Bhoo wears the thinking cap!

As if that is possible!

Schooling – the eternal debate – montessori vs traditional

Posted by bhoo on August 4, 2009

When it comes to providing education for your kid, there are several alternatives – the intriguing number of alternate styles available in India is amazing.

I am limiting my discussion plainly to montessori and non-montessori (traditional) education.  I have put Sashank (my son) in a traditional school since June.  But, Sashank has been on a montessori environment since he was 22 months old, for about 4 years.  I am trying hard to get Sashank back to a montessori school.

My coleague and friend wrote to me yesterday about his son’s recent shift from a montessori school in India to a traditional school in the UK:

Quote (with slight edits):

My son is now able to do all his tables, from 2 to 12 – of course it’s the regular mugging style, but he understands how its done and why we do. In Montessori, he wasn’t even getting past 2.  Their style of not pushing the kid was actually a bit of a negative for my son than a positive. His spelling have also improved by big jumps here- again it’s the mugging, but his montessori background helps in understanding sounds etc. I just wanted to share this with you and I quite surely feel Sashank (Bhoo’s son) might be better off where he is (traditional school). At the end of the day it is this world that they come to face. 

It is impossible to argue and win the case either ways.  If we give freedom for the kids to choose what they want to do – they do not learn as much volume as our education system (particularly Indian) asks them to learn.  But, if we make them learn so much in such a short time – they do not have time to apply the knowledge, or to make clear and concious choices.

I am personally inclined towards giving choice as opposed to giving a guarantee of societal respect.  I believe that if you are a failure pursuing what you are passionate about, it is better than being a success pursuing what you do not care about.

But this is certainly debatable.  Even the assumption that a montessori style education gives a choice is debatable.  I know.

But, it is my choice to give less pressure and less education and more time for childhood and more application.


4 Responses to “Schooling – the eternal debate – montessori vs traditional”

  1. bhoo said

    Incidentally – Sashank has gotten into Montessori, which feels great for us. We believe we have done a good thing for Sashank. Of course – we have some family members worrying about his future – because he may not become an engineer or a doctor, and he does not have a minimum guarantee of a job. I am not worried – let him be what he wants to be!

  2. Bhoo,

    My understanding of Montessori is that it is only till the child gets to 6 years of age. Beyond which, it is a manifestation or extension of the montessori form of education till 12 and then they join the traditional education (I am just quoting you here!).

    Most montessori schools in India either are affiliated to ICSE/ISC or CBSE. Let know if it is different. My son is getting to be six by the end of this academic year and he is in a montessori school, which he loves. I was made to understand that the same school would follow CBSE form of education from the next year.

    Thanks much,


  3. Hi,
    I have 2 yrs twin kids & we are planning to put them in a montessori school till ukg, & then shift them to CBSE from 1 st standard. kindly give ur suggestions/openions abt this. will they face difficulties in learing the cbse syllabus from 1 st standard as there will not be any writing in montessori system ?

  4. Sunil said

    The same question was running in my mind for long time. I’m just posting my opinion.
    Putting them in mont till primary schooling and forcing them to cbse again is just suppressing their so long developed skill.
    It’s better put them in cbse from the beginning

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