Children were defective when Montessori schools orginated
What did famous people like singer Bing Crosby, comedian Bob Hope, and actor Carey Grant have in common with Princess Diana? And where did Alexander Graham-Bell choose to send his children to school? Each one of them chose a Montessori school designed by Maria Montessori in 1907, even though originally her studies which created the model for her ...
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#1 Mar 2, 2010
I have taught in Montessori classrooms for nearly twenty years, I have trained teachers and administered their exams, and all three of my own children attended Montessori schools. But, I have to say that I dont really recognize many of the assertions made in this article.
Nevertheless, in the spirit of any press is good press, I am thrilled to have an opportunity to talk about Montessori education!
Montessori was a gifted physician (as well as a Professor of Anthropology) who noticed that traditional methods of education DO NOT MATCH the normal growth and development of the human child. Neuroscience has now proven many of her scientific observations to be correct. The brain has innate predispositions (or mechanisms) as well as optimum times for acquiring certain types of information (such as language). These have been labeled sensitive periods. Maria Montessori was not saying that parents and teachers are not necessary, she was trying to say that just as we do not teach our children to roll over, to crawl, to pull up to stand, etc that there are many things that IF a child is given the opportunity during the proper time, they will be able to learn with very little effort and sometimes, even completely on their own. However, this information is not meant to undermine the role of the parent, but to help us to make better decisions and to design more productive educational environments for our children.
There are many famous thinkers and educators who support Montessori. Howard Gardner, a well regarded educational theorist from Harvard University, has spoken favorably about Montessori methods in his books (and has spoken at our school). Michaly Csikszentmihaly, known for his work in optimal and peak performance, is an ardent Montessori supporter.
Maria Montessori did spend time with handicapped children while a professor at the University of Rome. But her teaching methods and materials were created and refined during 50 years of fieldwork with normal children from diverse cultures and backgrounds from around the world.
Again, I thank you for the opportunity to talk about a method of education that is based on sound science and offers us the ability to meet the individual needs of our children while helping them to utilize their own personal talents and potential.
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