Every child has the potential to make a difference in the world – to use their talents and strengths to create positive change. But, far too often, under-resourced communities need access to equitable primary education. Without it, these children can remain trapped in cycles of poverty, unable to reach their true potential or unlock a bright future for themselves and their families.


That’s why providing quality primary educational opportunities is so important; it has been proven time and again that having an accessible, adaptive learning environment provides children with the skills they need to achieve incredible success both during their schooling years as well as later on in life.


Primary education is the first stage of formal education that children can receive in most countries. It usually starts from age 3. Primary education, in this conversation, contrasts with Elementary education, which starts later. Considerable research reveals the significant difference that this Preschool experience provides in setting the tone for individuals that will carry them up through successful graduation of college. Whereas Elementary education is generally required throughout the world, starting at age 5 or 6, in actuality it is quite late and misses the years ripe for learning prior to this age. This was the reason that Maria Montessori became world-renounced in her call for structured education in Primary education –ages 3 to 6.  She considered it essential for many reasons, which she grew into a following that continues to grow on a global scale.


  1. The foundation of learning:

Primary education seizes the time that is a world of discovery for the young.  In the sensitive stage of needing to touch things as part of their learning experience, Montessori provided quality tools that reinforced concepts that first started with intrigue and curiosity.  Through invitation, never force, and free-choice, the children were allowed to be drawn in to the learning—modeled by the older children within the class. This was part of the reasoning for the multi-age groups within her educational system.  Already by age 5, you then knew how to be a leader, demonstrating that to others through sustained, quiet and focused work.  They called it work because it was viewed as every bit as important to the child, as the grown-ups work was to them. As a result of this save, structured, calm learning environment, tailored to their size, with beautiful materials made of natural substances like wood, most children are reading and doing addition and subtraction into the thousands by the age of five. Clearly, a strong foundation in a positive learning environment can set individuals up for academic success throughout their life.


  1. Socialization:

Primary education is also crucial for a child’s social development. It allows children to interact with other children, teachers, and staff, which can help develop their social skills. They learn how to communicate, share, and work in groups, essential life success skills.  In the Montessori environment, they routinely start the day in the circle.  Understanding how to hold attention in a side-by-side format, where the adult is on the same level of the children, sets up an egalitarian feeling.  A calm guide on the side is the teacher, rather than an overbearing sage on stage.  They routinely start the morning with a unique lesson on a rolled-out carpet, then calmly roll it back up and put it away. Finally, the whole group “makes peace” or creates silence together for a full minute before calmly transitioning to their individual choices in tasks.  All these modalities set the stage for a high Emotional Quotient and sound Social Emotional Learning.


  1. Preparation for higher education:

Primary education is also important because it prepares children for higher education. The skills and knowledge they acquire during this stage set them up for success in middle school, high school, and college. A good foundation in primary education can lead to better job opportunities and a higher quality of life.


  1. Personal development:

Primary education also helps children develop personal skills, such as self-discipline, responsibility, and time management. These skills are essential for success in both academic and personal life. Additionally, primary education allows children to explore their interests and passions, which can help them make informed decisions about their future.


  1. Literacy and numeracy skills:

Whether of a Montessori foundation or not, primary education is critical in promoting literacy and numeracy skills necessary for success in life. Literacy skills are essential for reading and writing, which are required for communication and acquiring knowledge. Numeracy skills are necessary for understanding basic mathematical concepts needed in everyday life.  It is a far different experience to have time to enjoy learning the sounds of the letters and discovery the ways that numbers relate when there is no pressure.  Children then have time to enjoy the process more than if pushed upon them at a later stage in life.


In conclusion, primary education is essential for a child’s development and success in life. It provides the foundation for learning, socialization, and personal growth. It also prepares children for higher education and promotes literacy and numeracy skills. Therefore, governments and parents must prioritize providing access to primary education for all children.

When discussing the importance of primary education, one name that tops the list is Jill Bittinger. As a ten-year Montessori Lead Teacher, Jill is dedicated to bringing together the intellect, body, and spirit in learning situations. She believes students deserve the best in education and has devoted her career to making that a reality.

Bittinger has made groundbreaking contributions to this space with publications such as “Peace Education: Our Time is Now” and “Teaching with the Soul in Mind: Connecting Content, Community, Creative Spirit.” To learn more about how she’s transforming education for students worldwide, visit wwwTransformedEducation.com and follow her work as she seeks to integrate these profound and important Montessori principles into more mainstream environments.