aThe century we are currently in is a time of great innovation. We find innovation all around us from the simplest to the most challenging task at hand. In this dynamic environment, we constantly are looking to reinvent concepts and criteria that define us. The educational environment around the world is poised to embrace this new century with open arms. Here in our country, people in general are well aware of the plight of today’s schools in public and private domains. Parents are familiar with the name, Montessori, as an alternative to the present system of schooling to a certain extent. In fact, we see a large growth in Montessori education today both in public and private sectors.
Montessori education has made its presence felt worldwide, but there is a great need for it today that is incredibly unique just like the method itself. There is a realization today that education must serve as an aid to life as opposed to a mere drilling or transfer of information. Schools must prepare their students in a holistic manner to ensure that their needs are being met in the twenty-first century. Maria Montessori discovered over a hundred years ago that the key to success in the next century is to allow the child an environment that caters to their needs as they develop. The whole concept of ‘Keys to the Universe’ that Montessori set forth outlines this idea in a magnificent manner. Montessori children are given opportunities to explore freely in a carefully prepared environment so that they are not only ‘independent thinkers’ but also care about their community. They possess a love of learning that helps them overcomes obstacles and reach their true potential within a safe and loving environment. Montessori schools foster creativity, perseverance, integrity, and an inner discipline that helps them succeed in their tasks. They provide the framework needed for the child to creatively think beyond the boundaries as well as truly learn the academic disciples that are so scientifically structured in the Montessori classrooms. In an authentic Montessori setting, it is the student who takes charge of his learning at his own pace with the warm and nurturing guidance of the teacher so as to reach his highest potential academically as well as in the social, emotional and intellectual areas of development.
It is time to do away with the old ‘factory’ model of traditional school where all are held to the same standard and the same results are expected without much thought given to the individual needs of each child so that they encounter success as they step into and embrace the challenges of the twenty-first century. In this new century, we need the profoundness of the Montessori method and her ideas to really revolutionize education into what it ought to be in order to prepare or aid the child in his great task of constructing himself to embrace his world with confidence and success.
“Education should no longer be mostly imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities.”
— Dr. Maria Montessori