The Montessori Method – Fostering Independence

One of the key goals of a Montessori education is to teach children to be able to do things for themselves, and provide many engaging opportunities for them to do so.  In traditional classrooms, all students must follow the same lessons — some children are left behind while others pull ahead, and not all are challenged to reach their individual potential.

In Montessori classrooms, students set their own learning agendas, challenging themselves when they’re ready. Children are not forced to keep the same pace as others. The learning materials first designed by Dr. Montessori encourage young learners to assess their own learning progress and spot errors. In this way, they develop greater self-sufficiency and personal independence, which leads to an internal sense of purpose and motivation.

Montessori classrooms allow students to choose which activity they would like to do, to help adults with tasks, to dress themselves, and to move about the classroom as they fit. Being able to do things for themselves helps children:

  • Develop a confidence they will carry all their lives.
  • Achieve his or her individual learning potential.
  • Build self-sufficiency and independence.
  • Develop a sense of purpose and self-motivation.

In Montessori classrooms, independence is an ongoing and organic process. As a child learns to pour water, put on his own shoes, or clean her own work space, he or she becomes a more confident, independent individual which will lead to ongoing benefits throughout life.

More in this series:

12 Ways Montessori Schools Are Different From Traditional Schools