Tuesday, January 31, 2023

What is the Rationale that Supports a Mixed Age Group in Montessori Preschool?

One way to recognize a preschool that uses the Montessori Method is to look for a classroom that uses mixed-age groups. This is a built-in feature of Montessori that provides several benefits to children. From individuals learning from more knowledgeable kids to building a strong, family-like community, mixed-age groups make a great deal of sense.

Peer-to-Peer Learning

With mixed-ages, Montessori preschool presents children with an opportunity to help each other. In a natural setting, younger children will watch and follow older kids, and that tendency to look up to more experienced children plays a vital role in the classroom. Additionally, when older children are assisting younger ones, the teachers can invest more time into helping children that may need a little more help than others.

No Child Left Behind

A 3-year age bracket also means that children have more time to pick up skills that are giving them a hard time without holding the class back or falling behind the others. But it is much more than that. In traditional schools, the oldest children in the class will always be the oldest and the younger kids will never have the opportunity to be among them. This can be damaging to a child's perception of themselves, and Montessori works around that by using a system in which every child will get older and take a turn as one of the oldest children in the group.

Community Building

Children of differing ages working together teach them the fundamental elements of life in a community. Each child may be a year older or younger, and the group is made of a diverse assortment of individuals. As the youngest children watch, older children display social graces, use advancing vocabularies, and take active roles inside the classroom community. Learning by observing is an effective way of teaching, and children will readily use this method to absorb information from their peers.

Mixed-Age VS. Designated Age

Beyond the traditional public school system, all of a child's life will be spent in teams and groups of mixed ages. This is the normal way of the world, and repeats itself in families, companies, and clubs. Montessori prepares children for this phenomenon by treating it-- justifiably, you may think-- as the normal course of events.

Children will never again be grouped by the year they were born, and don't deserve to be divided in that manner in preschool either. If anything, learning to interact with people older and younger than themselves early in their development will be a benefit as the child matures.


Author: verified_user