Montessori Education System, Its History, Pros and Cons


The Montessori curriculum is gaining recognition in various schools across the world. For decades, the Montessori method has revolutionized education within various institutions in more than one hundred countries worldwide (Hiles, 2018). The system’s principles and practices are dedicated to involving society, governments, organizations, and individuals in the welfare and education of children, irrespective of religion, ethnicity, or social and political views. In addition to its emphasis on hands-on learning, Montessori education is revered for its inclusive curriculum, independence, enhanced sense of social interaction, and empathy (Hiles, 2018). Along with numerous advantages, the Montessori approach to education is equally flawed. Notably, it implies high costs and offers limited opportunities for students. Despite the disadvantages, this approach can be improved since an ideal education system should help every student reach their full potential, and the Montessori method must be geared toward this vision.

History of Montessori Education

While the Montessori curriculum is self-paced, it is enriched by the leadership of caring educators and a supportive environment. The system was pioneered by an Italian scientist, educator, and physician, Maria Montessori, who was determined to create a quality studying environment. In 1907, Dr. Montessori opened Casa Dei Bambini for disadvantaged children in Italy (Bhat, 2021). Although the students were initially disorganized, they gradually showed interest in solving puzzles and interactive learning experiences. Dr. Montessori discovered that the children were calmer, more peaceful, concentrated, and absorbed knowledge from their environment; they typically taught themselves (Bhat, 2021). Through observations and scientific experience gained from previous engagement with young students, Dr. Montessori created a learning environment and designed educational materials that meet unique children’s needs.

The success of the original Casa Dei Bambini spurred the launch of similar schools in San Lorenzo and Milan. Gradually, Dr. Montessori’s learning system attracted attention across the world. Prominent educators and dignitaries wanted to witness the children who gained deep concentration, self-discipline, and engagement. After a few years, Montessori schools spread across Europe, the United States, and the rest of the world. Hiles (2018) and Lestari (2020) outline that the Montessori curriculum creates opportunities for accountability, independence, and individual capability through five key areas: mathematics, practical life, cultural studies, sensorial, and language. Given that the study spheres gradually increase in complexity, the curriculum allows children to progress at their pace based on individual interests and developmental stages. Constant practice and repetition help the children develop an extensive understanding of each Montessori curriculum area.

Advantages of Montessori Education

The Montessori curriculum is significantly beneficial and widely adopted for several reasons. Remarkably, Montessori features independence since much of the curriculum is self-directed, allowing children to gain confidence in their abilities more effectively than in a regular school setting (Hiles, 2018). Montessori students become self-directed and accountable to themselves and their community thanks to the freedom to make individualized goals. Hiles (2018) determined that learning activities are individualized, and students are assessed daily based on their interactions with peers and their environment. Educators can use this approach to prepare an educational space that stimulates academic, physical, emotional, and social growth. In turn, learning plans are developed based on unique abilities and interests. Montessori educators provide children with the autonomy to seek out knowledge by themselves. Accountability helps students become adept at recognizing, correcting, and learning from their mistakes.

Montessori education offers children opportunities to develop individual capabilities in various directions – from communication to problem-solving. Lestari (2020) states that the study areas are complemented with development-oriented activities that encourage the children to cooperate when working with specific learning materials. While the curriculum allows the students to study independently, they can work collectively, guided by mutual interests. However, as the students achieve progress, the curriculum provides fewer collaborative activities and introduces them to interpersonal dynamics to gain valuable skills outside the classroom. Daily routines and learning materials further support students in educating and evaluate themselves (Lestari, 2020). These measures benefit the children in higher education, job training, and daily experiences.

Disadvantages of Montessori Education

Montessori offers numerous benefits, but it is not without drawbacks. For instance, classrooms offer unique interactions but with limited opportunities for social development. The curriculum fosters a strong sense of independence, which differs from real-life situations like employment, where individuals must collaborate in teams and network. Similarly, Montessori removed the rigidness of traditional classrooms and, in the process, silenced creativity because of early cognitive reasoning. Children’s potential is often realized in their early years, and Montessori uses this to rapidly influence their learner’s cognitive development. Too much freedom that the method offers can also be considered a drawback. Children are allowed to function freely and gain experience in things within their reach (Lestari, 2020). Although teachers design learning environments to maximize the children’s potential, the method is unstructured since students learn at their pace.

While other schools aim to lower tuition fees, Montessori schools offer expensive programs. Montessori acquires numerous learning materials and undertakes in-depth training that can be very expensive. Consequently, although the program was initially designed for disadvantaged children, it is not easily accessible (Bhat, 2021). Additionally, Montessori lacks standardized testing for intelligence and creativity; thus, it is not easy to establish whether students can adjust to other education programs. Montessori students use a hands-on approach to solve issues, and a rigid setting that explores the world through lectures and textbooks can make them uncomfortable. The students also learn self-motivation, which might not be ideal, especially when direct intervention is necessary.


The criticism of the Montessori education system offers an opportunity to provide recommendations for improvement. Dr. Montessori formed the first institutions for disadvantaged students, and thus, the system should look back at its rich history and bridge the gap between the poor and the rich. The middle class often has the resources to match Montessori’s curriculum with room for the less privileged. Therefore, the school should develop a fair enrolment system to eliminate bias in that students can have the Montessori experience. Additionally, the approach should adjust its curriculum to accommodate children with special needs. For instance, Montessori classrooms are usually large, and a student with special needs who requires much assistance may fail to get attention. Furthermore, independence may be a challenge for children who demand more help. Montessori should offer extra services to accommodate students with special needs.


In summary, the Montessori curriculum is significantly distinct from the ordinary education system. This approach enhances independence, accountability, and social interaction and helps develop individual capabilities. The personalized learning materials allow students to develop coordination and concentration, critical skills in everyday experiences. Dr. Montessori created a curriculum that meets all students’ needs through hands-on learning strategies. Despite the success of this system, Montessori is expensive and offers few opportunities for access. Moreover, the system gives students too much freedom and independence, limiting creativity due to early cognitive development. Issues like the advantage gap can be resolved by fostering a fair enrolments system and adjusting its curriculum to accommodate children with special needs. Understanding the advantages and drawbacks of the Montessori education system is critical in deciding whether the school meets a child’s needs.


Bhat, S. A. (2021). The educational philosophy of Maria Montessori: A coordination between the teacher and child. International Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Scientific Research (IJAMSR), 4(11), 1-12. Web.

Hiles, E. (2018). Parents’ reasons for sending their child to Montessori schools. Journal of Montessori Research, 4(1), 1-13.

Lestari, M. (2020). Montessori game tools for children. Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, 503, 33-36.

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ChalkyPapers. "Montessori Education System, Its History, Pros and Cons." April 13, 2023.