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HumbleThinker1
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6/3/2014 1:53:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I need practice explaining Montessori to parents and those in the community and you need to hear about Montessori education, so please ask me any and every question that you have about the Montessori approach to education. Thanks for the help! :)
klkl47
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6/4/2014 9:47:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/3/2014 1:53:04 PM, HumbleThinker1 wrote:
I need practice explaining Montessori to parents and those in the community and you need to hear about Montessori education, so please ask me any and every question that you have about the Montessori approach to education. Thanks for the help! :)

Is there a type of child that thrives with Montessori? A type that does not?
HumbleThinker1
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6/4/2014 11:24:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/4/2014 9:47:10 AM, klkl47 wrote:
At 6/3/2014 1:53:04 PM, HumbleThinker1 wrote:
I need practice explaining Montessori to parents and those in the community and you need to hear about Montessori education, so please ask me any and every question that you have about the Montessori approach to education. Thanks for the help! :)

Is there a type of child that thrives with Montessori? A type that does not?

Good question that comes up a lot. We as a society are used to the notion that there is no one-size fits all approach to educating a child, but that is because all of our education methodologies or philosophies are concocted, artificial, fabricated purely in the minds of adults. Montessori, on the other hand, is based on following the child by scientifically observing him.

Through careful observation, Montessori observed that what children need is not a specific form of education given to them by an adult, but a prepared environment that meets the needs of the natural processes that can be observed as being within the child. These natural processes are as inherent in all human beings as a butterfly's natural processes are inherent in all butterflies. By catering to these processes while giving the child freedom within limits within the environment, Montessori is actually a good fit for all types of children. This is why Montessori insisted that a better name for her approach was the "Child's Method" instead of the Montessori Method.

The only caveat to that is that the optimal time for a child to begin in a Montessori environment is 2.5 years. As time goes by and his needs continue to not be met by a prepared environment, deviations will build up. And the older the child becomes, the harder it will be for him to succeed in the environment for a myriad of reasons that we can talk about if you wish. This becomes particularly true after the child has begun his second plane of development around 6. This is why many Montessori elementary programs will not take a 6 or 7 year old in who has not been in a Montessori environment before. His specific needs simply will not be met in such a situation.
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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6/5/2014 12:16:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/3/2014 1:53:04 PM, HumbleThinker1 wrote:
I need practice explaining Montessori to parents and those in the community and you need to hear about Montessori education, so please ask me any and every question that you have about the Montessori approach to education. Thanks for the help! :)

I don't know that much about it so some of these question may sound naive.

How self-directed are the students allowed to be in terms of their education?

How does Montessorian compare to other approchs such as democratic schools like Sudbury?

How does Montessori deal with bullies?

How does Montessori deal with child disciplinary issues?

Do Montessori schools have policies on child drugging to improve performance and compliance (such as using rittlan)?

How strictly do Montessori schools conform to government schools in terms of curriculum, e.g., are children forced to learn algebra, geometry, calculus, physics, chemestry, earth science and biology regardless of their interest in these subjects?
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
HumbleThinker1
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6/5/2014 12:30:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/5/2014 12:16:39 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 6/3/2014 1:53:04 PM, HumbleThinker1 wrote:
I need practice explaining Montessori to parents and those in the community and you need to hear about Montessori education, so please ask me any and every question that you have about the Montessori approach to education. Thanks for the help! :)

I don't know that much about it so some of these question may sound naive.

How self-directed are the students allowed to be in terms of their education?

How does Montessorian compare to other approchs such as democratic schools like Sudbury?

How does Montessori deal with bullies?

How does Montessori deal with child disciplinary issues?

Do Montessori schools have policies on child drugging to improve performance and compliance (such as using rittlan)?

How strictly do Montessori schools conform to government schools in terms of curriculum, e.g., are children forced to learn algebra, geometry, calculus, physics, chemestry, earth science and biology regardless of their interest in these subjects?

