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Montessori for Modern Kids

Photo by Jessica Friend

Are you looking into Montessori for your preschooler or do you currently have your kids enrolled in a Montessori school? Good news: Sumera Khan makes the connections between the Montessori Method and the skills our students need to learn in the 21st century.

Words by Sumera Khan, Director of Learning Minds Montessori in Downtown Orlando

Scientifically researched and pioneered by Dr. Maria Montessori, the over 100 year old Montessori Method is a progressive international educational system.

The Montessori Method is consistent with and meets the special and necessary demands of Millennial or Gen Z students to learn and use 21st century skills. These include critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration skills (also known as the Four Cs). Using the five core components of the Montessori Method, these skills are taught implicitly and explicitly in Montessori classrooms with mixed age students.

1. Critical Thinking (the objective analysis and evaluation of what to believe)

Through hands-on learning materials that are designed to be self-correcting, students are facilitated to discover, think about and select information, data, and concepts and then use these to complete tasks. Both, process and end outcomes are encouraged and through it students learn to analyze, evaluate, solve problems and make decisions. 

2. Creativity (the combination of ‘ideas’ to generate desired novel and original outcomes)

By creating safe conditions for spontaneous and discover learning teachers facilitate hands-on learning, continuously invoking all senses. Within non-imposing (unthreatening) boundaries, significant discretion is given to students to move about freely, choose and own their own work, create and construct, think, share and tell. 

3. Collaboration (working together to capitalize on individual knowledge, skills, and attitudes)

By peer work in multi-age classrooms and in a safe and non-judgmental environment that is facilitated by the teacher, students do collaborative work. Apart from developing socials skills and emotional maturity, students learn to work in communities. They develop tolerance and learn the generative power of collaboration.

4. Communication (abilities to read, write, talk, and listen in face to face and on-line/digital mediums)

Through the language curriculum and Montessori materials (such as sandpaper letters, movable alphabets, phonological awareness, parts of speech, etc.), students are enabled to develop the full range of communication skills relevant to their age groups. Coupled with the larger social and emotional learning curriculum, the Practical Life, Sensorial and Language program helps foster development of the full range of human senses.

The result is a natural fit between the Montessori Method and 21st century skills.

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