Montessori’s model of pre-school education is a concept that stands between playground and workshop. There, children socialize and participate in a variety of activities that help them develop personally and as members of the group (Isaacs, 2018). The most vivid benefit of such a system is the freedom of choice for activities. In a Montessori classroom, a child can choose between socializing, performing and non-performing, which lets him or her develops conscious choice patterns and self-management. The long-term benefit of this model is the pre-developed eagerness or passion for self-education. The choice of activities fosters curiosity, which is a skill required for harmonious living in adulthood.
On the other hand, the Montessori learning model also faces critics. For instance, it could be rather expensive as the learning environment must be well-designed and filled with a variety of quality activities. In addition, an absence of a structured curriculum may become the reason for the development of problems with school at later stages of the learning process. Independence does not always create a drive towards forming an adequate perception of teamwork. The absence of qualified help for those who cannot or will not cooperate with others may actually do more harm than good. The free class structure can discourage and frighten some children. Thus, certain visible guidelines and directions are often needed to be established to simplify learning and development.
As for socioemotional development, the Montessori model can be effective for some yet produce no effect on others. A certain form of control over the actions of children is still needed. Otherwise, it could all descend into chaos. Structure, guidance, and control that sometimes lack in the Montessori system can be detrimental to the socioemotional development of young learners.
Isaacs, B. (2018). Understanding the Montessori approach: Early years education in practice (2nd ed.). London, UK: Routledge.