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Question: The Montessori Approach to Early Childhood Education: Benefits and Challenges of Mixed-Age Classrooms as an Essential Montessori Schools Feature


The Montessori Approach to Early Childhood Education is a growing influence throughout the world. This paper reports on research completed in the US that assessed the similarities and differences in Montessori programming between the US and Italy in both private and public schools. The research assessed how the essential elements of the Montessori method, including mixed-age classrooms and the inclusion of children with disabilities are implemented in the US. The paper describes the Montessori methodology, the benefits of mixed age classrooms, as a model of inclusion that can serve also the Italian public schools. In Italy Montessori Education may prove to be beneficial in the rural, isolated areas. According to the manifesto of the small schools movement of Italy, 76% of the Italian territory is at risk isolation. Apparent disadvantages, such as small or multi-age classes, may provide opportunities to solve the growing concern of schools and school districts with diminishing populations. Moreover, the Montessori Method can be a response to the needs of today schools in search of new strong educational alternative to traditional education.

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(Source: Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, 29 Mar 2022)

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