When you think of your own school experience, what comes to mind?
Great teachers? Of course.
Amazing field trips? Maybe.
But, what about the skills and lessons that were taught along the way? What about your actual learning experience? How can you say that has influenced who you are, how you work, and how you learn, today?
Those answers might take a little longer to come up with, especially if you were educated in a standard school environment, outside of the Montessori method.
It Comes Down to Approach
Throughout history, "traditional" education has changed very little. Teachers share information. Students take in that information (though the method of presentation may look different today than say, 50 years ago). Then, the students are tested on the information, either through actual tests, presentations, or reports. The students receive a grade. Then, the class - all together - moves on to the next lesson.
Yes, there are exceptions, and certain students may receive extra help, or supplemental learning opportunities. But, for the most part, this is the standard.
As the process repeats, information learned in earlier units is replaced with new information and - often - forgotten.
Additionally, students are "judged" or "ranked" based on how well they're able to recite back the information that has been presented to them, in the manner that best suits the teacher's needs.
The same goes with projects. Specific rubrics and steps to follow are provided, offering little room for individuality. Final projects may look different, but they're all graded according to the same - often very specific - rubric.
The students who try something different, or express different views? Well, they're often graded under standard for taking the risks. So, risk taking decreases.
The students who struggle to learn according to the single standard the teacher is expecting? They're graded poorly. So, they begin to think they're "below" their classmates in ability.
Standardization is rewarded. Difference is penalized. Students fall in line until graduation.
What happens next? The system continues through college. Rhetoric may be encouraged more, but the hard-fought lessons of elementary and high school remain: Fall. In. Line.
Next up comes the real world. The students move forward into their brand new shiny jobs, just like you and I did. And, even though graduation is in the distant past, the innate process remains the same: meet expectations. Don't make waves. Follow the pack.
For some individuals, maybe this is okay. But, we're guessing maybe, as a parent, you want more for your child. So do we.
Starting Early is Essential
Here's the thing: if you want your child to take away more from their education than the things you think of when you look back at your own, those lessons must be instilled early, from the very start.
If a school doesn't focus on individual learning styles, on fostering leadership, on setting high expectations and letting students figure out how to meet them, on individual schedule and task management, on asking questions, mostly, on learning to learn, then why would the end result be any different? Why would those highly-sought-after qualities develop at all?
Changing the future and instilling a love of learning starts with the expectations and environments you set before your child at the start of their educational experience. The change starts with the decision you make as to where and how your child will be educated. It's a simple choice but it could make a world of difference for the future.
What are your expectations for your child's learning experience? Are you ready to consider an alternative option? We'd love to talk, in fact, these are questions we hope to be able to answer and problems we will solve with our unique, Montessori pod approach. Contact us today to learn more.