Top 10 Montessori Myths Uncovered
“We can’t afford it, it must only be for rich people.”
“I am not going to pay for my child to play all day.”
“The classrooms seem chaotic and the teachers never teach.”
“Montessori is just for smart kids.”
I could go on and on about the conversations I have heard among parents when hosting parent information nights or the comments I get back while handing out information at the local farmers’ markets. They are always the same myths and not what we want others to believe about Montessori education.
You may have caught our daily posts on Facebook during Montessori Education Week, but we didn’t feel that was enough in educating the unfamiliar (and the somewhat familiar) about Montessori. It’s our job as educators to showcase the philosophy for what it truly is and make sure others understand the benefits of how Montessori focuses on the whole child. I’m here to tell you first-hand that there are FREE Montessori schools, play IS the work of the child, classrooms are filled with INDEPENDENT work opportunities and Montessori is for ALL CHILDREN.
Now, let’s uncover some myths about Montessori…
MYTH #1: Montessori has religious affiliations.
FACT: The word Montessori can often be confused with the word monastery; a community of monks living under religious vows which people connect with religion. Montessori is actually derived from Maria Montessori, the Italian physician who developed the learning method.
MYTH #2: Montessori is expensive.
FACT: Many people associate Montessori with wealth and a private school education, but more recently public, tuition-free Montessori schools are popping up in communities across the globe.
Check out the free Montessori schools here.
MYTH #3: Montessori teachers don’t teach.
FACT: Montessori teachers act as a guide to a child’s independence. The teacher presents a material and the child is free to explore it and learn through self-correcting materials. The teacher’s observation of the child helps to plan for future lessons.
MYTH #4: Montessori is all play and no work.
FACT: Maria Montessori believed that play is the work of the child. Through curiosity, the child is able to explore their environment and work with desired materials at their own pace.
MYTH #5: Montessori classrooms are chaotic.
FACT: Montessori classrooms can seem chaotic because of the many activities that may be happening simultaneously. However, the work of each independent child differs from his/her peers.
MYTH #6: Montessori is just a trend.
FACT: Montessori is not new to the educational world and has been around for quite some time. The educational philosophy of Maria Montessori was first introduced in the United States in the 1960s and has been spreading ever since.
MYTH #7: Montessori children will not be able to transition to traditional schools well.
FACT: Montessori children are able to more easily adapt to change. The grace and courtesy lessons that they are taught in Montessori helps them to easily adjust to meeting new people. Although some have questioned the academic rigor, Montessori children have proven to out-test children in traditional schools.
Just check out what the research has to say…
MYTH #8: Montessori is only for gifted children.
FACT: Although some may say that Montessori schools have some of the same characteristics as gifted schools, they were created with the intent that all children can learn. Did you know that Maria Montessori devised her method of education while working with disabled children? Just more proof that the method works with all children alike!
MYTH #9: Montessori is just for preschoolers.
FACT: Although Maria Montessori began her practice working with preschoolers, the Montessori classroom has expanded to reach Montessori students of all ages including the high school years.
MYTH #10: Montessori curriculum is not rigorous enough.
FACT: Montessori curriculum is presented in a cross-curricular approach so children are often learning more than one content area at a time on a deeper level. Research projects allow for further exploration of a topic and allows the child to follow their interests as well.
I couldn’t have possibly covered all of the many stereotypes Montessori education typically faces but I hope that the myths I have just uncovered have helped you gain a better understanding of the philosophy.
Spread the word that Montessori is truly the best form of education out there today.
Who wouldn’t want individualized lessons that allow for movement, a three hour uninterrupted work period to aid in concentration, or even being able to work more in depth with materials that are of interest to you? I bet we all could list some adults who could have benefited from Montessori education but I’ll save that for another post…
How are you helping to spread the truth about Montessori education in your community? We want to hear from you. Share with us!