M for Montessori. A board of education started by Dr Maria Montessori to help children break out of the clutches of classroom learning and find what they want to learn. Montessori nursery schools in international schools have a child-first approach and the learning in a GMP program is activity-based not under the binds of a strict curriculum that every child must adhere to. Learning in this school is free as children get to explore and see what they wish to learn through play, reading and other activities. Rote-learning is not a principle of Montessori schools, there is no strict grading process and attention is paid towards the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of a child.
The Montessori Method has been around since 1909 and many private schools have adopted this method of education. There are schools that have also kept the principles intact and made a few additions to the curriculum such as the GMP program to ensure that students miss out on nothing. Here are some of the pros and cons of studying in a Montessori Nursery School.
Pros of Studying in a Montessori Nursery School
Briefly, the main advantage of the Montessori program is the freedom and vast access to knowledge and activities. Since the focus is not directly on setting up the basics and foundation but also on letting kids find what they like.
A Hands-on Learning Experience
Montessori learning or a GMP program is child-focused and based on learning through constant activity. Children can learn alphabets using clay, colors, toys and other fun ways. Coloured beads are used to teach arithmetic. Geometric shapes and other figures are used to explain shapes and dimensions in a fun way. These Nursery schools have a lot of space and natural light to allow children to explore, experiment and grow in a smart way. The materials provided are monitored by trained professional teachers who move around the different groups and teach students by guiding them slowly without dictating the learning routine.
Independence and Social Interaction
Students are given the independence to choose what they want to learn and are allowed to be curious about things, people or the world at large. Students interact with materials within the classroom and also step out and interact with things outside. This doesn’t mean that the learning is always individually focused. Children also learn in groups which helps build social interaction and allows children to find new interests with their classmates. This helps them form better personality skills, team-building skills and helps them grow with love and respect for all.
Montessori Nursery schools have daily learning and teaching plans in place but the grading and assessment methods are not as strict and guarded as regular school. Students are not given daily homework but long term projects that they can work on at their own pace without rote-learning and memorizing lists and lists of information. This makes learning interesting and fun for them. Students with special needs are often encouraged to choose the Montessori Method or a GMP program as it accepts their special skills and allows them to discover their potential and grow at their own pace.
Cons of Studying in a Montessori Nursery School and how good International schools overcome it
While these were some of the main advantages of choosing a Montessori Nursery School, there are a few disadvantages too. These mainly are due to the independence and the cost of studying at a Montessori School.
Montessori Nursery School is expensive
There is a vast amount of resources, materials, space and teachers required to make these schools function smoothly. Hence it is more expensive. The teaching is individually focused and high-quality activities are put together. Hence people who can afford this kind of education for their children are more likely to opt for it. However, there are efforts made by different private schools around the world to include or switch their nursery schools towards Montessori Methods with the costs in mind to make learning fun and accessible for all.
The Independence is Intimidating
Collaboration and teams are the driving force of any system in the world. Instructions and order keep the world running smoothly and helps companies avoid running into chaos. The need for protocol and clear instructions is practically ingrained in our DNA. When this is removed from Montessori schools, students might not feel at ease and might not know the direction they are supposed to move in. With the daily hand-holding missing, they could feel lost and confused and might choose to just follow the majority instead of finding something they want to learn. A good GMP program tried to overcome this.
Global Montessori Plus Programme at GIIS
GMP Programme is a culmination of all the pros mentioned above and also tackles some of the cons that have been covered. The GMP programme focuses on the overall development of the kids while blending well-known Montessori methods and modern age futuristic learning pedagogy. This allows children freedom while guaranteeing a foundation that is beneficial in the next level of their life. Students are exposed to subjects like English, Math, Hindi, EVS, Dance and Music, STEM, Montessori and more. The school allows all students to grow equally and lets special children also make their way into society.
While the fees might not suit everyone’s finances, there are scholarships and grants in place that can help your child receive the kind of education s/he deserves. To find out more about the GMP programme and GIIS School, visit their website or their campus.
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