“What’s MCH? Is that a public school?” she asks.
“No, it’s a private Montessori school,” you reply.
“Montessori, huh?” (Insert slight smile, questioning look in the eyes HERE.) “Is that a gifted school?”
“No,” you respond.
“Is it a school for kids with special needs?”
“No,” you respond again.
“Then what is it?” she asks, desperately wanted to find the appropriate category to put your child in.
“It’s a 100-year old educational system based off the discoveries of Maria Montessori, one of the first female doctors, and educational innovator,” you smile.
OK, so maybe you didn’t exactly say that. But you could, and you should, because that’s what Montessori is about. It’s about smaller class sizes, individualized learning and igniting a lifelong love of learning in people.
So why is it that the Montessori Method seems to be so much more forward thinking than global traditional models of education? Is it perhaps that our traditional model was developed in the early 19th century and was created to educate factory workers and corporate bureaucrats? Is it that is prioritizes academic subjects such as Math and Language, while subjects such as Humanities and the Arts are de-emphasized and underfunded? Is it that the old method of education fails to develop skills such as self-discipline and initiative, the flexibility of learning new skills, social intelligence, curiosity and innovation and imagination? Rather the old model encourages; standardization and conformity just like a factory mold, rote memorization of facts, test-taking abilities, discouraging failure, and suppressing emotional responses.
What skills and attributes will our children need in their future? The world has changed so rapidly over the last 20 years since the introduction of technology and the pace of change continues to excel beyond our ability to keep up with it at times. The jobs that have been available to our generation are disintegrating and being replaced by technology and robots. What skills will our children need to be successful?
Bragging rights: The 5 things your child is learning right now that is already making them an even more successful person
1.) First and foremost they are developing the skill of being flexible.
You child may hold a total of 20 different jobs in their lifetime. They will need to be a lifelong learner in order to keep up with changing technological advances and trends in business. The creative, innovative thinkers will be the elite in our society.
Bragging right #2: The best jobs will be in innovative technology development or executive managerial roles. Our children will need to be intrinsically motivated, creative thinkers with well-developed social and emotional intelligence that allows them to excel in executive management positions (Really, that's bragging rights 3, 4 and 5 right there.)
21st Century competencies will be organization, creative problem solving, collaboration and big picture thinking.
Bragging right #3: We will be in need of a radical reform in our educational model. We will need a system of education that fosters intrinsic motivation, which approaches teaching through Socratic inquiry.
Bragging right #4: There is a tremendous amount of research on the value of peer teaching. Learning will need to be productive and active through project-based processes that allow children to develop their organization, time management skills; that evoke critical thinking by teaching children how to ask the right questions and find their own answers.
Bragging right #5: Project-based learning, not one-hit wonder lectures – and then a test to prove you learned something. Project-based learning allows children to evoke their imaginations and discover not only the facts but also thinking through the possibilities. It develops skills of communication, presentation and it solidifies what they’ve learned as they present their projects and educate others on what they know.
Head of School
Montessori Children’s House