In the past decade, countless studies have reaffirmed that traditional approaches to education may no longer be the most effective way to prepare students for a rapidly changing future.
As our socio-economic landscape evolves, it has become increasingly clear that in a “VUCA” world – which leadership scholars Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus described as volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous – conventional learning methods have likely become outdated.
According to both the Journal of Education Psychology and the Journal of Educational Research, the main issue lies with the one-size-fits-all focus on rote memorization and standardized testing. Apart from being demotivating for many students, it allows for very little creativity or critical thinking. This leads to a lack of engagement and interest in learning, as students are not able to explore their own interests and passions.
“Moreover, the pressure of performing well on exams and assessments can be overwhelming for some students, leading to anxiety and stress. This can further impact their self-esteem and happiness in the classroom,” the studies noted.
According to Sandy Arellano, the Principal (Head of School) of Montessori de San Juan, education should be rooted on the premise that students learn best when they’re engaged in the learning process, are allowed to explore their interests and passions, and are given some allowance to learn at their own pace.
“Essentially, schools – and perhaps more importantly, parents – must ask themselves an all-important question: do I want my children to be excellent test takers, or do I want them to develop creativity, adaptability, and be innovative?” she noted.
Montessori de San Juan – which has developed a growing reputation for bringing out the best in students who previously felt burnt out and apathetic in big traditional schools – is among the leading institutions that are heralding this new approach to education.
“Our entire foundation is built on treating children as unique individuals, and guiding them to develop a deep love for learning,” Arellano emphasized.
“This results in a double win: first, the children become motivated and happy in the classroom. Second, it nurtures 21st-century skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, creativity, and innovation. More than having a poorly retained database of facts and formulas, these are the skills that will allow them to excel in their future careers,” she added.
Needless to say, the Montessori de San Juan curriculum covers all the essential academic subjects, including language, mathematics, science, and social studies, with music, art, and physical education often incorporated into the lessons to make learning fun and engaging.
“Our education is framed within the bounds of holistic development. We take into consideration each child’s social, emotional, and physical well-being, identify their strengths and interests, and then tailor their education to meet their needs. This personalized approach to learning helps children develop their unique talents and interests, which can have a lifelong impact,” Arellano concluded.
To learn more about MDSJ, please visit their website at http://montessoridesanjuan.com or check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/montessoridesanjuanph.