Class size is an important topic in education, one which has significant impact on students. Parents often share concerns over class size with us, citing it as one of the key influencers on their decision to pursue a Montessori education for their child.
When students have frequent and reliable access to their teacher for one-on-one interaction, engagement increases, individual needs are better met and outcomes are improved. It is this opportunity for individualized attention that makes class size is such a significant factor in student success. We know that the more students in a traditional classroom with a single teacher, the less likely those students are to receive individualized attention. Classroom management takes on a leading role, detracting from learning and reducing student engagement.
Naturally, smaller class sizes afford more opportunities for one-on-one interaction between teachers and students which lead to higher quality learning. However, smaller class size alone does not guarantee quality education. Effective learning strategies and a stimulating school environment must work in tandem with class size in order for lower ratios to be helpful. If you are concerned about class size, the Montessori approach offers a robust solution.
The Montessori Advantage
Teacher time is a limited resource in a traditional classroom, as a great deal of time is spent instructing the class as a whole. In a Montessori classroom, teachers rarely address the entire class for a single lesson. Since Montessori classrooms include children of multiple ages at varying stages of development, teachers frequently work with small groups of students. This approach to teaching frees up teacher time and enables more intimate interactions throughout the classroom. Small groups or pairs receive lessons tailored to their degree of readiness. Students are also free to work independently, in pairs or small groups within the “prepared environment” where a wide variety of work is available to choose from and mentorship abounds.
Having two or more teachers within a Montessori classroom provides flexibility for students. Those requiring more time or assistance will receive it, while students who are ready to move forward in one area can do so without hindrance. Further, stability and consistency is assured within the classroom when students have the benefit of multiple teachers. The rhythm of the classroom is not disturbed if one teacher happens to be away, and the natural flow of activity carries on uninterrupted.
The Kendalwood Approach
We agree that class size matters and structure our classrooms in a manner which provides students with plenty of access to their teachers, along with the added benefit of inspired mentorship and peer to peer learning opportunities. Classrooms are always prepared to meet a sufficient range of personalities in order to develop healthy social skills, which is a key principle in Montessori philosophy.
Are you interested in seeing a Montessori classroom in action? We welcome parents from Whitby and the Greater Durham Region to visit our campus during the instructional day to learn what a Kendalwood Montessori education can do for your child. Please contact us to book a tour.