As a parent you want the best education for your child. It is well documented that during the precarious transition from elementary to middle school, young adolescents begin to doubt the value of their academic curriculum and their abilities to succeed. However this need not be so : a parent can equip a child better by send him or her to a Montessori preschool.
What are the real benefits of Montessori over traditional school environment?
Montessori is a method of schooling that focuses on personal development rather than formal testing or exams. Scientists have found that this pedagogy turns out more mature, creative and socially adept children as compared to traditional school environment. Children of different ages share the same classes, and are encouraged to collaborate and help each other. Special educational materials are used to keep children interested, and there is an emphasis on practical life skills.
A highly cited study ‘Middle School Students’ Motivation and Quality of Experience: A Comparison of Montessori and Traditional School Environments’ (reported in American Journal of Education (2005) Volume: 111, Issue: 3) showed strong differences between the two systems :
1) Montessori students reported a significantly better quality of experience in academic work than the traditional students,2) Montessori students appeared to feel more active, strong, excited, happy,relaxed, sociable, and proud while engaged in academic work,3) Montessori students enjoyed themselves more, they were more interested in what they were doing, and they wanted to be doing academic work more than the traditional students,4) Montessori students reported significantly higher percentages of undivided interest, higher motivation and higher levels of importance with regard to schoolwork,5) Montessori students reported more conditions where the challenges and skills used while doing academic work were above average..
A landmark study reported in the Sept. 29, 2006 issue of journal Science, compared children aged three to 12 at a Montessori school in Milwaukee with those at other schools in the same area. The study found that across a range of abilities, children at Montessori schools out-performed those given a traditional education. Five-year-old Montessori pupils were better prepared for reading and maths, and 12-year-olds wrote more creative essays using more sophisticated sentence structures. Some of the biggest differences were seen in social skills and behaviour. Montessori children displayed a greater sense of “justice and fairness”, interacted in an “emotionally positive” way, and were less likely to engage in rough play during break times.
Significantly, Montessori children had higher scores in tests of “executive function”. This is the ability to adapt to changing and complex problems, and is seen as an indicator of future school and life success.
Older Montessori pupils were more likely to choose “positive assertive responses” when dealing with unpleasant social situations, said the researchers. They also displayed a “greater sense of community” at school.
Research has proved that a high ambient noise level has a measurable negative impact on a child’s academic achievement level, especially in learning to read and in reading comprehension.
When parents first visit a well-run Montessori school, they often comment on how quiet the classrooms are compared to many other environments where groups of preschoolers come together. In a Montessori classroom environment, students are taught to speak quietly with each other, to walk up to a teacher with a request instead of yelling it across the room, etc. Teachers respect students who are working by doing small group lessons in very quiet, low voices. Teachers teach the skills of volume control as part of the emphasis on respecting each other and the work they are doing. Montessori teachers implicitly realize that a quiet environment is much more conducive to quality learning.
There are many options for elementary schools in Bangalore. The Indian Montessori Centre has currently about 90 institutional members in India. Bangalore has 34 recognized Montessori Houses of Children.Koramangala is one of the most sought after localities in Bangalore, both for residential and business purposes. It is home to numerous large IT companies, a rising number of startups, which have made Koramangala their home. If you stay in and around Koramangala, Elements Kids Play Home with its scenic outdoor areas spread in a large campus with Day Care and comprehensive after school activities should be on your final short list of preschools.