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Opinion - Praise and Rewards in a Montessori Classroom | Montessori Hampstead | Nursery Hampstead


You won’t find any stickers or reward charts in our Montessori classroom in Hampstead. In fact, they don’t feature in any Montessori school or nursery.

Although they are used in the home environment and in plenty of other schools, Maria Montessori believed that the promise of an external reward only flatters a child’s ‘baser’ sentiments. She found that a child allowed to educate him/herself gave up on these lower instincts. She encouraged teachers to stop handing out prizes and punishments. Instead, the teaching style in every Montessori school and nursery is to gently direct the children in their work. The reality is that children get so much satisfaction from their work that nothing else is needed. The work itself becomes its own reward.

At Casa Dei Bambini Montessori we witness this on a daily basis in our classroom. We see the look of accomplishment on a child’s face when they do anything from build the pink tower to complete the trinomial cube; a sticker would fade into insignificance when compared to the feeling of satisfaction a child experiences.

“Of course we acknowledge a child’s achievements and the tasks they complete,” explains Dipti Kanani of Casa Dei Bambini Montessori, Hampstead. “But we don’t praise children, instead we encourage them to produce work because they want to.  Ultimately, we want the children to do things that they are happy with. I might ask them what they think or how they did it. We encourage children to make their own judgements."

A recent article in the Washington Post described how we are creating a generation of narcissistic children by continual over praise. It talks of a report studying children between the ages of 7 and 11. The premise is just as interesting when applied to early years.

If children are constantly told they are special and cleverer/faster/better than other children – they may internalise the view that they are superior. This becomes the core of narcissism. On the other hand, if children are appreciated and shown affection by their parents, the feeling they internalise is the view that they are valuable individuals – and this is the core of self-esteem.

Everything we do in a Montessori classroom is to promote a child’s ability to do things for themselves and so develop a great sense of self-esteem. Read more about Montessori and how we apply these core foundations at Casa Dei Bambini Montessori school and nursery.

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed”. Dr Maria Montessori.

Would you like know more? Feel free to contact us with any queries.

Casa dei Bambini Montessori School