by Mary Moore
Children in the elementary program are in the second plane of development, according to Dr. Montessori. They have left behind the absorbent mind, which helped them soak up learning through individual experiences in the environment, and now learn more deeply through social interaction. This change requires a new approach to their education. For example, the children in Morado work together frequently. We’ll explore different ways the social impulse changes our approach to education in several posts. Today, we explore how it makes stories an ideal inspiration and framework for the curriculum. We’ll particularly focus on the Great Lessons, which are five stories we tell at the beginning of every year.
The secret of good teaching is to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination…so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his inmost core.
Maria Montessori To Educate the Human Potential (p. 11)
When your children were younger, they were content to know what things were, so we spent lots of time naming things. Now, they want to know that, plus how and why they are that way. They want details, but only after they get the big picture. What bigger picture could we give than how the universe came to be? This first story starts children wondering about things. It introduces the disciplines of chemistry, physics, astronomy, cosmology, and geology. It also introduces the idea that everything serves itself, but also serves the universe. The children begin to think about what their own role might be. This story has a secular spiritual component that can be compatible with both religious and non-religious families at home.
The second story tells about The Coming of Life, opening all the areas of biology for study. Again we suggest that everything has a ‘cosmic task’—it serves its own needs and the needs of the universe. Each of us has a place in the universe. We celebrate The Coming of Humans with its own story, and all the areas of study related to culture come up as we explore how different peoples filled their needs. This story describes “a special kind of love” that appears unique to humans: we can care about people we’ve never seen, people who lived before us and those who will come after us. The fourth story is about writing. Through this, we explore different ways people communicate on paper, and how this spreads their culture and opens them to greater influence by other groups. The final story is about numbers, and it makes math so much more than different ways of calculating; math is a way of understanding the world.
I became an elementary Montessori teacher because I loved how the approach revealed the inter-connectedness of the universe. Children could discover their own role within that web and develop their own powers to learn. I hope you will enjoy your glimpses into what your children are thinking about as we tell the Great Lessons. Bedtime and travelling time are probably the two most likely times for you to hear what your child is wondering about most. Try to remain alert to those moments, and give your particular attention then.
The Great Lessons will take us into October, but we will not leave them behind at that point. Future lessons will refer back to these Great Lessons from different angles. In grammar, we see how nouns are matter and verbs are energy, for example. In biology, we learn how plants and animals are adapted to their surroundings.
Here are some resources:
Watch this nine minute video with your child. It captures the wonder of things both very large and very small.
If you prefer a visual presentation of cosmic education and the Great Lessons, watch this short PowerPoint presentation, followed by the one specifically on the Great Lessons.
This is a great introduction to the Great Lessons on an adult level (not a Montessori version, but notice how mainstream Montessori ideas have become! You can even get a degree in this now.)
Read Montessori Today, by Paula Polk Lillard. This may be a full book, but it is an easy, quick read.
Mary Moore is one of the Lead Teachers in the Morado Classroom. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may recall a conversation with me in your Family Interview about the Montessori Continuum of Education and the importance of the three-year cycle. But was does this truly mean for your child and their Montessori experience?
The Montessori curriculum was developed to be implemented in a continuous process as the child grows and develops throughout his life and up through the grade levels. The methodology can be applied as early as birth and continuously through each six-year plane of a child’s development; 0-6 years, 6 – 12 years, 12-18 years. Each plane can be further broken down into a three-year cycle, specifically meeting the developmental needs of a child in that specific three-year span; 0-3 years, 3-6 years, 6-9 years, 9-12 years, 12-15 years and so on.
With a Montessori education, a child benefits the most from a continuous three-year experience within each cycle of development. Authentic Montessori Outcomes can truly only be guaranteed when the child experiences the three-year curriculum to its fullest extent within each level of development.
MCH is an American Montessori Society-accredited school. We have meet the strictest of requirements to ensure the education your child is getting is aligned with the time-tested education that is worthy of the title, “Montessori,” and guarantees authentic Montessori Outcomes.
