Montessori education became very popular during the past few years. A child’s intellectual development will influence who he will become as an adult. It is highly important to promote high self-esteem, positive relationships with other people, value systems and so on. Today, traditional education does not cover such things because it is based on transmitting and recreating blocks of information. Traditional education tends to focus more on the theoretical part of learning rather than the practical one. Thus, personality and preferences are formed in the very same mold, which will later lead to transforming children in similar adults, with almost the same preferences and ideals. This is the main difference between Montessori and traditional education. In the case of Montessori, children are given more freedom. The journey to becoming an adult is complex and attention must be paid to the entire process of developing both mentally and spiritually.
Montessori education offers children ideal environments for each stage development they are in. Using specific Montessori supplies allows children to act according to their personality and choose what seems attractive for them only. Children are not forced to engage themselves in activities they do not enjoy. Montessori education encourages reaching the maximum potential of every child, letting them use each side of their personality with the sole purpose of intellectually developing themselves. When talking about traditional education, the activity is mostly directed by a teacher. As for Montessori, activity is not guided, but independent. This way, kids have the opportunity to discover everything all by themselves, by using Montessori toys.
Each aspect that’s included in the educational curriculum used in Montessori is somehow encouraging creativity and analytical thinking. Children will choose the activities they are attracted to because of the skills they possess. Compared to traditional education, Montessori allows forming groups of differently aged children. They can choose any activity available, regardless of their age and develop their skills at their own pace. The materials used in Montessori are colorful and eye-catching, making children want to try them. Puzzles, toys that include geometrical shapes, logic games – these are all Montessori materials that boost the independence of a child’s thinking. There is no need for a professor to correct the children, as they are learning by themselves, looking for solutions until they finally manage to find them.
Because kids are interacting with the surroundings, including both the materials used and the other participants, individually developing social and intellectual skills is natural, and not forced, as in the case of traditional learning. Through self-motivation and self-correction, children become more aware of their freedom, of their capabilities and their sensorial input-output. Breaking complicating learning into these small steps used in Montessori education helps the child gain confidence. There is no concept of right and wrong, being replaced by trial and error. The freedom of how much time kids choose to spend for one task, the attention they offer to certain details and the state of deep concentration they experience are results of the possibility to choose for themselves.
Rana Tarakji is an entrepreneur and a contributing writer at One SEO, a digital marketing agency, who lives in Beirut, Lebanon. Rana Tarakji is passionate about digital marketing, startups, helping entrepreneurs grow, and empowering them to live their dreams. She has worked as a marketer, a technology co-founder and business developer, and a writer.