There seems to be a common, if absolutely incorrect, perspective that Montessori is really only applicable to young children and middle-school-aged students. This is not the case.
In fact, Montessori has been shown to have many positive effects on the lives of its students long after early life. Many students of the Montessori system have found that it did a great deal to prepare them for college and it often did so in ways beyond what they would have received in other educational models.
Below are some of the ways that Montessori prepares children for college that are often different from what those students would get elsewhere.
- Time Management
The Montessori method forces students to be accountable for their own work. There is some level of guidance, but students do everything on their own, with their own hands and their own minds. This creates self-sufficient students who are used to being responsible and who hold themselves accountable for their own work. They are used to managing their own time in regards to their own tasks, which is a crucial skill for college.
Montessori places a great deal of emphasis on collaboration. You really won’t get far in either college or the workplace without being skilled at collaborating. Students of Montessori are used to working with others toward a common goal. Cooperation is taught at an early age and becomes second nature to these students.
- Independent Work
On the opposite side of this, Montessori emphasizes self-sufficiency and accountability. Students learn how to do things for themselves from an early age. This includes accessing their own materials, tidying up after themselves, and doing real-life activities for themselves, such as cooking and cleaning. Because of this, Montessori students are extremely independent.
Independence is something many students struggle with when they first go off to college, because they are used to relying on others. Montessori students tend not to have this struggle and, therefore, adapt very quickly to the freedom and required self-sufficiency of college life.
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Moving away to college is not just a new step toward independence, but it also brings with it an increased need for critical thinking and problem solving skills. Simple memorization does not work in higher levels of education.
Montessori students are used to critical thinking and problem solving because they were forced to do it throughout their educational journey. By having real-life experience pushed upon them at an early age, they learned to think through their actions and to problem solve on their own rather than expecting other people to solve their problems for them simply because they were young.
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