If Montessori Doesn’t Use Testing, How Does It Measure Success?

If Montessori Doesn’t Use Testing, How Does It Measure Success - Flagstaff Montessori Cedar Campus

For anyone whose educational journey wasn’t shaped by the Montessori philosophy, it can be difficult to understand how a child’s progress can be measured without the use of testing. But the truth is that there are other effective metrics for success, and your Montessori middle school student can actually excel by using them as an alternative to the traditional test. 

To help you get a better understanding of how we gauge your child’s progress, take a look at this easy guide to our unique methods of measuring success.

Instructor Observation

Having teachers observe and report the progress of their students is not unique to the Montessori Method, but there are some special tenets to it under our particular philosophy. 

For one, the smaller classrooms in a Montessori middle school mean greater opportunities for close observation of your child’s growth. 

This observation is not something that is graded in any way, which means there is no standard for measuring a child’s progress. This allows them to learn and to blossom individually without unnecessary restraint.  

You will be able to observe this growth yourself through regular reports and frequent communication between you and their teacher. This allows for your own feedback and for a closer understanding of your child’s educational journey.

Progressive Responsibilities

The concepts of freedom and responsibility — and striking a balance between the two — are core tenets of the Montessori Method. 

As your child continues to grow and learn, they will be allowed the opportunity to take on more and greater responsibilities. This is something that is fostered in Montessori students well before middle school, but it carries on into this period of their lives and only becomes more important. 

The independence and self-reliance that increasing responsibility can provide a child is something that translates perfectly to the world outside of the Montessori classroom, particularly in their eventual pursuit of higher education.

Maintaining a Portfolio

All of the marks of a middle school student’s progress can be found in the work they do without the need for actual marks. That’s why we maintain a portfolio of all of your child’s activities throughout the school year. Looking through this portfolio at the year’s end can show you a clear timeline of their progress, and it can also provide insight into the improvements that still need to be made.

Notebook Checks

Rather than taking your middle school student’s work and assigning a letter grade based on a standardized rubric, we will periodically go over the work they’ve done and have a discussion with them about it. This not only gives us insight into their progress but also affords both them and you the same level of insight. 

Once that insight is gained, your student will have some clarity on what they need to continue working on. Their teacher will be able to hone in on these areas and provide extra focus and encouragement.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

One of the best ways for you to gauge your child’s progress will be through regular parent-teacher conferences. You’ll have a chance to sit down with their instructor and have a conversation about what your child’s educational journey currently looks like. 

There is insight to be gained on either end of a parent-teacher conference. You’ll be able to offer your own perspective about your child’s growth so the teacher is better prepared to help them continue their upward progress.

Interested in Montessori Middle School?

If you’d like to learn more about what Montessori middle school has to offer your child, reach out to Montessori School of Flagstaff today.