Montessori schools are on the increase. The main difference between them and traditional schools is that they do not emphasize the use of textbooks, homework, or grades. This is because a Plano Montessori school believes that they are limiting and simply teach rote memorization rather than encouraging the children to seek the answers for themselves. Montessori schools believe that children are internally motivated to learn for themselves, that they are more likely to become self-directed and disciplined when they are allowed to do so. They also believe that children learn best through direct experience.
Home Life of Montessori Student
Montessori schools also encourage students to take the lead in their home lives. Not that they shouldn’t set at least a few boundaries. However, for example, there are various tasks at home that can constitute homework, such as having a choice in washing or drying dishes after dinner. Parents are also encouraged to read to children every day and to incorporate math in everyday tasks such as folding the laundry. Montessori schools believe that this is the way to create high confidence and self-esteem in children. The founder of Montessori education, Maria Montessori, very much believed that education is not effective unless it helps to open the child up to the realities of life. She did not believe that textbooks and academic homework were the answer to that.
The Unique History of Montessori Schools
Maria Montessori was an Italian doctor and educator. She is best known for her unique philosophy on education and scientific teaching. She was one of the pioneers for breaking the gender barrier in education by being allowed to attend an all-boys technical school when she aspired to be an engineer. She graduated from medical school at the University of Rome with honors in 1896.
The first children she worked with were those who were mentally challenged or had a disability of some sort. She researched with the University’s psychiatric clinic and visited kids in the local asylums. She was influenced by the work of Edouard Seguin and Jean Itard. Itard is credited with discovering Tourette’s Syndrome and Seguin is known for his work with children who have cognitive impairments.
At that time, what we now know as special education didn’t exist. Mara Montessori was one of the first to advocate for that. She did so by writing several articles about it and speaking at a conference in Turin urging for the creation of such classes and training staff. Because of her dedicated work, she was eventually appointed as council to the National League of Protection for Retarded Children. In the very early 1900’s, she went back to the University of Rome to study philosophy to figure out how to apply it to mainstreaming children with disabilities. Her ideas began to spread in 1906 when she opened the first Casa de Bambini for a group of children in low income families. Her ideas and schools spread from there and she became known internationally.