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.