Monday, 10 September 2018

Bonus QotD: “It is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it.”


“It is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it.” 
          ~ Dr Maria Montessori, from her 1949 book The Absorbent Mind 
[Hat tip the Maria Montessori Education Foundation (NZ)]
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1 comment:

  1. Our 8 year experience with Montessori teachers is that loving the universe, and understanding the universe sufficiently are sometimes at odds. I have little doubt that Montessori herself held this integration, but not all her predecessors do. As a result I think our boys have missed certain valuable things they would have obtained from a good mainstream school. A lack of competitiveness, and failure to ensure certain skills (such as neat handwriting) are learnt at the appropriate age being the obvious ones for us. Ideally kids learn naturally without being forced, but sometimes certain core skills need to be forced. Kids thrive under freedom (within a prepared environment), but they also require structure - and their education sometimes lacks sufficient structure.


    In the context of her time, too much structure and rigidity would have been the cultural bias that Montessori was fighting against. In our age of moral relativism, the tendency is towards not enough structure.

    I'd still highly recommend Montessori education - especially in the 3-6 year age range without any qualifications. It's only in the 6+ age category my support comes with qualifications. Even then I believe the benefits have outweighed the disadvantages, and in many respects it's allowed our boys to be brilliant compared to their mainstream peers. But if I could turn back time I'd have gone into it more alert to the disadvantages from age 6 onwards, and ready to correct them.

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