I have to run soon, but saw this, so wanted to at least make an initial reply as a placekeeper for myself. We have a joke in Montessori circles that Montessori is the best kept secret in education, and it's part of our job to change that. So all questions are more than welcome. And just skimming over these questions, they are all really good ones. I have a bad habit of being long-winded, so your multiple questions will give me good practice at being brief(er) when I get back :)
HumbleThinker1
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6/5/2014 8:23:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
These answers may not be as meaty as you want, so feel free to ask any follow up questions if I did not fully answer your question.

At 6/5/2014 12:16:39 PM, vbaculum wrote:
How self-directed are the students allowed to be in terms of their education?

The general rule is that children are to be left along as long as they are concentrating on "work" and they are not being destructive, distracting TO OTHER CHILDREN, or dangerous. Work, unlike in traditional education, is seen as any constructive activity. But the development of a will to self-direct themselves is a process, which requires them to be engaged in constructive activity within their environment.

How does Montessorian compare to other approchs such as democratic schools like Sudbury?

I'm only familiar with democratic schools through study in college, not firsthand experience. In general, though, Maria Montessori termed her approach the "Child's Method" in contrast to what many others called the "Montessori Method." This is because her approach is based on observing the child acting upon his environment out of his physical and psychological processes, whereas other approaches are much more an adult coming up with ideas whole-cloth they think would be great for developing this or that sort of child. Being a doctor, she knew how to scientifically test every choice and piece of equipment in her casas. She saw the classroom as having the potential to be the laboratory par excellence of child psychology.

How does Montessori deal with bullies?

This is different from traditional education as well. Bullies are not ostracized, though limits are clearly set on their behavior. The Montessori guide understands that a child is not naturally a bully, but is deviated because of unmet needs. Such a state can only be cured by work. The children in the class also learn as a community, a social unit, how to work with such a child to get him on the path to normalization even if it does put them at something of a risk. I have not done this issue anywhere near the justice it deserves, so I would suggest reading this blog entry at mariamontessori.com: http://mariamontessori.com...

How does Montessori deal with child disciplinary issues?

The child deals with his own "disciplinary issues," for just as it is the baby who teaches himself to walk through his natural development, it is the child who develops the will to control and/or inhibit his movements. To put more clearly, limits are set on behavior that needs to be limited, but the end goal is always concentration, which most traditional methods of addressing "disciplinary issues" make concentration harder. Concentration leads to normalization, which leads to a natural decrease in undisciplined behavior and a natural increase in disciplined behavior and positive behaviors far beyond simple good and naughty distinction such as joy, peace, refreshment, love, high work ethic, etc. "Disciplinary issues" are simply manifestations of a child who has not yet developed the will to properly engage with his environment yet.

Do Montessori schools have policies on child drugging to improve performance and compliance (such as using rittlan)?

It's greatly discouraged. Another motto that I hinted at earlier is "work is the cure." Plus there is no external measure of "performance" or "compliance" that the child is measured against. The only thing that could be said to be a measure that the child is placed against is the normalized child that is simply what a child naturally develops into in a prepared environment.

How strictly do Montessori schools conform to government schools in terms of curriculum, e.g., are children forced to learn algebra, geometry, calculus, physics, :chemestry, earth science and biology regardless of their interest in these subjects?

This question is actually very much on the cutting edge of public Montessori advocacy at the moment. Currently, the Montessori "curriculum," if it can be said to have one, is being carefully constructed side-by-side with the common core standards by age/grade level. The math alignment has been completed and I believe English has as well. Long story short, what Montessori children are doing in primary (AGES 3-6) goes farther in some areas than what, say, public school children are expected to do in kindergarten. And these tasks are only a part of the Montessori curriculum because the child has demonstrated that he is not only capable but interested in doing them with the proper preparation and the freedom to execute them. As an extreme example, most children are expected to count to 100 by ones and tens in kindergarten. Montessori children between 6 and 7 years of age are not only counting but doing operations with numbers in the MILLIONS. Check out the curriculum alignment here http://montessoricompass.com...

