By MMM Members Mollie Stromberg and Kim Mohiuddin of Chicago, IL (yes, the Madmen have MadWOMEN too!!!)
Montessori is for Everyone!
Spring has sprung in the Northern Hemisphere, and we at Montessori Madmen can't help but draw analogies between budding flowers and the many children blossoming in the gentle nourishment of the Montessori classroom.
Which Children Blossom in a Montessori Environment?
All children. It's been proven that students of all ethnicities, learning styles, and socioeconomic statuses flourish in an environment that trusts and supports their learning process--namely, a Montessori classroom.
Are You Man Enough?
We Madwomen were discussing the idea of Montessori everyone. In thinking about how it is especially difficult for boys to be in a traditional classroom, having to sit still and quiet for hours a day, we talked about what a relief it must be for their fast-vibrating Y chromosomes to have free rein over a whole classroom in an active learning environment. We couldn't help but wonder if the active nature of Montessori is also what has inspired the Montessori Madmen to take up its cause so passionately. Whatever the reason, it's refreshing to see fathers getting so involved in the education of their own children and of all children. Children's learning is a domain that has wrongly been relegated in the past to moms. Maria Montessori, the first woman doctor in Italy, would have relished the sight of dads taking their rightful role as parents and as educational stewards. We tip our hats to you, gentlemen!
Oh, and for the record, Montessori is a great way to raise girls who don't feel obligated to sit quietly with folded hands! Think Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Julia Child.
No Child Well Prepared?
University of Minnesota law professor Michele Goodwin makes some interesting points on the quality of students she is seeing in the wake of No Child Left Behind. In The Chronicle of Higher Education, she writes:
“Very bright students now come to college and even law school ill-prepared for critical thinking, rigorous reading, high-level writing, and working independently. … For more than a decade, a culture of test taking and teaching to the test has dominated elementary and secondary education in the United States, even at elite public and private schools. And now its effects are being felt by professors. … One professor at a top-20 law school recently confided that he has to teach his students how to write business letters. A professor at another elite school complained that grading exams is far more difficult now because the writing skills of students are so deficient that each exam requires several reads."
Retired award-winning high-school teacher Kenneth Bernstein’s article suggests that he knows what accounts for this — federal education policy.
How Can Montessori Serve Diverse Populations?
Golden Oak Montessori in Hayward, CA has written a thought-provoking piece on how Montessori serves their dynamic population. The article references experiences at their school as well as scientific support for use of Montessori in urban settings.
How can I See "Children Blossoming" or Give Others a Taste of a Montessori Classroom?
The best first step is to schedule a real-world classroom observation. However, if you must be virtual, we've found this video which does a pretty good job of taking you there. Thanks to Montessori graduate Zac Potterfield and Secret Garden Montessori of Frenchtown NJ for this beautiful overview of Montessori's three-year cycle.
Don't Forget -- It's Your Chance to Shine on Camera...
Upload your Montessori Elevator Speech Today - less than a minute to convince the world about Montessori.
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