Testing, Grading & Ranking in Montessori

Conventional vs Montessori

Conventional approach:

Constant testing is a central feature of contemporary American education. Testing is based on proficiency of skills that can be easily measured.

Testing is promoted as a way to bring accountability to schools because it yields troves of numerical data. Administrators use this numerical data to measure and rank students. This intense focus on testing is reducing teachers to enforcers.

Montessori approach:

A Montessori education emphasizes developing skills that are not “testable,” such as working in teams, empathy, organizing one’s environment, and creative thinking and play.

We believe that children and teachers should wake up in the morning full of anticipation for the happy and interesting day ahead.

…because in real life:

Intensive testing results in “studying for the test,” a skill that has no value after graduation. The irony is that “studying for the test” does not prepare students for the requirements of today’s work environment and that of the future. The skills that actually matter for success, such as creativity, independence, leadership and consensus-building, are not testable.

Subjects that enrich the human spirit cannot be measured numerically, so they are marginalized in American education. Art, music, creative writing and drama are disappearing, depriving children of a lifelong source of inspiration, joy and self-discovery.