We have a 2 year old and we are considering to enroll him in a private
Montessori next year. We want him to be there for two years between
ages of 3 and 5. I think Montessori education is one of the best for
preschool. But I have big question marks when it comes to elementary
school. While Montessori education has its own nice things, I do not
want my child to be "academically" disadvantaged if he attends the elementary school there. Everybody says we shouldn't give too many standardized tests etc., but the truth of the matter is that's the way our society works. Those who score better grades end up earning better salaries most of the time. So I'm in a dilemma whether to continue to the Montessori elementary school or to move my house to the part of my state where there are best public elementary schools with excellent standardized test scores.
Does anybody know of any "unbiased" research done by non-Montessori organizations comparing the academic success of Montessori versus traditional students ? Thanks.
I think you should pick the elementary school that offers the best fit for your child. The teachers should be warm and caring, the school as a whole should work with your child's temprament, and your child should be excited about learning there.
If it's a good Montessori school, and you can afford it, I'd go with it.
I just wanted to add that if you are considering M, you should consider the full 3 year cycle. It is really disappointing for the child to leave after the 2nd year without the culmination of the final year. There are many lessons that the child will be preparing for throughout the 1st 2 years, that he will "arrive" at in the 3rd year. Also he will lose the chance to give back to the little community by being the oldest/role model for the group. It really is a 3 year program. It's something to consider! Check with your Directress for more info.
Also, you could check with the school to find out if they may already do the standardized testing - and how the students in the elementary class are doing on the tests. Is it public, private or charter?
Thanks for your suggestion. Could you elaborate a little bit more about the lessons you mention for the third year ? My main motivation in considering to enroll him to public school Kindergarten (assuming that we decide to go with public elementary school) was to make sure he is not an outsider when he starts the first grade.
The Montessori school that we consider for pre-school and elementary is private. So I don't think they do any standardized tests but I will ask when we go to the open house this week.
I haven't seen the "best public schools" but my younger son will be in Montesorri because of the TINY class size, art, music, field trips, theater, and other oppurtunites that they have. I'm sure he'll be fine academically. I'm not worried about that. He's brilliant!
Maria Montessori created a dramatically different learning environment. The individual is responsible for his own behavior, learning and progress.
Here is a quote about testing from A. Lillard's book. She just does an amazing job of in depth analysis of M theories related to current psychological research. This is the chapter summary from Ch. 5: "Extrinsic Rewards and Motivation" pg. 191. I will provide references for the studies mentioned if anyone is interested.
"Research...shows that although expected rewards may work to increased participation in the short run, they serve to demotivate people when the rewards are removed. Children show a steady decrease in intrinsic motivation to learn in school for each year they are in school (Harter, 1981). Furthermore, people report significantly higher levels of psychological well-being and competence when they are engaged in intrinsically rewarding activities (Graef, Csikszentmihalyi, & Gianinno, 1983), but schoolwork becomes significantly less intrinsically rewarding as children age. Viewed in this light, it is no wonder that so many children come to dislike school when it is enacted in the traditional way. Extrinsic rewards not only decrease interest in an activity, they are also associated with less learning and creativity, with decline in prosocial behaviors, and changes in classroom environment and self theories that leave many children unmotivated to learn in school.
Dr. M saw...that extrinsic rewards were not needed to motivate children who were already interested in pursuing school activities, and she saw that adult correction and praise both served to disrupt the self-guiding concentration she considered fundamental to development. She developed a set of materials and a method of learning that could be self-correcting and in which the intrinsic motivation to learn would be expected to stay strong."
Standardized tests are far from being a purposeful and motivating way to learn, rather they are the opposite: they hinder progress, interfere with self-concept and well-being, and limit the individual's possibilities.
|Those who score better grades end up earning better salaries most of the time.|
|Does anybody know of any "unbiased" research done by non-Montessori organizations comparing the academic success of Montessori versus traditional students ?|
|IMO, the most significant feature of her participation in this Montessori program was her undying enthusiasium for school attendance, and learning. At age 13, she still has her curiosity and sense of discovery, intact. This is the greatest feature of AMI Montessori method.|
hope that helps.
Originally Posted by FromUSA
My main motivation in considering to enroll him to public school Kindergarten (assuming that we decide to go with public elementary school) was to make sure he is not an outsider when he starts the first grade.
