Does Montessori Use Common Core? (Plus 4 Facts!)

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Most parents think that Montessori is exempt from the Common Core. It is not. To be honest, the Common Core works well with the Montessori learning methods.

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Does Montessori use Common Core? Yes, some Montessori schools use the Common Core, especially the Montessori charter schools. The Common Core is a standard of education that is used by all public schools in most states. Meanwhile, privately-owned Montessori schools are not required to use the Common Core.

The Montessori and the Common Core share so many similarities. The Montessori philosophy is basically an elevated Common Core and so much more. The both have a set of common learning goals for specific grade levels.

So it is safe to say that Montessori schools follow the Common Core without officially using it.

What are the Common Core Standards?

The Common Core or the Common Core State Standards Initiative is a set of standards in education that detail what students in public schools from kindergarten to 12th grade should learn in English and Mathematics.

It outlines the skills and knowledge that public students must learn in each school grade. It involves reading, writing, speaking, listening, english language arts, and math.

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    Common Core goes beyond memorization.

    Common Core’s curriculum is aimed at helping develop critical thinking, sound reasoning, effective communication, and problem-solving skills that kids can use in daily life, society, and the workplace.

    What is Montessori Curriculum?

    The Montessori curriculum is a comprehensive educational approach developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator.

    It is based on the principles of child development and emphasizes the importance of individualized, self-directed and hands-on learning. 

    The Montessori curriculum is designed to foster a child’s natural curiosity, independence, and love for learning.

    It encompasses a wide range of subjects and activities, focusing on the development of the whole child – intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically.

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    The Montessori curriculum is designed to meet the developmental needs of children in different age groups, typically ranging from birth to 18 years old.

    It is divided into several key curriculum areas, including practical life, sensorial, language, mathematics, cultural studies, and the arts.

    How Does Montessori Use Common Core?

    It’s worth noting that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Montessori educational approach have different philosophies and methodologies.

    While both aim to provide quality education, they have distinct perspectives on teaching and learning.

    The Common Core State Standards are a set of educational standards that outline what students should know and be able to do in English language arts and mathematics at each grade level.

    They were developed by education experts and policymakers to establish a consistent and rigorous framework for education across different states in the United States.

    The intention behind the Common Core is to ensure that all students receive a similar level of education and are prepared for college and career success.

    On the other hand, Montessori curriculum is designed to support the natural growth and development of children and often includes a broader range of subjects beyond just English language arts and mathematics. 

    In this method of education, students are prepared using hands-on materials for creative and purposeful learning that goes beyond memorization or basic undertsnading of concepts.

    While the goals of the Common Core and Montessori education may overlap in some areas, such as fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills, they approach education from different angles. Montessori education focuses on nurturing the whole child, incorporating social, emotional, and practical life skills alongside academic subjects.

    The Montessori prepared environment takes learning to a deeper level. It simply uses the common core standards and elevates them to the Montessori level.

    Fact #1. Montessori School and Common Core Implement Rigorous Learning

    The Common Core requires children to apply knowledge and use their critical thinking skills to solve problems. It goes beyond memorization and a basic understanding of concepts.

    Montessori meanwhile, has always used experiential learning for students to learn and apply knowledge.

    Montessori goes one level higher than the Common Core by allowing students to experience the skill using Montessori materials. Montessori students do not need tests to guess the answer during learning evaluations. Montessori students can demonstrate the skill itself!

    Fact #2. Exposure of Concepts Over Long Periods in Montessori Method

    The Common Core is cyclical. Concepts and skills are covered and revisited multiple times through multiple topics.

    The Montessori school curriculum is similar. Montessori teaches skills over a long period using various Montessori materials. Every student is given enough time to master a skill and concept. Every time a concept is revisited, more information is added for deeper learning

    Montessori students master skills and concepts until it becomes natural to them and they can apply them when needed.

    Fact #3. Value and Opportunity for Montessori Students

    The Common Core curricula is useful and effective. It is not a waste of time. The Common Core gives educators the freedom to determine the teaching method to use and what skill to present and emphasize.

    Montessori education on the other hand follows the student’s interests and offers opportunities to master those interests.

    Montessori provides the right environment for childre   n to develop, explore, and expand their interests while the Common Core simply introduces new skills and concepts that students may be interested in.

    Fact #4. Common Core in Montessori Lessons Equalize Education

    Integrating the Common Core Standards in Montessori makes it easy for students to adjust to new schools.

    It is traumatizing for students to transfer to another school and not have any clue about the lessons and activities.

    The Montessori philosophy is just an elevated version of the Common Core anyway, so this is not hard to achieve equal education. In short, Montessori is Common Core taken the extra mile.

    What Difference Does The Montessori Standards Make?

    Although the Common Core and Montessori approach to education have their similarities, Montessori is still different and better.

    • Children learn and progress individually at their own pace through their unique learning styles. They are not expected to learn at the same time as the rest of the class as they do in traditional schools.
    • The student ratio in Montessori is 15:1 while it is 24:1, sometimes even 30:1 in traditional schools.
    • Teachers use demonstrations, engaging visuals, and hands-on experience instead of rote memorization.

    FAQs

    Which is more effective, the Montessori method or the Common Core? Both aim to support students and provide them with the best education available. The Montessori standard is better because it takes the child’s best interest and overall well-being into consideration. The Montessori lessons dive deeper into ways it can improve a child’s intelligence and overall development including physical, emotional, and social. The CCSS sets standards for all students and does not focus on the individual child.

    Is the Common Core Good for all students? No, it isn’t. The Common Core is not suited for children with special needs and learning disabilities. It expects all students of the same school level to learn at the same time. It uses tests and exams to evaluate children’s knowledge. This is hard for children with special needs and learning disabilities.

    Is the Common Core suited for gifted children? No, it isn’t. It does not empower gifted children. The common core generalizes all students when it comes to teaching and evaluations. Gifted children thrive more in a Montessori setting where their abilities, intellect, learning style, and pace are the main consideration for their individualized educational program.

    Summary

    Some Montessori classroom use the Common Core, especially the publicly-funded Montessori schools. The Common Core is a standard of education that is used by all public schools in most states. Meanwhile, privately-owned Montessori institutions are not required to align with the standard.

    It’s important to recognize that educational approaches vary, and families and educators have different preferences and priorities when it comes to their children’s education.

    Some Montessori academies may choose to incorporate aspects of the CCSS into their curriculum to ensure alignment with broader educational standards and facilitate transitions for students who may later transition to traditional schools.

    However, the degree to which they integrate the Common Core can vary among Montessori institutions, as the Montessori approach generally emphasizes a more holistic and individualized approach to education.