The Montessori Advantage, Part 2

Montessori Encourages Self Confidence

A student enjoys serving a classroom visitor.
A student enjoys serving a classroom visitor.

“The consciousness of knowing how to make oneself useful, how to help mankind in many ways, fills the soul with noble confidence.” Dr. Maria Montessori.

Within the Montessori environment, children are given independence and responsibility. They often enjoy performing what are traditionally “adult” tasks such as food prep, simple baking or cooking, cleaning, hosting a guest for a snack, and welcoming guests to their classroom. They become “mentors” to younger children who join the classroom. They learn to navigate challenges, problem-solve, self-correct, resolve conflict, exercise peace-making tools while the teacher offers support. Questions and exploration are encouraged rather than simply being provided “canned” answers and “fed” information.

Teachers often will sit with a child and ask them questions which help the child to process a situation or their own thoughts. The teacher conveys a message by her actions (and through the absence of actions) that, “You can do this! You are capable! 

When a child feels others view him as capable, he believes himself to be capable. This leads to self-confidence. It’s not a false, over inflated confidence that is dependent on their own perfection or others’ affirmation; instead, it stems from knowing their own value, from being able to contribute to a family or community, from accomplishment that offers value to oneself or to others, and from being able to learn from one’s own mistakes. This type of self-confidence will help a child succeed whatever the future may hold!

It’s important to understand that a child’s self-confidence is not built by praise; in fact, research shows that overpraising a child actually undermines their confidence. It makes children less likely to take risks, become highly sensitive to failure, and more easily give up, per Dr. Dweck of Stanford University

A student enjoys showing a friend how to make orange juice
A student enjoys showing a friend how to make orange juice

Montessori Respects the Child

Montessori teachers follow the child’s lead when it comes to learning
Montessori teachers follow the child’s lead when it comes to learning

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