How Many Montessori Schools Are There (2 Reasons Why There Are Few Public Montessori)

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There is a growing demand for Montessori education today. Parents are becoming more aware of the benefits of Montessori. This is due to the fact that Montessori education is given credit for the success of many successful entrepreneurs, artists, and world leaders.

How Many Montessori Schools Are There

How many Montessori schools are there? Currently, there are over 20,000 Montessori schools in 110 countries worldwide. The numbers keep growing each year as more parents embrace the Montessori lifestyle. In the US, there are over 5,000 Montessori schools and counting. Only 500 of these are public. Out of the 5,000 Montessori schools in the country, only around 150 are Montessori high schools. The rest are Montessori preschools and elementary schools.

Reasons Why There Are Few Public Montessori

Public Montessori makes up only 10% of the whole Montessori school population in the country. Which makes one wonder. There are two key reasons why.

Cost of Montessori Education

The cost of Montessori education is high. Establishing new public Montessori schools and converting traditional schools into Montessori schools are very expensive. The best that most states and districts can do is offer Montessori programs within a regular public school.

Factors affecting the high cost:

  • Facilities – tailored-fit classrooms, additional outdoor learning areas, and technology is expensive. Finding the right property within a school zone is the biggest expense.
  • Expensive Montessori Learning Materials and Activity Stations – Montessori learning materials and activity stations are not factory-made. Most of them are custom-made and tailored to fit the specific needs of the child. They are also regularly rotated and updated. This can be very expensive for a public school with limited funding.
  • Teacher Training – Montessori teachers require 1 to 2 years of training before they get their license to teach as a generalist in Montessori. This is after they complete a bachelor’s degree in college. Montessori teachers also require regular training to update their knowledge and skills. This too requires a big budget for the school. Public schools do not have enough budget for that. Most public schools do not even have a budget for basic supplies.
  • Specialty Teachers, Occupational Therapists, Behavioral Experts, Doctors, Child Experts, etc. – Montessori schools require additional staff like teachers that specialize in music, arts, and sports. There is also a need to hire occupational therapists and other experts to help children with special needs and behavioral issues. There is also a need to work with doctors and other experts regularly. These too require a lot of money.

State and National Standards of Education

Public schools, including public Montessori, are required to meet the same standards as other public schools. National and state standards of education include requiring students to take standardized tests to evaluate learning growth and progress. 

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    Public schools are also required to give grades to all students to indicate how well the students performed.

    All these and more, contradict the Montessori method. This makes it hard to establish a genuine public Montessori school.

    Reason Why There Are Few Montessori High Schools

    There are very few Montessori high schools in the country. They only make up 3% of all the Montessori schools today.

    The main reason for the low number is because Montessori education was designed for early childhood development. Most of the Montessori techniques and resources developed by Dr. Maria Montessori pertain to educating young children from birth to elementary age.

    It is hard for Montessori schools to establish a well-grounded Montessori high school curriculum when the lines are vague when it comes to educating adolescents in the Montessori way. Not to say that it is impossible but the numbers prove that Montessori high school education is still in development.

    Why Montessori?

    Montessori education provides opportunities for maximum development of young children. Some of the benefits of Montessori are:

    • Children are valued and respected as unique and capable individuals.
    • Children become active seekers of knowledge.
    • Children learn discipline and responsibility through freedom within limits implemented in the Montessori environment.
    • Students become part of a nurturing, caring, and supportive community that prepares them for the real world.
    • Children develop concentration, independence, and order at an early age.
    • Children learn self-assessment and self-correction enhancing their critical thinking skills and sharpening their intellect.
    • Montessori education supports social-emotional skills that children need to navigate the real world.

    FAQs

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    Is it easy to transition from public to Montessori school? How hard or easy it is to transition from traditional school depends on the child and the support they get from their family and surroundings. In most cases, it is quite an easy transition. Montessori offers a welcoming, accepting, and inclusive environment. Children have more fun while learning because there is no pressure to catch up or fear falling behind.

    Is Public Montessori just as good as private Montessori? All Montessori schools, public or not, strictly follow the Montessori educational method, except for the assessment style when it comes to evaluating progress. Public Montessori schools are still required to adhere to national and state standards so standardized testing and grades are still in play. 

    Are private Montessori schools expensive? Most private Montessori schools are expensive. They are usually more expensive than regular private schools. This is due to the reasons we have stated above. The cost of tuition is greatly outweighed by the benefits children gain in Montessori. When choosing the best school for your children, cost should not be the main consideration, the quality of education should.

    Summary

    There are over 20,000 Montessori schools in 110 countries worldwide. The numbers keep growing each year as more parents embrace the Montessori lifestyle. In the US, there are over 5,000 Montessori schools and counting. Only 500 of these are public. Out of the 5,000 Montessori schools in the country, only around 150 are Montessori high schools. The rest are Montessori preschools and elementary schools.

    There are not as many Montessori schools today as we wish. With the growing demand for Montessori education, we are hopeful that Montessori education becomes affordable and available to all children in the future.