Montessori Schools Offer Big Lessons For ‘Managers’

Article Credit, Ashoka, Contributor Group for Forbes

Montessori Schools Offer Big Lessons For ‘Managers’

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“No one could have foreseen that children had concealed within themselves a vital secret capable of lifting the veil that covered the human soul, that they carried within themselves something which, if discovered, would help adults to solve their own individual and social problems.”  — Dr. Maria Montessori

Did you know that children at Montessori schools regularly out-perform those who graduate from traditional schools? And that some of the leading innovators in the world, including Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales credit their ability to think differently to their Montessori educations?

Founded in 1897 by Italian educator and physician Dr. Maria Montessori, the Montessori approach challenged predominant educational theories by giving children the freedom to grow, learn and contribute in the classroom.

Interestingly, although Dr. Montessori’s methodologies were developed for children and education, her philosophy was based on the science of life. So it makes sense that studies challenging the paradigm of ‘management’ today would echo several Montessori principles. The studies show striking parallels between the nature of children and adults, the environments needed to unleash potential in the classroom and the workspace and the role of teachers and leaders. Continue reading

The Montessori Journey – Birth to 6 Years

 

“the task of the child is the formation of man, oriented to his environment, adapted to his time, place and culture.” – Dr. Maria MontessoriDSC_0753

From early infancy, our children are preparing themselves for the more complex works and materials in the toddler and primary communities. In Montessori, we believe that “the task of the child is the formation of man, oriented to his environment, adapted to his time, place and culture”. Therefore, it is our job as Montessori educators to protect the child’s “task”, aiding in their development as they continue to form the person they will be for the rest of their lives. In order to do that, we need to understand the purpose that each Montessori material holds, and recognize the important role that they will play in the child’s development. For instance, the pink tower, while simple in appearance, helps prepare the child for a diversity of life skills, such as visual discrimination of dimensions in height/width, and adding the cubes together (math), refinement of voluntary movement which helps control muscle movement as they grow older, they’re also learning visual-motor coordination which is called upon to concentrate. This lesson goes far beyond introducing them to math. That is how many of the materials in our school work; they introduce and build upon lessons that the child will receive as they grow older. Each one serves a specific purpose in the child’s development. Continue reading

Happy 145th Birthday, Dr. Maria Montessori

Happy 145th Birthday, Dr. Maria Montessori!

Today, we celebrated our dear Maria Montessori’s birthday by having a special Celebration of Life in her honor. We heard stories about the things she had done in her life, and saw pictures of her childhood. This is a very special day for our community, as we honor the woman who brought light to the Montessori pedagogy, and established the principals that our very school is based upon.

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“Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870.” – Ms. Patti shows us a special book with pictures and descriptions of Maria Montessori’s life.

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We walked the earth around the sun symbolizing the years of her life that had gone by, just as the earth goes around the sun in a year-long rotation. We talked about the many important things Maria had done in her life, including her family history, her schooling and education, and the educational programs that she developed due to years of observation and scientific study.Maria COL_4

Happiest of birthdays, to the woman who made all of this possible!

Scientific observation has established that education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment. The task of the teacher becomes that of preparing a series of motives of cultural activity, spread over a specially prepared environment, and then refraining from obtrusive interference. Human teachers can only help the great work that is being done, as servants help the master. Doing so, they will be witnesses to the unfolding of the human soul and to the rising of a New Man who will not be a victim of events, but will have the clarity of vision to direct and shape the future of human society.

– Maria Montessori, Education for a New World

Click HERE to read about the life and work of Dr. Maria Montessori
(article credit, michaelolaf.net)

The Child is a Wellspring of Love

Love is a guiding force within the Montessori curriculum, and something that is palpable in our classroom environments. Love guides each lesson that is taught, through the soft, gentle voice of the guide as she demonstrates how to trace a sandpaper letter with her finger, or even modeling how to use the correct vocabulary and body language when diffusing a conflict between two friends. Love is one friend helping another comb their hair and wipe their face at the self-grooming table, or tie each other’s shoes in preparation to go outside. Love is a fundamental building block for nearly every lesson taught in the classroom.

One of my favorite blogs is from Baan Dek  Montessori, which emphasizes the power of love shown in the classroom, and the influence that the true nature of the child has on society.

A few of my favorite passages taken from the article…

“The child is the only point on which there converges from everyone a feeling of gentleness and love.”

“People’s souls soften and sweeten when one speaks of children; the whole of mankind shares in the deep emotions which they awaken. The child is a well-spring of love. ”

Montessori implores us to take a step back, to study the phenomenon of love, with fresh, careful, and uninhibited eyes. If love holds the secret power to unite mankind, she says, why shouldn’t we spend more time concentrated on its practical implications. In particular, why don’t we focus our attention, and turn towards the nature of childhood: the child is the point of convergence.

Montessori, then, changes the landscape of how we normally think about love by shifting the terrain. She tries to tell the story of love from the ‘point of view of life itself’. It’s not about desire or imagination, she expresses, but a commitment to reality. A commitment to see things how they are, and envision what they might become.

“Love has not been analyzed by the poets and by the prophets, but it is analyzed by the realities which every child disclosed to himself. ”

Love draws us together. The love of learning draws us further towards what Montessori envisioned. While love may not be overtly taught, it is something ever palpable, in classrooms throughout the world. We can feel it in the pride our teacher tries to hide as we accomplish a task only days before we were too afraid to even try. We wonder, with the generosity only children can deliver, what these classrooms of love might one day yield.

See the link below to read the article in full.

http://baandek.org/posts/drawn-together/