What differentiates the Montessori method of learning from traditional instruction? sponsored by EBR Magnet Programs

Sponsored by EBR Magnet Programs

A Montessori education fosters lifelong learners and self-sufficient problem solvers. Learning takes place through the senses, as students manipulate materials to enhance concentration and coordination while interacting with peers. Teachers balance freedom and structure, guiding students along in self-discovery and helping them create their own individual learning plan. Along with the core subjects, children  learn responsibility, compassion for others and self-motivation.

A 2019 Magnet School of Excellence and National Certified Magnet School, Belfair Montessori Magnet School adheres to Dr. Montessori’s philosophy of education. As Baton Rouge’s only PK3-8th grade public Montessori school, the program provides a unique hands-on learning experience, including middle school teachers who understand how to implement the Montessori philosophy to align with early college readiness, primarily by incorporating learning strategies with purposeful and engaging instruction.

Middle school classes at Belfair are characterized as having a student-centered method that permits students to exercise choice, manage their time, and improve their organizational skills. This development of independent self-management is essential to succeeding in higher education and through adulthood.

Students participate in collaborative learning activities throughout the school year. By working together and helping each other, Belfair middle school students gain not only the benefit of the knowledge impacted from completing a task, but also learn how they can help others through their work and appreciate the value of their own ability to reach their goals. 

What differentiates Montessori schools from traditional?

Montessori schools take a different approach to the education of children. The environment and curriculum are designed from the perspective of how children develop and learn. A systematic method of education, Montessori schools are based upon careful scientific study with foundation and philosophy in three criteria:

1. Multi-age grouping: Belfair blends classes with students from different grades and gives them flexible schedules allowing for blocks of uninterrupted time to pursue their own educational interests. Multi-age grouping lends itself well to peer learning, interaction and socialization. At Belfair Montessori, students are divided into three groups: Primary (PK3, PK4, and kindergarten), Elementary (Grades 1-5) and Middle School (Grades 6-8).

2. Environment: Classroom materials and activities develop physical, intellectual, creative and social independence. Children learn directly from the environment, not just from the teacher. Students thrive at Belfair with elective offerings like art, band, technology, Spanish and more; many of which can be taken for high school credit. Classroom atmospheres encourage respect for the self and others, social support, cooperative learning and peer-to-peer teaching.

3. Group size: Steadfast is its small class sizes, Belfair provides unique opportunities for social-emotional growth, relationship building, and high expectations both in and out of the classroom. Most instruction is given individually or in groups of two or three. When the child masters a concept, he moves on to the next step in the curriculum and does not have to wait for anyone else to do the same. On the other hand, if a child needs to further explore a concept, he is afforded the time.

Ultimately, Belfair’s Montessori program supports each student in finding a place in the community and in becoming a respectful, responsible, and ethical contributor to society.

Belfair Montessori’s middle school program promotes the development of adolescents beyond cognitive development. Designed to provide students with an educational experience, Belfair fosters independence in an environment where they can develop their talents, support each other, and work as equals with their peers and teachers. Belfair Middle school students will enjoy a new building January 2022, specifically designed for the instructional needs of adolescents. Visit schools.ebrschools.org/belfair to learn more.