At MCH we truly believe in this continuum of education and currently offer an authentic Montessori experience and opportunity for children birth through twelve years of age. Perhaps you have asked yourself what are those Outcomes? What is my child is gaining from this experience? Does it align with my own goals and values for my child?
As we embark on our AMS re-accreditation journey, we have also been reflecting as Montessori educators, and what our goals are for the MCH graduate. What essentially should a MCH graduate at any level take away from their authentic Montessori education? The answer is ...so many things! But what it really boils down to is this- the developmentally appropriate life skills and character values that will shape the human being they are becoming and influence the impact that they will have on society in the future. We would like to present to our families:
The Portrait of an MCH Graduate
Education is a shaping of the human character, a building of life skills necessary to become an adult capable of contributing to the greater world and finding self-fulfillment. Making the decision on where your child goes to school is always personal. That’s why we always provide a variety of opportunities to gather more information to guide your decision-making process.
If you’re wondering if you should keep your child at MCH for their third year in the Early Childhood, their Kindergarten year, I encourage you to check out our Kindergarten Information Night on January 25th from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.. This is where you can get a glimpse of what the culmination of your child’s Montessori experience in the Early Childhood will look like, and what makes the Montessori Kindergarten year look different from other schools.
If you missed our Elementary Information Night or Alumni Panel in December, don’t worry, Ms. Nicole is ready to schedule a private conversation with you to share more on the benefits of continuing your Montessori education through Sixth Grade. Learn more about our current elementary program and how students flourish and grow into passionate learners and independent thinkers.
Because MCH is so committed to the continuum of Montessori, we are excited to share with you that we are embarking on further expansion of our school and have plans in the works to bring you a Middle School program, through Eighth Grade in September 2019!
Re-enrollment packets and information will be going home with your children today. I encourage you to reflect on the progress your child has shown this year …and even in their growth before you joined MCH. With lower ratios, individualized education plans and our amazing outdoor spaces for children to connect with nature, run, learn and grow, we hope that you will continue to turn to MCH for a one-of-a-kind education.
Around this time of year, people are often encouraged to give to those less fortunate than they are. And while this is an important and wonderful part of holiday time, at MCH we believe giving isn’t tied to a holiday, it’s tied to a feeling. At MCH, this feeling never ends.
We first began our Community Engagement Program three years ago. The difference in our program is built right into the name – it’s about getting engaged and active within the community we call home. It’s in the “engagement” that we make a difference in today’s world and the world our children will live in when they move into adulthood – and also where the children start learning what it means to care.
This year, we’ve chosen a non-profit partner close to home. HOPELINK, located right in downtown Redmond, is a vital resource for families who fall on hard times either through job loss, injury/sickness or domestic violence.
We kicked off our Engagement Campaign in November, where our kindergarten and elementary community came together for a talent show, a potluck dinner and the opportunity to gather hats and gloves for HOPELINK as the season grew colder.
Continuing into this month, we’re focused on a Basic Needs Drive. Basic needs are those items we all use on a daily basis. To add variety to our Drive, we’re asking the Infant/Toddler Program families to consider bringing in baby items such as diapers and baby wipes. The Early Childcare Program is encouraged to bring personal care items such as toothpaste and toothbrushes, soap, deodorant and other hygiene items. In the Elementary Program, we’re already bringing in paper items (toilet paper, napkins) and household cleaning products. But of course, a donation of any kind is welcome and makes a huge impact to those who need a little extra joy this time of year.
To bring the message of the Basic Needs Drive to real life for our students, the students themselves will be loading a truck with all donated items, delivering them to HOPELINK, and unloading the items. It’s in this activity that we see the children make the connection to what’s happening – not everyone is as lucky as they are, and making a difference can happen in your own town.
I encourage you to consider the families that depend on HOPELINK the next time you’re holiday shopping or at the grocery store. This weekend, students stood outside a local grocery store, spreading the word about our Basic Needs Drive – and they are getting about watching the donations come in.
Thank you for making MCH the supportive, giving community that it is. With your help, we are teaching our children a valuable lesson about community engagement and the impact it has on our neighbors.
