How does a Montessori school serve gifted children?

In general, children who are highly gifted will find Montessori to be both intellectually challenging and flexible enough to respond to them as unique individuals.

Because the Montessori approach is self-paced, a child who moves through exercises and achieves mastery of concepts quickly will be able to continue learning at a satisfying pace.  At the Montessori School of Westminster, teachers are carefully observing the work of their students, and the gifted child will be exposed to work that continues to fuel her passions.  She is not waiting for the teacher to introduce a new unit or text to the entire class as is the case in more traditional classrooms.

Conversely, the student who needs more time to achieve goals and master concepts is able to do so without being troubled by the pace of other students.  This is true because everyone at MSW is working at the rate that suits their own learning style, and in a multi-age program Montessori program there is always a mixture of new and returning learners.  No one is traumatized by being “last.”

Adapted from “The Montessori Way,” by Tim Seldin & Paul Epstein Ph.D., published by the Montessori Foundation, 2006.

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