Gables Montessori Blog

The potential of each child

One of the characteristics that has defined the Montessori Method, created by the Italian Maria Montessori at the beginning of the TWENTIETH century, was that each child could release the potential that it possesses in some activity, while being integral in terms of other areas or knowledge . Of Course, it is intended to teach young children, with tasks and values that they can carry out from an early age and that molded or instructed them in some way in the process of becoming adults.

Within the classroom, there must be a suitable environment for the child to feel confident and free to learn, a place where they practice affection, respect and discipline, where in turn the didactic materials available to them choose , thanks to his own interest. Seeing in this way that the child possesses in itself the capacities to go building himself. The father or teacher is nothing more than a guide, a person who will provide you with the tools for your learning.

Thanks to the environment where you will be given the freedom to choose, you will facilitate the knowledge of reading and writing on a par with certain rules and limits, that are only the observation towards that which interested them and the respect towards the activities of other companions , those little efforts that will be very significant in their formation.

While they are being instructed in general knowledge, as the aforementioned, at the time of these completed, if they want to play, draw, or carry out another activity, they are in the freedom to do so, since if it is their will, that must be respected.

They Will Have a moment to share and to know integral tools, that will help them throughout their lives, at the same time they will be given the opportunity to learn for themselves, to create independence and also to choose that they like, that they want to do to To develop its potential in terms of this activity or task. Pushing them, and encouraging them is only our duty.

 

 

 

 

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Montessori Education Provides Better Outcomes than Traditional Methods, Study Finds

A study comparing outcomes of children at a public inner-city Montessori school with children who attended traditional schools indicates that Montessori education leads to children with better social and academic skills.

 

The study appears in the September 29, 2006 issue of the journal Science (article full text).

Montessori education is characterized by multi-age classrooms, a special set of educational materials, student-chosen work in long time blocks, a collaborative environment with student mentors, absence of grades and tests, and individual and small group instruction in academic and social skills. More than 5,000 schools in the United States, including 300 public schools, use the Montessori method.

The Montessori school studied is located in Milwaukee and serves urban minority children. Students at the school were selected for enrollment through a random lottery process. Those students who “won” the lottery and enrolled at the Montessori school made up the study group. A control group was made up of children who had “lost” the lottery and were therefore enrolled in other schools using traditional methods. In both cases the parents had entered their children in the school lottery with the hope of gaining enrollment in the Montessori school.

“This strategy addressed the concern that parents who seek to enroll their children in a Montessori school are different from parents who do not,” wrote study authors Angeline Lillard, a University of Virginia professor of psychology, and Nicole Else-Quest, a former graduate student in psychology at the University of Wisconsin. This was an important factor because parents generally are the dominant influence on child outcomes.

Children were evaluated at the end of the two most widely implemented levels of Montessori education: primary (3- to 6-year-olds) and elementary (6- to 12-year-olds). They came from families of very similar income levels (averaging from $20,000 to $50,000 per year for both groups).

The children who attended the Montessori school, and the children who did not, were tested for their cognitive and academic skills, and for their social and behavioral skills.

“We found significant advantages for the Montessori students in these tests for both age groups,” Lillard said. “Particularly remarkable are the positive social effects of Montessori education. Typically the home environment overwhelms all other influences in that area.”

Among the 5-year-olds, Montessori students proved to be significantly better prepared for elementary school in reading and math skills than the non-Montessori children. They also tested better on “executive function,” the ability to adapt to changing and more complex problems, an indicator of future school and life success.

Montessori children also displayed better abilities on the social and behavioral tests, demonstrating a greater sense of justice and fairness. And on the playground they were much more likely to engage in emotionally positive play with peers, and less likely to engage in rough play.

Among the 12-year-olds from both groups, the Montessori children, in cognitive and academic measures, produced essays that were rated as “significantly more creative and as using significantly more sophisticated sentence structures.” The Montessori and non-Montessori students scored similarly on spelling, punctuation and grammar, and there was not much difference in academic skills related to reading and math. This parity occurred despite the Montessori children not being regularly tested and graded.

In social and behavioral measures, 12-year-old Montessori students were more likely to choose “positive assertive responses” for dealing with unpleasant social situations, such as having someone cut into a line. They also indicated a “greater sense of community” at their school and felt that students there respected, helped and cared about each other.

The authors concluded that, “…when strictly implemented, Montessori education fosters social and academic skills that are equal or superior to those fostered by a pool of other types of schools.”

Lillard plans to continue the research by tracking the students from both groups over a longer period of time to determine long-term effects of Montessori versus traditional education. She also would like to replicate the study at other Montessori and traditional schools using a prospective design, and to examine whether specific Montessori practices are linked to specific outcomes.

Lillard is the author of Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius. More information is available at: http://www.montessori-science.org/.

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RISING A MULTILINGUAL KID

Raising a multilingual child is a rewarding experience but may be also a challenging one. Making the decision responds to a necessity if parents belong to different cultures or also to a simple desire to open up more chances of success to their children. The most important thing to have in mind is that kids “acquire” language, don’t “learn” it, absorbing it from the environment, so the best we can do is to improve conditions and help the child in the process. Of course you can find many obstacles along the way, for example to discover that your partner is not supportive enough because of the feeling of being left out or maybe you are unwilling to speak and exchange words with your child in another language after a long day at work. But they are only little stones along the way, you need to internalize that talking to your child in your mother tongue is something that your child will benefit from. The success is related to many factors. Researchers say that a child needs to be exposed to a language 30% of the day to actively speak it. That means that daily tasks should be developed under this parameter, creating all the time the need in the child to communicate his necessities in the second language. The first five years are crucial. The family must discuss a few issues for example, who should speak what language to the baby or how many members of the extended family are going to contribute to the process. The ideal time to start is even before your baby is born, the younger the child the brain gets used to the words of each language. You must (not ask for opinion) declare your intentions about the education of your child and left the explanations behind. But at the same time you must look for and get the support of others like you to share tips and advices. This kind of network also gives your child the opportunity to speak, to hire and interact with other children in the minority language. Another thing to do is to get relevant materials for your child such as books, music, toys and movies in the second language, these resources should be fun and attractive. Do not despair if your kid begins the school and forget words and phrases, your work isn’t lost, just became a little slower, the task of rising a multilingual person never ends, set your goals, be flexible, remember that  you are investing in the future of your family.

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