Adapted from Angeline Stoll Lillard’s “Montessori – The Science behind the Genius”.

As a continuation from the previous newsletter, I offer more reasons as to why we are offering the Montessori method of pedagogy: following on from the 8 basic principles, I wish to review the fifth principle: “Learning with and from peers”.

In traditional Primary schools the teacher gives information so the children do not learn from each other, or from materials (except from worksheets, mainly – something I consider the work of the Devil!!), rather they must figure it out alone, be tested alone, spend time alone.

And yet, when in playing, the children in traditional schools are set to play together.

This is opposite in a Montessori environment, and more in line with what developmentalists know about children: “Younger children are more apt to play side by side but not necessarily together, whereas elementary aged children are intensely social”.  So we are happy when pre-primary children choose to work alone, we believe they are developing their own inner psyche and discipline, and this is formed and cast by around the age of 6.

As the children move past this age, and become more socially adept, they are rarely seen working alone.  Indeed, the children help each other, and work together towards a common goal, instead of in isolation to simply achieve high grades.

This principal is discussed at some length in Angeline Stoll Lillards “Montessori, The Science Behind the genius”.