Last year, MCH was lucky enough to be named 425 Magazine’s Best Preschool. Receiving the BEST OF trophy at the award ceremony last year was one of the highlights of our year, and one of the proudest moments of my professional career.
The 425 honor was all because of one thing: You. Readers voted and wrote in their favorite preschool, and thanks to the MCH community, our little school was recognized as an outstanding school among other schools who, quite frankly, are a lot bigger than us.
This year 425 Magazine is opening their voting period early due to the overwhelming popularity of their BEST OF awards. We would love to hold on to our title, and boldly strive to add a new one: Best Private Elementary School.
Once again, 425’s BEST of is completely reader-determined; you can’t buy the award title you have to win it. It’s an authentic vote-driven title and 100% legitimate.
If you’re a part of our Early Childhood Program or our Elementary Program, we’d love your vote and support. Online voting takes minutes and it would mean the world to us – and the MCH community.
Winning a title is a lot more than great PR for MCH; it’s a vote of confidence in our teachers and staff. There’s a tremendous amount of pride in working for a school that has been recognized for its excellence. Winning the title of Best Preschool and Best Private Elementary School would send a message to our teachers that thanks them for their hard work each and every day.
Voting opens November 8th. Thank you for voting for our teachers, thank you for voting for our school, and thank you for being a part of MCH.
Jennifer McConnell, Head of School
October can bring the first signs of Fall …and also the beginning of everyone feeling back into the swing of things when it comes to school. With goal-setting conferences in the elementary program and routines in place for our infant/toddler and Early Childhood Program, your child may be feeling a little more comfortable transitioning from a relaxed summer schedule to the structure of a school regime.
Of course, it’s totally understandable for children to have some days when they’re reminiscing about the relaxed days of summer – even grown-ups feel like that! To make school mornings easier and help your MCH student move more easily into the structured school year schedule, consider one or more of these “Get Into The Groove” tips:
Set a regular bedtime and regular wake up time
Although it seems easier to sleep in now that the mornings are darker than in the summer months, having an established wake time can help “reprogram” your child’s inner clock. I find building in at least 15 minutes in the morning for those unexpected things to come up (i.e.: “I can’t find my shoes!”) can help make mornings just that much smoother and maintain everyone’s peace of mind.
Supply your child with an alarm clock (they can even pick it out the clock!) and together decide a realistic wake up time. This way, you can empower your child to be an active part in the School Groove. Making your child responsible for waking up on their own is one way to create a sense of accountability, establish personal authority in your child – and can really be a big help to parents who are trying to get themselves ready for the day.
Create a visual schedule for the bedtime routine and weekday morning expectations; and ask your child to help you make it. That way, your child can physically see the routine and be prepared for what’s expected of them. Your young child may love seeing the visual representation of them getting up, brushing their teeth, eating breakfast and going to school. For an older student, having a checklist in a common area (bathroom, kitchen, maybe even posted on their closet door) lays out their responsibilities and gives them a feeling of satisfaction once they’re able to check off the item when it has been completed.
By having a detailed list – with visuals – of your morning schedule can help your MCH student make the connection to what’s expected of them and what each school morning physically looks like. The more you prepare your MCH student the better.
Talk it out
When you put your child to bed at night, share with them plans for the next day. Ask them their opinion on the best way to get things done, what you should do first, and what their goals are for the following day.
Check the weather app
Involve your child in the “getting ready for school” process by asking them to pick out their outfit the night before school. Not only can this prevent the morning scramble (i.e. “Where’s my red shirt??!”) but solidifies the connection that, yes, there is school tomorrow and yes, we need to prepare for it.
Have the weather app on your phone and together, look at tomorrow’s forecast. Then your child can decide what outfit would be best for them – if it’s cold, something warmer, and if it’s hot, lighter layers.
Placing the MCH backpack by your front door and having lunchboxes ready to go in the refrigerator can signal to your child that school is happening and it’s their responsibility to bring these things with them the next day.
