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Montessori Education

by MarneMath
Tags: education, montessori
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MarneMath
#1
Nov29-12, 07:59 AM
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Does anyone have any experience with this at all? I've only recently heard of a Montessori School and I have only a vague idea what it is all about. Anyway, my wife came to me the other day and told me she would like to enroll our daughter into one. I'm generally ok with this, because from what I read, it, in some ways, seems better than the traditional schooling I went too.

I went to public schools all my life and did very well. However, there's a lot about public schools that I dislike, especially in my extremely rural area. At the same time, I'm unsure if my daughter wil receive the same quality of education. I'm afraid her reading, writing, and math skills will lag behind other students. Anyone have any thoughts?
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lisab
#2
Nov29-12, 09:46 AM
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My daughter went to two Montessori preschools. The first one was a disaster - total chaos all the time, the kids were loud and out of control. My daughter hated it and I pulled her out after a month or so.

The second one was calm, quiet, and fun. She loved it and went there for two years.

My takeaway lesson: the teachers are really the key to a good preschool.

I wouldn't worry about her being behind other kids if the teachers are good. The very best thing you can do to wire a kid's brain properly: talk with them, read to them, play with them. Whether that's done in a Montessori structure or not is less important, IMO.
dkotschessaa
#3
Nov29-12, 09:49 AM
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Lisa,

How would you recommend one screen/interview teachers to make sure it's not like scenario 1?

lisab
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Nov29-12, 10:04 AM
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Montessori Education

Quote Quote by dkotschessaa View Post
Lisa,

How would you recommend one screen/interview teachers to make sure it's not like scenario 1?
Good question. I should have followed my instincts with the first place. When I went there the first time, it was just so loud and chaotic, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I've been around kids before and some days they're just like wild animals - I figured it was just one of those days.

I think if I'd stopped by several times at random times it would have given me a more accurate picture of what that school was really like.
lisab
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Nov29-12, 10:05 AM
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Quote Quote by lisab View Post
I think if I'd stopped by several times at random times it would have given me a more accurate picture of what that school was really like.
And I should add, if they object to that sort of visit then that's a red flag for sure.
dkotschessaa
#6
Nov29-12, 10:06 AM
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Yeah, I understand there's a kind of "let them learn creatively" mentality, but that it still has to be guided in some way. I can see how it could get out of control with the wrong staff.

There's one right down the street from us - just a small building. My wife and I don't have kids yet but we're already thinking about this stuff.
phinds
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Nov29-12, 10:33 AM
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Both of my kids were in two different Montessori schools and both schools were terrific, but I agree w/ lisab about the teachers being key. The method IS a good one, but without at least decent teachers, no method is likely to work and this method is open to the kind of disaster libab points out.
Monique
#8
Nov29-12, 01:16 PM
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I know some people who had Montessori education and a major remark is that they felt left behind in their development, because the school was more a playground that a structured development environment. When transferring to a regular education they had to catch up a lot.
Astronuc
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Nov29-12, 01:25 PM
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Quote Quote by lisab View Post
Good question. I should have followed my instincts with the first place. When I went there the first time, it was just so loud and chaotic, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I've been around kids before and some days they're just like wild animals - I figured it was just one of those days.

I think if I'd stopped by several times at random times it would have given me a more accurate picture of what that school was really like.
Quote Quote by phinds View Post
Both of my kids were in two different Montessori schools and both schools were terrific, but I agree w/ lisab about the teachers being key. The method IS a good one, but without at least decent teachers, no method is likely to work and this method is open to the kind of disaster libab points out.
So basically there are good Montessori schools and bad ones, just like there are good public schools and bad ones. I think a lot depends on the teachers and the administration, as well as parental participation.

My public school experience was pretty good, although the first four years K-3 were in Australia, and the rest in the US. I was placed in academically able (AA), major works (MW = honors), and AP courses in math and science. I did regular English and humanities courses though.

I think it is more difficult in rural areas though.
Evo
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Nov29-12, 02:24 PM
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Quote Quote by Monique View Post
I know some people who had Montessori education and a major remark is that they felt left behind in their development, because the school was more a playground that a structured development environment. When transferring to a regular education they had to catch up a lot.
That seems to be true academically. I can see the lack of structure being good for students that do not like to conform and don't enjoy structure, my girls probably would have done well in Montessori once they got to middle school.

But academically, there seems to be no advantage.

Conflicting evidence and assertions, limited empirical research, and methodological
weaknesses in the existing research illustrated the need for further study involving the effectiveness of Montessori schools.

The current study tested the hypothesis that students attending a Montessori school would demonstrate higher math and language arts achievement compared to magnet and traditional non-magnet school students. Overall, the results were mixed and failed to support the general hypothesis that Montessori students demonstrate superior academic performance. Of the 12 specific contrasts that were tested, students from the Montessori school had significantly higher achievement on 1 contrast, significantly lower achievement on 4 of 12 contrasts, and showed no difference from other schools on 7 of the 12 specific contrasts.
http://www.pearweb.org/teaching/pdfs...%20article.PDF

As a parent, I would want to see how children from the school are scoring on national tests. It seems that although Motesssori doesn't believe in testing and grading, they have had to agree to testing starting around 2002. But if your child isn't happy in a traditional school, they're not going to learn as much if they're not happy. No one knows your child as well as you do and you know which type of environment is best for their personality.
MarneMath
#11
Nov29-12, 08:58 PM
P: 439
Thank you to everyone who took time to reply. I was mostly looking for people's experience with this sort of program and I'm relieved to hear they are have been mostly positive. I say 'relieved' because 9 times out of 10 when my wife 'ask' me for my opinion, it's her term for 'you got 1 day think of reasons why you agree with me'. :)

So once again thank you all.


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