“Imitation is the first instinct of the awakening mind.”
The school as a factory
Traditional schools have not fared well: The models of the child and school on which they are built – the empty vessel in the factory – fit poorly with how humans learn.
The school system in a sense trains children to be alike, whereas the economy thrives on variations in individual initiative. In our current information age, when we deal in more of a commerce of ideas and entrepreneurship than in factory production, use of such a model in education should be particularly suspect. Although some children manage to excel in the system regardless, the common cultural attitude is that school is painful and not particularly fun.
Infants have an intense drive to learn, and school-aged children maintain this drive for learning outside of school. Yet from the early years of schooling, children’s motivation to learn in school steadily declines. This suggests that something is very wrong: Learning can be an engaging, inspiring activity, so schooling could be looked on with joy. This mismatch between the models underlying our traditional system of education and the nature of children is at the root of the problem.
Montessori: a scientific education method
An answer to this crisis in education came with Dr. Maria Montessori, the first female medical doctor in Italy, a century ago. She drew on scientific studies of how children learn, develop and thrive a century ago, and adjusted her schools based on trial and error. She continuously experimented with methods and, based on the results, built a detailed, empirically tested curriculum covering all major subject areas for children from 0 to 12.
The importance of her insights is reflected in their similarity to educational principles generated by today’s modern psychological research and neuroscience.
How will your child benefit from a Montessori education?
Academic and social development
The knowledge that children educated in Montessori schools achieve at least equivalent and often better outcomes than children in other schools, not only academically, but also socially.
English national curriculum
A curriculum which fully meets the requirements of the National Curriculum in the UK and which goes well beyond this in many subjects. It will also be authorized by the Spanish authorities as an international school in Spain.
Continuous evaluation through observation of your child’s progress, seeking further challenges to encourage new skills and knowledge. This will allow you and your children to fully enjoy this precious time of growing up in a great place like Mallorca without an unnecessary focus on one-dimensional measurements like marks.
Your child’s education is based on making the most of your child’s individual capabilities. Your child will have the ability to embrace challenges with curiosity and enthusiasm.
Based on: ‘Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius’, Angeline Stoll Lillard (2005), Oxford University Press; Frequently Asked Questions, Montessori St Nicholas; ‘Reach Further: Montessori education for the over fives – learning for life and living to learn’, Montessori St. Nicholas; FAQs, The International Montessori Index; FAQ, American Montessori Society