There’s much to look forward to for October at MCH. In addition to being fully engrained in the school groove, we have HarvestFest, a free, family event. This October event will have our traditional MCH Pumpkin Patch (sponsored by the MCH Parent Association [MCHPA],) carnival-style games and prizes (including a Fishing Pond, ring toss and face painting) and my personal favorite, a Cake Walk!
Thank you for being a part of the MCH community! I can’t wait to see what fun and personal growth is in store for your MCH student.
There’s always a whirlwind of excitement in those upcoming weeks to September 5th. All of us here at MCH have been busy wrapping up our most successful season of Summer Camp ever and busily preparing for the 2017-18 school year.
With a nearly full Early Childhood Program and Infant/Toddler Program and a steady roster of elementary students, MCH is heading into its 31st year with renewed excitement and energy at an all-time high.
Soon we will be kicking off our second year of the Discover Me Program, the only Parent and Child Program with a Montessori focus on the Eastside. This amazing program led by our Infant/Toddler Program Director, Kim Berude, is a gentle start into a Montessori education and gives parents the tools and knowledge to create a Montessori-friendly environment at home.
Our Infant/Toddler Program continues to be going strong, with a few new assistants and the familiar faces our young MCH students love to see each and every day.
We would like to welcome and introduce our community to our new Early Childhood Curriculum/Program Coordinator, Jennifer Kim, who brings vast knowledge and exciting new ideas to create the customized education plan you love at MCH. I invite you to stop by the office and meet Jennifer at any time; she’d love to meet you and will working closely with your child’s teacher to ensure their personal path to success is challenging and rewarding.
In the elementary program, we have a new, reconfigured space in our Morado classroom. Together with all the teachers, the Elementary Program Director, Nicole Champoux and myself, we’ve created a quieter space for those students who want to dive into more focused work, and a larger space with exciting nooks and areas where students can read, be lead through science lessons and get one-on-one attention with our dedicated Learning Specialists, Ms. Angela and Lead Teacher, Mr. Robin.
Needless to say, there is a lot going on at MCH and I am so glad you are a part of it.
The fun is just beginning – coming up next Friday, September 15th we will be having our second annual school-wide Back to School BBQ from 6:00-8:00pm featuring a private concert by the Not-Its! We will be providing Hot Dogs (veggie and regular), drinks and chips so all you have to do is show up, eat and dance!
Thanks again for choosing MCH for your child’s education. We’re glad you’re here!
The previous month at MCH has been an amazing month for us as we took home several awards and recognitions! We are so thrilled to have received the award for Best of 425 for our Preschool Program! Thank you so much to our community, alumni and Facebook subscribers for helping achieve this amazing recognition. We truly couldn’t have done it without you. We accepted the award from 425 at a Best of 425 celebration on Wednesday. If you haven’t seen our Facebook live announcement, check it out on our Facebook Page!
Last year we were incredibly honored to have won the Washington State Green School Leader award for excellence in Pillar 2 (Improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff) and this year we are even more excited to build on our win by achieving both Pillar 2 and Pillar 3 (Providing effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways). Sultana Shah from OSPI presented our Elementary Green Team the award on our outdoor natural playground on Earth Day….which couldn’t have been more perfect!
It’s been a stellar month at MCH and a stellar year as we celebrate our 30th Anniversary. We hope you will come join us at our 30th Anniversary Party on May 13th! We’ve made it easy for you to attend with complimentary childcare and free dinner and drinks! Grab your tickets here and make a date night out of it. See you there!
Whenever I hand my child a screen, I feel like the timer starts NOW. I don’t want to give him too much time, but this is the tech age – it will always be a part of his life. And I really need a minute to get this one thing done real quick, or enjoy a meal without having to shove it down, or have a minute to myself when I don’t have to have my parenting hat on.
If this sounds like you, read on.
Because of the area we live in -- steeped in tech employers – you may think it’s important for children to have hands-on exposure to tech so they can learn the skills to get a job in technology down the road. But what kind of skills is your child getting from watching YOU TUBE for three hours?
