Research has shown that the first six years of a child's life are the most critical in terms of psycho-social learning and development. Montessori teaching methods equip children with the skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly evolving world. The curriculum is rooted in the child's innate desire to learn, grow and acquire new skills. Montessori schools offer a sensible, structured education that recognises the unique attributes of each child and allow them to learn at their own pace, rather than subjecting them to batteries of stressful and meaningless tests. It is a system that guides children towards independence and self-reliance
"By the age of five, children are better at basic word recognition and mathematics and are more likely to play cooperatively with other children."
- US Study on Montessori methodology published in the Journal of Science
Though instruction is largely on a one-on-one basis, children also work in collaborative groups to experience the value of teamwork and shared ideas. Learners are vertically grouped into three-year-cycle age-groups up until the age of 12 years old. The teacher, known as a directress, strives to encourage young learners to develop independence and confidence. Montessori teaching methods are augmented by specially designed materials, which provide the child with a concrete sense of abstract concepts. Unlike traditional school environments, the word 'failure' does not feature in Montessori vocabulary. Instead, specially designed learning tools have built-in mechanisms to enable children to self-correct and learn from their mistakes.
Maths is regarded as a vital component of the Montessori curriculum and children are able to grasp complicated concepts far earlier than their peers in mainstream educational systems. There is also a strong emphasis on teaching children how to execute real world activities such as fastening and unfastening clothes, folding, dusting, washing and tidying up.
"Academically, Montessori learners end up ahead of children from non-Montessori educational institutions." - Angeline Lillard Professor of Psychology at University of Virginia USA