No Grades Create Better Academic Output
Updated: Jul 9, 2020
by Ms. Anisa Foy
In a Montessori environment children are working in a specially prepared environment. They are surrounded with materials that are carefully chosen to teach skills that a child needs to prepare for life in the community. The freedom of choice in this environment encourages the child to make self-motivated choices. Lessons learned this way have a greater, lasting impact on the child, and the result is academic excellence.
This is what we have witnessed in our long history of working with children. If the child is encouraged to learn, and is placed in an enriched environment, he will learn for the sake of learning, and experiences the joy and satisfaction as a result. He is not working on a reward and punishment schedule. He is working for his own personal satisfaction.
The teacher works to inflame the child’s imagination, nurture, and provide rich learning materials, without setting limits. Younger children are free to observe and attempt work that an older child is doing. The only requirement is the child’s personal interest. There are no limitations set for the child. The inherent interest of each child drives them to do learn more about that subject; above and beyond any assigned classwork.
A consistent observation we have made is that, if a child is given a set amount of learning to complete in a set amount of time it actually lowers expectation! Once done there is no internal joy, because the child has worked to the teacher’s time table and not his own, and will simply wait for further direction. This is really a tragic situation, because a child’s curiosity has no limits. In our elementary classes, once a lesson is presented the child is encouraged to go further with the given concept and discover more than what has been presented.
Montessori children excel in every area of learning. Many of our graduates have easily assimilated into the intensive International Baccalaureate programs in high school, which have similar learning principles. Our children do not learn in order to get good grades in a test, but the good grades are achieved anyway!