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A woman at the forefront, Dr. Maria Montessori, has devoted her life to advancing the education of children of all ages. She believed that the classical teaching method, where the teacher gave a talk and the listener, was not conducive to learning because many students failed. This is how the Montessori schools came into being.
Since the early 1900s, Montessori schools have provided a unique learning environment suitable for students of all levels of intellectual development from early childhood to age 18. Teachers are not seen as central to learning; the teacher is the master of his or her learning and the teacher must simply guide the student in order to highlight his or her true potential with challenging experiences to be completed without interruption in a comforting environment.
Thus, the very essence of Montessori schools is a pedagogy based on a truly practical approach to education, which develops all aspects of the student's intellectual, spiritual and emotional psyche so that he or she becomes a good person balanced. Many years of rigorous training are required before adults can assume teaching positions in Montessori schools, and they must be extremely experienced in all subjects they teach.
Naturally, Montessori schools have enjoyed popularity all over the world. However, it is important to note that each school may differ in its interpretation of the Montessori teaching method.
Parents should assess the school they take into consideration to ensure that it meets their needs. Montessori is not a trademark and no organization governs the use of the phrase "Montessori School".
An appropriate Montessori school will have:
Many people prefer the Montessori school to pre-school (or early childhood education). This is a way to "test" Montessori education and private education.
Montessori Schools in Canada
Canada is one of the few countries in the world where Montessori schools are integrated into the public system. The first Montessori school in Canada was founded in Toronto in the 1960s and became the foundation of the expansion of the Montessori method in North America. It could be said that this is still the case today.
Évaluation de la méthode Montessori
Les écoles Montessori ne sont pas exemptes de critique, mais on a démontré que la méthode donne de bons résultats. Par exemple, dans une étude menée en 2006, publiée dans la revue « Science », les auteurs ont conclu que les élèves Montessori affichaient un meilleur rendement dans les domaines d'apprentissage classiques, comme les mathématiques et le langage, ainsi que les aptitudes sociales. L'étude a suivi deux groupes témoins pendant plusieurs années.
Other studies indicate that Montessori children perform well on standardized exams and rank well above the average for "general skills", such as following the guidelines, being punctual, listening and being able to adapt to new situations.