Thanks for the great questions. Let me know if there is anything else you are curious about or any questions I didn't answer fully.
vbaculum
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6/6/2014 6:12:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/5/2014 8:23:54 PM, HumbleThinker1 wrote:
These answers may not be as meaty as you want, so feel free to ask any follow up questions if I did not fully answer your question.

At 6/5/2014 12:16:39 PM, vbaculum wrote:
How self-directed are the students allowed to be in terms of their education?

The general rule is that children are to be left along as long as they are concentrating on "work" and they are not being destructive, distracting TO OTHER CHILDREN, or dangerous. Work, unlike in traditional education, is seen as any constructive activity. But the development of a will to self-direct themselves is a process, which requires them to be engaged in constructive activity within their environment.

How does Montessorian compare to other approchs such as democratic schools like Sudbury?

I'm only familiar with democratic schools through study in college, not firsthand experience. In general, though, Maria Montessori termed her approach the "Child's Method" in contrast to what many others called the "Montessori Method." This is because her approach is based on observing the child acting upon his environment out of his physical and psychological processes, whereas other approaches are much more an adult coming up with ideas whole-cloth they think would be great for developing this or that sort of child. Being a doctor, she knew how to scientifically test every choice and piece of equipment in her casas. She saw the classroom as having the potential to be the laboratory par excellence of child psychology.

How does Montessori deal with bullies?

This is different from traditional education as well. Bullies are not ostracized, though limits are clearly set on their behavior. The Montessori guide understands that a child is not naturally a bully, but is deviated because of unmet needs. Such a state can only be cured by work. The children in the class also learn as a community, a social unit, how to work with such a child to get him on the path to normalization even if it does put them at something of a risk. I have not done this issue anywhere near the justice it deserves, so I would suggest reading this blog entry at mariamontessori.com: http://mariamontessori.com...

How does Montessori deal with child disciplinary issues?

The child deals with his own "disciplinary issues," for just as it is the baby who teaches himself to walk through his natural development, it is the child who develops the will to control and/or inhibit his movements. To put more clearly, limits are set on behavior that needs to be limited, but the end goal is always concentration, which most traditional methods of addressing "disciplinary issues" make concentration harder. Concentration leads to normalization, which leads to a natural decrease in undisciplined behavior and a natural increase in disciplined behavior and positive behaviors far beyond simple good and naughty distinction such as joy, peace, refreshment, love, high work ethic, etc. "Disciplinary issues" are simply manifestations of a child who has not yet developed the will to properly engage with his environment yet.

Do Montessori schools have policies on child drugging to improve performance and compliance (such as using rittlan)?

It's greatly discouraged. Another motto that I hinted at earlier is "work is the cure." Plus there is no external measure of "performance" or "compliance" that the child is measured against. The only thing that could be said to be a measure that the child is placed against is the normalized child that is simply what a child naturally develops into in a prepared environment.

How strictly do Montessori schools conform to government schools in terms of curriculum, e.g., are children forced to learn algebra, geometry, calculus, physics, :chemestry, earth science and biology regardless of their interest in these subjects?

This question is actually very much on the cutting edge of public Montessori advocacy at the moment. Currently, the Montessori "curriculum," if it can be said to have one, is being carefully constructed side-by-side with the common core standards by age/grade level. The math alignment has been completed and I believe English has as well. Long story short, what Montessori children are doing in primary (AGES 3-6) goes farther in some areas than what, say, public school children are expected to do in kindergarten. And these tasks are only a part of the Montessori curriculum because the child has demonstrated that he is not only capable but interested in doing them with the proper preparation and the freedom to execute them. As an extreme example, most children are expected to count to 100 by ones and tens in kindergarten. Montessori children between 6 and 7 years of age are not only counting but doing operations with numbers in the MILLIONS. Check out the curriculum alignment here http://montessoricompass.com...

Thanks for the great questions. Let me know if there is anything else you are curious about or any questions I didn't answer fully.

