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It’s no secret that children in the U.S. public school system are failing to get the education they need. People blame everything from teachers, parents, poor facilities, lack of funding, unsafe environments and administrators down to long bus rides. The truth is that it’s probably some of all of these factors. Everyone can point to the problem.
Montessori points to a solution. It’s not the only solution as there are many teaching methods that work. There are many exceptional teachers who make those methods work. However, one solitary factor must exist. Children must want to learn.
Montessori encourages children to want to learn. A child that wants to learn or at least learns how to learn in the preschool years is a child that will very likely excel…in education, in confidence and in his or her life.
“Montessorians” believe in the principals of Dr. Maria Montessori. Dr. Montessori was the first woman medical doctor in Italy (1896). She was also well educated in biology, psychiatry and anthropology. This proved to be an exceptional combination when Maria decided to work with some of the poorest, and sometimes cognitively challenged, children of Italy.
With her scientific discipline and relentless tenacity, these poor kids, including those with greater challenges, were able to pass standard testing with above-average scores. Her studies of educational methods included boys and girls from races and cultures all over the world. It was through these studies that she found and declared two principles that are the foundation of Montessori teaching: To simplify they mean…One, children as a group have universal characteristics. Two, each child is truly unique and should be accepted, respected and admired as one of life’s genuine treasures.
Today, Montessori can be found working throughout the world. In the United States, Montessori went to work in the mid 1960s. It grew slowly but since 2000, the use of Montessori teaching methods has approximately doubled in formal channels. Additionally, there are many other schools where Montessori programs have been implemented and still more centers and schools that borrow from the Montessori philosophy.
Whether she realized it or not, Dr. Montessori wasn’t just an agent for change in global education. She was the architect for the infrastructure that allows a child to change their future. She was and is a great equalizer. There are many important, successful and proven ways to help children learn. Montessori is not the only way to help children find the knowledge they’ll need in this life, but it is certainly one of the most widely proven methods.
At BFS®, we know the difference. If you need help with your Montessori school, don’t hesitate to contact us.