Monday, October 7, 2019

Montessori Preschool vs. No Preschool: Statistics

Preschool - Montessori Fremont

While there may be some discussion about the value of preschool in general, there is very little serious doubt about what it has to offer. Instead, the detractors focus on things like less one-to-one interaction with teachers, being rushed through assignments, or even questions about learning too early in life. None of these arguments against preschool apply to Montessori preschool, which often fares better on “basic” education tests than public preschool students.

A Recent Study

Research done at two Connecticut public Montessori schools revealed that after the 3-year cycle recommended for Montessori students, the children attending Montessori preschool were significantly more advanced than children who attended non-Montessori preschools. In children who do not attend preschool at all, the gap becomes much wider, dependent on the time and education provided by the parents at home. Because the study was based on randomly selected children in a publicly funded environment, there were expected discrepancies in achievement based on household income and education levels. However, even children from disadvantaged households showed more advancement in core educational activities when given the opportunity to learn under the Montessori Method.

Learning Soft Skills

A lot of the education which takes place in a Montessori preschool focuses on non-standard skills development. This includes such things as: Learning to Concentrate Developing Social Skills Building Self-Confidence Learning Self-Responsibility Because these skills often depend on having sufficient interaction with adults and other children, kids who do not attend preschool are more likely to fall behind in developing these skills. For Montessori preschool kids, these soft skills are a primary concern.

Debunking the Detractors

In Montessori preschool, children learn at their own pace from materials they are encouraged to choose themselves. This gives kids a sense of responsibility and accomplishment and teaches them that their choices make a difference. The teacher to student ratio is typically much lower than public schools, and even lower when you consider that Montessori incorporates classroom aides to ensure that all children receive an ample amount of personal attention. The consensus is that while direct statistics are difficult to establish, there is little doubt about the value of preschool. The formative years are when children form the patterns they will follow throughout their lives, and instilling a love of learning at an early age will enable children to be more empowered and curious about their world.