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Montessori – the great equalizer

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      Karan Young, M.Ed.

      Learning has existed since the dawn of man. Schooling is a relatively new invention, especially in the form we have today. The modern school system truly began only about 150 years ago, during the industrial revolution. As such, many of the ideas we see implemented we the result of efficiency not developmental practices. Children from supportive, stable homes were able to function and learn in this environment. Children with lower income families and home challenges were not as successful. These children have done considerably worse as a group and the odds of this population dropping out of former schooling is greater. This has lead to a self- perpetuating cycle. However, according to an article recently published in the Dallas Morning News and my own personal experience, Montessori education can dramatically even the playing field for all students.
      Over the years, I have posted numerous articles regarding the benefits of Montessori education. It is a system which emphasizes self-direction and exploration. Students utilize several hands-on materials to learn specific skills instead of listening to teachers. Children are encouraged to explore their environment. Focus is developed. Teachers are guide, not enforcers of doctrine.
      While our hearts, minds and experience all indicate that the Montessori method is a way of properly developing child’s intellect, this is an era of science and data. The reporter of this article studied several children over time testing them both in preschool and beyond. The results indicate that while the student’s from a lower income were delayed in both groups, the Montessori group had significantly closed the gap compared to the traditional-control school. Other indicators such as social-emotional skills and like-ability of school was significantly higher in the Montessori school.
      The data is clear: Montessori schools produce high quality results for all children. Many of our era’s entrepreneurs: Jeff Bezos ( founder of Amazon) Sergey Brin and Larry Page ( founders of Google), and Jimmy Wales ( co-founder of Wikipedia) are all Montessori graduates. As pointed out in the article, perhaps we should focus on what clearly works for everyone instead of trying to reform a system that clearly is not able to educate all students.


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