I’m going to drop some realism on you right now: Screen time is the number one reason why your kids don’t spend time outdoors. And screen time is TOTAL screen time; from the time you handed the phone to your child while you shopped in the grocery story, to the time they watched an educational video on the iPad. Anytime small eyeballs are on a screen equals Screen Time.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that children and teens have no more than one to two hours of screen time per day. Children under the age of two should have no screen time at all. And here’s a little trivia for you: Steve Jobs, the father of modern technology and mobile screens, didn’t allow his own children to use the iPad and limited their technology use in general.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT SCREEN TIME
It’s great to have goals, but when reality sets in, we can only do our best. And situations do arise when screen time is needed (for educational research) and enjoyed (family movie night.) Here are some ways you can aim for shortened (or no) screen times and teach your child how to develop a healthy relationship with technology:
* Walk the walk. I once saw a mother scold her child as they sat in a doctor’s waiting room, “No, you cannot have my phone!” she said and then proceed to swipe open Facebook herself. See the irony? Children do what they see done; if they see you continually on your phone, they will be on theirs (if they have one.) But if they see you reading in the waiting room, they are more likely to read too. If you are constantly sitting on the couch, they will want to be there too. When you’re bored or have some down time, instead of checking your feed, go for a walk, listen to music, take some extra time making dinner – and invite your child to be right there with you too.
- Establish boundaries. If everyone knows the rules, it’s a lot easier to play. Determine what works best for your family and come up with rules together. If you do need 10 minutes to yourself each night, make that time your child’s time to have screen time. But you are sure to fail, be on the receiving end of epic tantrums, if those time rules change from day to day or situation to situation. No one likes to feel like they aren’t getting a fair deal; your child included.
- Do something else. As much as screen time may be a part of your child’s everyday life, add in ‘non screen’ activities as a part everyday life. Read a book together, play a board game, do an art project, throw a ball around the backyard even ask them to help you with whatever you ‘need’ to do (help with the laundry, help you wash the car, work in the garden, take them to the grocery store with you and they take the items off the shelf and put them in the cart.) All off these things put off screen time but also build daily life skills they need.
* ‘Doors open’ Policy. When your kids are having screen time, set the rules that their door is open and no headphones. That way you can hear what they’re watching, who they’re watching and when they’re watching. You can side step a door open policy by having a common area or room where screen time happens. Keep your computer in the family room, iPads must always be watched on the couch – these rules help prevent content you don’t want your child watching from ever making it to the screen.
- Make it a group activity. When your child is playing the latest app he asked you to download, watch him play it and ask questions. Getting involved in your child’s screen time not only gives you a solid understanding of what the game is about (and if it’s appropriate for your child); it evolves screen time into family time.
WARNINGS SIGNS: “TOO MUCH SCREEN TIME”
It may be time to power down those devices once you observe how screen time affects your child physically, mentally and emotionally. Notice how your child’s normal attitude shifts after she has a small amount of screen time versus a longer amount of time. Some warning signs may be:
Behavior changes. Experts says that TV and computer time have “an immediate impact on children.” Take a moment to note your child’s behavior before they take hold of the iPad and after. If you see any aggressive, impatient, selfish, and irritable behavior you may want to scale back the amount of time, limit screen time to weekends or eliminate devices all together.
Poor sleep. Screens are a kaleidoscope of continual little flashes of light and constant sound. If you notice your child has a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, it’s time to make some easy changes. Studies show that beyond the eye stimulus and repetitive noise, just the glow from the screen disrupts sleep patterns.
Don’t put a TV in your child’s bedroom and all devices should be kept in one common room location. That way, they can be charged overnight, beeps and sounds won’t wake your child, and you can end the never-ending game we call in my house “Where’d You Put the Charger?”
Weight gain. If you’re one of those families who have the TV on all the time, including meal times, it’s time to hit the power button. Not only are TVs conversation stoppers, they also seem to captivate children of all ages. Being distracted while eating can lead to over-eating, or sometimes not eating at all, and neither is a good choice for young bodes.