Well you've got me a lot more interested. I will definately consider it if my current plans to home educate my son are somehow derailed.

I've been studying a lot lately about liberty-based approaches to education such as "unschooling", home education and democratic schools. It's puzzeling that I hear almost nothing about Montessori from these sources. Would you say Montesori is antithetical to these liberty-based approaches?
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
HumbleThinker1
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6/6/2014 6:51:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/6/2014 6:12:43 PM, vbaculum wrote:
Well you've got me a lot more interested. I will definately consider it if my current plans to home educate my son are somehow derailed.

I've been studying a lot lately about liberty-based approaches to education such as "unschooling", home education and democratic schools. It's puzzeling that I hear almost nothing about Montessori from these sources. Would you say Montesori is antithetical to these liberty-based approaches?

If you ever have the chance, try to go observe in a Montessori classroom. Any Montessori classroom worth its salt will be happy to have you observe. If there is one in your area, try to observe at a Montessori classroom recognized by AMI, the international organization founded by Maria Montessori herself. It's not a guarantee of quality, but it is as good a likelihood as there is. You can search for AMI schools in your area here :http://amiusa.org...

As for your question, I do not have much experience with democratic schools like Sudbury. But from what little I know, I would not say they are antithetical to these approaches, but Montessori certainly does not fall within its framework, so I am not surprised you did not turn up much information when looking at liberty-based approaches. Montessori is based on scientific observation of the child instead of an ideal of democracy in the classroom. Because of this, pedagogy or what goes on in the classroom is not something that is up to a vote, particularly in the primary 3-6 classroom. This is simply not something she observed a child need for his optimal development. Montessori would likely see such a model as abandoning the child (the word she uses for essentially being too permissive) and an adult philosophy instead an approach based on observation of the child.
ThoughtsandThoughts
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6/10/2014 8:35:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Interesting, I didn't know schools like this were in place!

I read your reply to vbaculum, and I was wondering if you could give me a better picture of how teachers respond to bullies (I did check out the blog). I personally have a minimal punishment philosophy, so this is something I'd like to learn more about. So... perhaps I'll ask what a Montessorian teacher would say to a kid who says something like: "No one likes Sarah anyway."

I'm not entirely convinced that the Ned in the blog was handled the best way - because even though he felt bad, he still pushed the other kid. And in responding to Ned, there was no message from the teacher that Ned really hurt someone. To me, it came off as if the teacher treated Ned's actions as if they were just something that happened and were neither bad or good. Do Montessorian teachers respond as if bullying is a neutral thing? I believe ostracizing is not the way to go, but I do think the teacher should address bullies and tell them they were in the wrong. I do believe this can be achieved without yelling or punishment - stuff that harbors resentment.

I'd also like to learn more about how Montessorian teachers guide children develop the will to be more engaged with school. I'm currently volunteering at an elementary school and one student (first grader) must be prompted and prompted to write in her journal, or start a worksheet, finish a set of math problems, etc. How would a Montessorian teacher approach this issue? I understand that with more self-direction, students will more likely engage themselves in work, but what about students who just don't seem to want to concentrate on anything?

Lastly, I would encourage you to use very specific examples when answering parents' questions. With examples, it's easier to understand and gauge your school's philosophy. Which is why I asked you a couple specific-situation questions, because I feel that will help me better understand the Montessorian ways =)
HumbleThinker1
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6/11/2014 8:05:08 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/10/2014 8:35:01 PM, ThoughtsandThoughts wrote:
Interesting, I didn't know schools like this were in place!

I read your reply to vbaculum, and I was wondering if you could give me a better picture of how teachers respond to bullies (I did check out the blog). I personally have a minimal punishment philosophy, so this is something I'd like to learn more about. So... perhaps I'll ask what a Montessorian teacher would say to a kid who says something like: "No one likes Sarah anyway."

