Superwoman Was Already Here! – Daniel Lipstein

“According to a recent Newsweek article, preschool children on average ask their parents about 100 questions per day. Sometimes, parents just wish it would stop. Tragically, it does stop. By middle school, children have pretty much stopped asking, and student motivation and engagement plummets. Kids don’t stop asking questions because they lose interest. They lose interest because they stop asking questions. In a Montessori classroom, this does not happen, because questions matter more than answers; a child’s natural curiosity is welcomed, not shunned. In fact, a child’s curiosity is also what drives the lesson forward.

…Preparing children for the future demands that we encourage and inspire them to ask questions, and teach them how to explore those questions for themselves.”

Really interesting video created by a Montessori father, talking about the positive impact Montessori education has on our young children. Definitely worth 6 minutes of your time!

Montessori, Why Not?

Article Credit: http://mariovalle.name/montessori/why-not.html
 

I choose a Montessori school for my son almost as an act of faith. At that time my knowledge of the method was null, besides having heard of small chairs and colored beads. But seeing my son happy day after day encouraged me to study and deepen the Montessori’s ideas. What I had discovered astonished me as a father and as a scientist. As a father, I found how children are really respected and prepared for the future. As a scientist, I found solid scientific foundations for everything Maria Montessori proposed.

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Parent & Teacher Resource: “The Right Way to Train Attention”, Laura Flores Shaw

Probably one of the best “Montessori” responses to the ever so growing, controversial ADHD diagnosis. This article explains the differences between conventional schools vs. Montessori schools, and what they both have to offer children diagnosed with ADHD. As parents, we struggle with what to do to help our children; we all want the best treatment. The answer just might lie in the type of education they are receiving, which can set a foundation for the way they learn for the rest of their lives. Children with diagnoses such as these need the opportunity to “train their attention” using works that capitalize on their spontaneous sensitive periods of concentration. Painting the world map can draw forth an immense amount of concentration, for example. Probably more so than any attention-training video game.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-flores-shaw/after-ritalin-whats-next_b_1271750.html

“Montessori environments are specifically designed to train attention by providing children opportunities to practice deep concentration for long periods without disruption. According to Dr. Montessori, concentration development is “the most important single result of our whole work.” This is why our preschool and elementary programs have 3-hour work cycles rather than a schedule that changes subject area every 30 to 40 minutes.

The periods of deep concentration Montessori students experience are what Dr. Mihály Csikszentmikály, refers to as flow…he defines flow as ‘the mental state in which a person engaged in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity…It’s a state that Dr. Csikszentmikály generally attributes to adults, but when he and his colleague Dr. Kevin Rathunde conducted a multi-year study comparing traditional school environments to Montessori environments, they found that students achieved flow experiences more frequently in Montessori settings.

Flow in a Montessori classroom fosters a love of learning, something computerized attention training games can’t do. A flow state is so pleasing, it literally makes you feel joyful, thus, the learning experience becomes associated with joy, not some video game. As Dr. Csikszentmikály writes, “Every teacher, whether they teach German or music or mathematics, is aware of how important it is for the kid to experience flow while learning because that would make them want to learn more.”

The reason flow is so pleasing to the brain is that it doesn’t require effort and self-control as it’s a state of effortless concentration that emerges from innate curiosity or interest. Yet, a byproduct of attention trained via flow is that a person becomes more self-regulated and, thus, can put more effort into things in which they’re not innately interested.”