The biggest problem I see with traditional schooling is having a set curriculum based on the child’s age and expecting all children to study and progress through that material at the same pace and each attain optimal results. It just doesn’t happen. It won’t happen.
Why? Because no two children are at the same spot in their development.
Just think of the student who is bored in a subject matter, because he or she already understands the concepts and the work is too easy for them. While on the other hand, another student may seriously struggle with the same concept. The problem comes with the bored child getting in trouble and losing interest in learning and having to wait for his or her peers to catch up, while the struggling child feels less than or embarrassed that they are “failing.”
In a Montessori environment, both students can meet their full potential and work at their own pace. They don’t have to wait for other students to catch up or feel like a failure for not understanding fractions. Each child learns differently and at a different pace, that’s why Montessori’s recognition of sensitive periods in the child and the teacher’s daily observation are so important.
While some may say this causes more work for the teacher, in a Montessori environment it doesn’t. The scope and sequence of each subject area (math, language, practical life, sensorial, culture/geography, botany, zoology, etc) is the same for each student. The materials are already prepared and present on the shelf. All the teacher has to do is be aware of where the student is and be ready to give the next lesson in the sequence.