For the past 35 years I have been told that I talk too much. That problem intensifies when I am passionate about something. Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out how I can explain the beauty of the Montessori Method to families who tour, members of our community and the greater world in a concise and succinct manner. Task failed until last week.
Julie Bragdon, assistant head of school at Montessori School of Denver recently published an article in the Spring 2014 edition of Montessori Life entitled “What Every Family Should Know about Montessori.” Thank you Julie Bragdon for helping edit my conversation into the following five steps.
1. The Montessori method is child-centered. Children stay engaged and learn more.
2. Each child is encourage to reach his full potential which is entirely different than they can do whatever they want, a Montessori myth. A child in the Montessori classroom doesn’t have to stick with herd and a teacher doesn’t teach to the middle.
3. Hands-on learning occurs through special materials that provide a control of error so that students can monitor and adjust their own learning. Children become comfortable with persevering after making a mistake which inspires them to tackle continually challenging work. The method encourages children to learn through immersion, independent investigation, and multi-sensory learning. These buzzwords are now a part of best practices in traditional schools. They have been part of the Montessori Method since 1907.
4. Students complete their work in a variety of environments instead of being forced to stay in a desk. Even before brain-based learning and embodied cognition, Dr. Montessori recognized the connection between movement and learning. The Montessori classroom allows for that movement. Most adults don’t enjoy staying trapped at their desk all day. Why would we want that for our children?
5. The Montessori Method stays true to the belief that children learn best in a respectful, supportive environment. Teachers guide instead of dominate. The sage on the stage is no more, and feedback is authentic. Children are social creatures and have the opportunity to learn with and from each other.
We all want our children to be happy, successful, and prepared for the “real world.” The Montessori Method allows us to give the “real world” to our children inside the classroom with a loving teacher and a beautiful environment. Take time this month to share with friends why you chose a Montessori education for your child. Invite them to Fill the Chair and see the magic of learning at MSH firsthand.