THE BOTTOM LINE ON SCREEN TIME
The best advice regarding screen time from a Montessori standpoint is much like the Montessori teaching method itself: Freedom within limits.
Children can use the phone, computer or hand held devices; but they must know that there are rules around what they watch and how long they can watch it.
Screen time should never be in place of engaging your child in the three-dimensional world they live in. Yes, children should be knowledgeable in technology, but chances are, they are already more tech savvy than you are so there’s nothing to worry about there. But there is everything to worry about when it comes to interpersonal communication, grace and manners, and being OK with quiet time instead not fighting off the next wave of alien invaders.
In the Montessori world, we don’t introduce computers into the Early Childhood curriculum at all. In the elementary program, we use computers as a tool for research or teach keyboarding. By the time our MCH students are in third grade, we teach them Internet safety, what they can do to protect themselves and what’s
appropriate, what’s not.
Montessori is the alternative teaching method that teaches children to be independent, mindful and aware of the world around them. But if they have their face in screen, it’s not so easy to do that.
Some of today’s biggest entertainment and business influencers credit their career success to timing. Others, to good luck. But there is a large population of entrepreneurs, artists, actors, singers and business leaders – even royalty – who credit their success to a Montessori education.
The entire thought process behind a Montessori education is uniquely positioned to create people who strive for something more. Why? Because it bucks trends and never defines where the student should be and what is possible. A Montessori foundation is “follow the child” which means that each child has their own unique set of skills, attributes and talents, and Montessori allows the child the freedom to explore their talents without the pressure to meet pre-determined “success rates” created by standardized testing.
Will Wright the creator of the software game Sims City and Spore says “the joy of Discovery” in his Montessori education is what uniquely inspired him to become a video game developer. He attributes Montessori to being an “imagination amplifier” for him that propelled him into the creative innovation of video game development.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, says that “Discovery and experimentation where what allowed him to be comfortable with risk and failure as he built his mega empire, Amazon, from the ground up.
Larry Page and Sergei Brin, the founders of Google, attribute their success to their Montessori foundation where they developed self-motivation, the ability to question and discover, ultimately the fostering of their curiosity.
Stephen Curry, NBA basketball player for the Golden State Warriors, says that he attributes his self-confidence to Montessori.
Julia Childs, famous chef, attributed her Montessori education to a lifelong love of discovery and mastery, manual dexterity and her love and joy of her work.
P Diddy (Sean Combs) is the Grammy award-winning musician; rap recording artist and CEO of bad boy records. Sean recalls the following from his Montessori education “I feel like I was nurtured into wanting to be somebody special.”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a Nobel prize-winning author, has said his Montessori education gave him “the desire to kiss literature” and states, “I do not believe there is a method better than Montessori for making children sensitive to the beauties of the world and awakening their curiosity regarding the secrets of life.”
The list of Famous Montessori students is extensive and just to name a few more:
JOSHUA BELL – Grammy award-winning violinist and subject of a Pulitzer prize-winning media story
GEORGE CLOONEY – Academy award-winning actor, director, producer, humanitarian, United Nations messenger of peace
DAKOTA FANNING – Actor
ANNE FRANK – Memoirist & author
HELEN HUNT – Academy award-winning actor
HELEN KELLER – Political activist, author, lecturer, awarded the presidential Medal of Freedom, one of Gallup’s most widely admired people of the 20th century
BEYONCE KNOWLES – Singer, songwriter, actress and fashion designer, 16-time Grammy award-winner
YO YO MA – United Nations Peace Ambassador, winner of 15 Grammy Awards, Presidential Medal of Freedom & National Medal of the Arts
HM QUEEN NOOR of JORDAN – U.N. Advisor, humanitarian activist, memoirist and wife of the late king Hussein of Jordan
JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS – Former first lady and Doubleday editor
TAYLOR SWIFT – Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter
PRINCE HARRY AND PRINCE GEORGE – British Royals
What’s So Special About Montessori? 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Bragging About What Your Child is Learning in School
Here’s the scenario: Imagine a colleague at work asks where your child goes to school. You answer, MCH, of course.
“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