What separated Montessori education from traditional education is the grading system. Montessori measures student progress differently from traditional schools.
How are Montessori students graded? Montessori students do not receive grades, they get feedback on their overall performance based on their daily work and behavior in the Montessori classroom. They are graded in a holistic way where their mistakes and efforts are used to measure their progress. Parents do not receive scorecards, they receive regular progress reports instead.
Montessori believes that giving grades to students through tests instills fear of failure which creates anxiety, pressure, and stress. This can lead to students losing interest in school and learning in general.
Assigning grades can result in low self-esteem, anger, resentment, and even parental rejection. Montessori education wants to avoid this and provide plenty of positive reinforcements instead.
Montessori education not only aims to elevate children’s academics but to develop positive character traits in children that will stay with them for life.
Teacher interaction is vital in Montessori students’ growth. Teachers observe and monitor the students at each junction of learning. They provide feedback every step of the way so children become aware of their process and learn how to do better.
Montessori teachers monitor student progress through observation, formal and informal conversations, students’ conceptual understanding, and practical application of the Montessori curriculum.
In Montessori, parents receive regular progress reports, not scorecards and grades. They get the progress reports through face-to-face meetings and written reports.
By providing detailed regular progress reports, parents can focus on teacher feedback and on helping their children prepare and make future changes. Parents can focus on how their children learn and not on high grades.
Parents tend to favor children with high marks and punish those with low grades. This is detrimental to children’s progress. Montessori helps parents avoid this and steer their focus on things like:
- How did their children prepare for assessments?
- What will their children do differently next time to get better assessment feedback?
- What was effective for their children and what do they need to do to improve?
- What did their children learn?
- Did their children get enough rest and sleep the night before?
- What did their teacher say?
Montessori schools have regular assessments to evaluate their student’s progress. This is done by letting students apply their knowledge and skills. The assessment will add to the daily observations of teachers to make a better assessment of students’ overall growth.
Teachers will ask students to demonstrate their understanding of concepts individually and in groups.
Assessment periods are not considered special occasions but are treated like any normal day to avoid fear and anxiety. Student assessment is all about the learning process of the students and finding ways for them to be more efficient for the next level of learning.
The Montessori environment eliminates the pressure and anxiety of getting high marks on tests and competing with other students. There is no student ranking. Teachers focus on each student’s progress.
Without the pressure to compete, children can concentrate on gaining new knowledge and skills, pursue their interests and imagination, and continue their self-motivated, independent learning.
Montessori education encourages children to think and think differently. Children can be themselves without fear of making mistakes or disappointing their teachers and parents.
Detailed progress reports give parents a better understanding of their children,
- What they have accomplished
- What they learned
- How they learn
- What kind of support do they need
- How parents can help and support their growth
Progress reports shift parents’ focus from grades and test results toward the overall process of learning and gains.
It is a reaffirming process for parents. Progress reports help parents and the school to develop a more effective, efficient, and invested learner in children.
How do you measure students’ progress if there are no grades and tests? Montessori makes regular assessments to measure students’ understanding of their subjects. The assessment involves letting children apply their knowledge and skills. In a way, it is a test but in a practical, u intimidating manner. This is a better way of measuring their progress because they get a better understanding of what they have learned and what they need to do to improve.
Are there no honor rolls in Montessori classrooms? No, there aren’t. Honor rolls rank students according to their progress. This means you are comparing students to each other. Montessori is not big on competition and comparisons against students. Montessori education focuses on individual students, their abilities, and their potential. Each child is different and has their own learning style and pace.
How will you know if the child passed the subject? Students in Montessori need to complete one activity before they can move on to the next. They get enough support and encouragement if they have a hard time but they will need to finish one skill before they can move on to the next. All Montessori students will pass their subjects because they are given the right tools and support to do so. It is just a matter of how long it will take them to pass it. Parents also get regular feedback regarding their children’s performance and behavior at school.
Montessori students do not receive grades, they get feedback on their overall performance based on their daily work and behavior in the Montessori classroom. They are graded in a holistic way where their mistakes and efforts are used to measure their progress. Parents do not receive scorecards, they receive regular progress reports instead.
Just because Montessori does not give grades does not mean they do not evaluate and measure students’ growth and development. Montessori education uses different but more effective tools to measure success.