I guess it somewhat depends on how big your public schools are, however in my town, we have 5 elementary schools. At the one DD would attend (and they are all roughly the same size) there are 4 half-day kindergarten programs. There are similarly 4 first grade classrooms. When my daughter starts school on the first day of 1st grade, she will probably only know a few kids in her grade at that school. However, any kid in her class will probably only know about 1/4th of the class they end up in anyway, as they just mix up the classes from grade to grade. So they won't know she's "the new kid" or just one of the 3/4ths they didn't know from the rest of the K classes. So she will not stand out anyway.
Also, since she is attending M school in the same town as the elementary school, she has a good chance of knowing kids that will go to school with her later on anyway. In fact, we haven't gone one day and I already have found one boy who is in the same district in her class right now. So honestly, I'm not worried about this being a problem.
Take a good look at the teachers in the elementary program and make sure that they can motivate your child. Self motivation only goes so far with certain types of kids. Some kids thrive in this kind of environment but our son is not. The materials are beautiful, and the quiet focus of the room is so attractive to us, but, it just isn't working for our family. Just a different point of view. I also agree that testing and a little competition isn't a bad thing. It is how the world works.
Sorry if this is disjointed, but I'm exhausted and am heading to bed.
Now, I don't personally give a about testing, but it must be a question they get often as she just volunteered the information.
I am looking into this as well.
My too older children went to an expensive private school through elementary and middle school and are now thriving in high school. My two younger ones are in public school, (at least until I get the older ones OUT of private school). The public school is very well regarded and has high scores for 3rd-5th grade which does give me "comfort" I must admit. My twins are very bright for their grade level however and not challenged academically. Of course, they are in kindergarten so it may be too early to call.
A friend of mine recommended Montessori and I have been doing some research. Because I plan to transition my twins into private school by middle school at the latest, academic performance/outcome is my biggest concern.
As I am doing my research, there seems to be "little hard data" comparing the quantitative outcomes of Montessori vs traditional schools. This is evidently due to their lack of testing.
I did find this study:
which basically said there was NOT an academic advantage to Montessori method and in fact the 8th grade group performed more poorly in language arts.
I will continue to read and learn but so far I am feeling like all that glitters is not gold. It seems wonderful, (I love the calm, self-guided disciplined atmosphere that it offers very much)! However, at the end of the day, my children will have to fit back into the norms of society which demand "results" rather we like it or not....
I think in the end, it always boils down to what you as a parent feel is best for your child. No one knows him or her better than you. Having said that, I have felt that educational decisions have been the most difficult I have had to make. No matter what you choose, you seem to second guess yourself.
I feel like we should prepare our children for the world but not at the expense of inhibiting their curiosity or interest in learning. I feel like traditional public schools - even the best ones - do not teach children how to learn, think, explore, challenge. They teach children how to memorize and follow directions. They inhibit creativity, self-expression, autonomy. I truly believe in the Montessori method.
May be this answers your question
Montessori Education Provides Better Outcomes Than Traditional Methods, Study Finds
September 28, 2006—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.
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.
We have a 2 year old and we are considering to enroll him in a private<br>
Montessori next year. We want him to be there for two years between<br>
ages of 3 and 5. I think Montessori education is one of the best for<br>
preschool. But I have big question marks when it comes to elementary<br>
school. While Montessori education has its own nice things, I do not<br>
want my child to be "academically" disadvantaged if he attends the elementary school there. Everybody says we shouldn't give too many standardized tests etc., but the truth of the matter is that's the way our society works. Those who score better grades end up earning better salaries most of the time. So I'm in a dilemma whether to continue to the Montessori elementary school or to move my house to the part of my state where there are best public elementary schools with excellent standardized test scores.<br>
Does anybody know of any "unbiased" research done by non-Montessori organizations comparing the academic success of Montessori versus traditional students ? Thanks.
If I'd had children, even while teaching at a public school, I would have sent them to Montessori. It's a natural and understanding setting where children learn as they should, not as the government mandates they do.
I'm ashamed of public schooling, and am glad to be working on my own, with my own guidelines, expectations, and positive outlook.
But please don't misunderstand: Almost ALL of my fellow teachers were devoted, caring individuals They were simply being swallowed up by mandates for testing, teaching for the test, and being judged by that.
There was no thought given to their ability to relate to children and find ways to reach them. No thought given to teachers who simply inspired their kids to be better than they ever dreamed they could be. None to teachers who had big dreams...whose kids then lived up to them!
Yes, I think Montessori is better. And yes. I think schools across America should start looking at the data, looking at the results, and STOP the corporate-profit testing that is killing every teacher I knew and loved. Of the ten best I knew, only two are left in schools.
And they're leaving this year.
I'm sorry. Rant over.
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