessori first developed the Montessori method of education, which focuses on building children’s resourcefulness and natural abilities through practical play.
Today, Montessori is the most widespread alternative to traditional education. There are thousands of Montessori schools across the globe where students practice daily life skills, learn through hands-on activities, and explore the interdisciplinary nature of science and social studies.
Two main tenets of a Montessori education are mixed-age classrooms and no grades or homework. At Montessori schools, younger children have long blocks of time—up to three hours at once—to freely interact with specially developed learning materials. As children get older, they participate in extensive research projects, which they present to their class. At all ages, you won’t see rows of desks or assigned seats; students are welcome to move about classrooms freely and make choices about what to work on.
Clearly, Montessori takes a different approach compared to traditional education. But is it better for kids?