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November 2017

The Importance of Mixed Age Grouping in Montessori

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One aspect of a Montessori classroom is that there is a 3 year age span among the children. A Primary Montessori Classroom is designed for the 3-6 years old children.
Maria Montessori found this to be most beneficial for children and now, educational research supports this practice, although it’s typically only found in Montessori schools.How often now does the child have the experience of living in the family with several brothers and sisters? Not quite that often. So he is not receiving the full social experience. Perfect social environments for the child are children with the age difference year or two.

And Montessori classroom is a big family with a lot of children of different age, but not that different to be impossible to study together. This difference helps to avoid many conflicts that are present in the same age groups. In Montessori groups, children have natural age hierarchy, and the older Child tends to help, to patronize and to teach little one. Little kids know that they can always get help from older ones.

Montessori Education vs. Traditional Educational

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Montessori Education

  • Individual students work at their own pace at their challenge level and according to their own interests
  • Learning goals include love of learning, independence as a learner, self-motivation.
  • Mastery of core academic skills is integrated into the study of all subject materials.
  • Multi-age classrooms allow children to advance as they are ready. Older students motivate younger students and consolidate their own learning by helping them.
  • A student’s natural curiosity is nurtured and sustained as a key to exploring the rich scientific and multi-cultural lessons and the beautiful materials that convey them.
  • Teachers act as guides, coaches and mentors.
  • Learners practice their work in the classroom where teachers can assist and give ready feedback.
  • The classroom is a well-equipped learning environment with materials and resources that invite and promote independent learning. Children can move around the classroom to different work areas.
  • Students are encouraged to develop higher levels of thinking – compare, contrast, evaluate, judge, ask probing questions, identify and solve problems, synthesize what has been learned and apply it to new situations.
  • Students of all ages develop and master skills needed for the 21st Century – creativity, cooperation, independence, global competency, and strong communication.

Traditional Education

  • All students in a class work at the same pace through the same material.
  • Learning goals are strongly focused on achieving good test scores and grades.
  • Academic skills are often taught in isolation so that students are acquiring a skill for its own sake.
  • Single age grouping offers little flexibility for children who are advanced or need more help.
  • Materials studied are prescribed by the school or school district. Learning is dominated by textbooks
  • Teachers primarily deliver instruction to students.
  • Learners practice at home on their own and are graded on their efforts.
  • Classrooms are often characterized by rows of desks facing the front of the classroom where the teacher leads the learning process. Students must stay seated during class.
  • Subject areas are taught in isolation from one another.
  • Students are most often asked to memorize and master facts and information that will be tested.
  • Time management is not generally taught.
  • Social skills are not often part of the classic traditional curriculum. When it is taught, it is more likely as an add-on rather than and integrated fundamental part of the child’s development.
  • Opportunity to acquire 21st Century skills is hit or miss depending on the program