Montessori classrooms foster life-long leadership skills. In each mixed age classroom, the older students have the opportunity to become mentors to the younger students. These mentors help to teach their mentees concepts and ideas that are more advanced. The mentors are also there to answer any questions that their younger mentees might have. This form of peer-to-peer learning is beneficial to the mentor and the mentee, as both of them gain skills by collaborating with one another. Teaching the younger students helps the older students reinforce their own knowledge base, while the younger students benefit from having a mentor who is readily available to help them.
According to Dr. Maria Montessori, as children pass through the planes of development, they begin to develop certain attributes and needs. Each period of transformation is taken into consideration in the Montessori classroom, where children are grouped according to their plane of development to maximize the child’s learning.
Additionally, having the opportunity to interact with other children, who are either younger or older, can help a child develop important social skills. Oftentimes, younger children are intimidated by older children simply because they have not interacted with them before. However, in a Montessori classroom, as students of different ages interact with each other on a daily basis, they become more comfortable playing and learning with older children. Furthermore, by being around children of different ages, they are exposed to three or more levels of all subjects at all times. This constant cognitive stimulation sparks a greater and more organic interest in learning.