I'm not entirely convinced that the Ned in the blog was handled the best way - because even though he felt bad, he still pushed the other kid. And in responding to Ned, there was no message from the teacher that Ned really hurt someone. To me, it came off as if the teacher treated Ned's actions as if they were just something that happened and were neither bad or good. Do Montessorian teachers respond as if bullying is a neutral thing? I believe ostracizing is not the way to go, but I do think the teacher should address bullies and tell them they were in the wrong. I do believe this can be achieved without yelling or punishment - stuff that harbors resentment.

I'd also like to learn more about how Montessorian teachers guide children develop the will to be more engaged with school. I'm currently volunteering at an elementary school and one student (first grader) must be prompted and prompted to write in her journal, or start a worksheet, finish a set of math problems, etc. How would a Montessorian teacher approach this issue? I understand that with more self-direction, students will more likely engage themselves in work, but what about students who just don't seem to want to concentrate on anything?

Lastly, I would encourage you to use very specific examples when answering parents' questions. With examples, it's easier to understand and gauge your school's philosophy. Which is why I asked you a couple specific-situation questions, because I feel that will help me better understand the Montessorian ways =)

In general, Montessorians take the long view of things because they understand that any "deviated" behavior like Ned's is has underlying psychological causes in his past. We can't change his past, so you're essentially having to use the environment and yourself to counteract the effects of the past while the child is still in the period for such a change to occur. This stage is effectively the first six years of life. If a deviation isn't normalized by then, it is much harder to change it, and the longer it remains unchanged the worse the behavior associated with that deviation tends to become. And Maria Montessori recognized that the cure for any and all deviations is work. In the comments, the author describes that taking this long view led Ned to becoming a compassionate and non-violent older child and eventually adult.

The other aspect is that of the group. Given that this position was right for Ned, the next obvious question is whether it was right for the group. And the answer is also yes, for the group learned how to not just take pity on someone who doesn't have proper control over himself or see his potential to properly control himself like they do, but to actually act to bring this transformation about. There is no higher form of social action than to take the risk inherent in trying to better someone else who is acting out of some tortured past or mere lack of development instead of simply ostracizing them. And the children naturally choose to do this as naturally as they choose to say that they need a break from trying to help Ned.

In this way, yes, ALL actions to a Montessorian are viewed as neutral because we have to remain objective if we are going to find a solution to the problem. Once we start labeling as good or bad instead of deviated or normal behavior, we've lost our objectivity and are failing not only the deviated child but the group as well by not giving them the opportunity to rise to a higher level of social development. A phrase my trainer used a lot is "seek happiness instead of justice." Even from a pragmatic point of view, I've observed that this path reaps better results than the reverse as long as one is taking the long view instead of the short view. We can theorize that not labeling bullying as "bad" will lead to sociopathic adults or something, but that simply isn't true in reality. As long as limits are set and opportunities for extended concentration and maximum effort are given, the only thing you need is time, patience, and a developed community, which most people don't give children credit for being able to form.

In the end, it's all based on observation. Try to find out what the child is seeking or acting act of from his behavior, then try to find out what works in channeling that energy back into constructive work which is the child's natural state. What worked for Ned might not work for another child, but the same general principles still apply that went into choosing how to respond to Ned's behavior. Since this post got so long (sorry I have a bad habit of being too wordy), I'll answer your other questions in a separate post.
HumbleThinker1
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6/11/2014 8:26:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/10/2014 8:35:01 PM, ThoughtsandThoughts wrote:
I'd also like to learn more about how Montessorian teachers guide children develop the will to be more engaged with school. I'm currently volunteering at an elementary school and one student (first grader) must be prompted and prompted to write in her journal, or start a worksheet, finish a set of math problems, etc. How would a Montessorian teacher approach this issue? I understand that with more self-direction, students will more likely engage themselves in work, but what about students who just don't seem to want to concentrate on anything?


The best part about Monessori is that we don't guide children to be more engaged in school but to be more engaged with LIFE. The first area, practical life, is the foundation for everything. Through activities like sweeping, baking, sewing, etc., the child's movements and the will to execute those movements as well as inhibit others is developed. This is most heightened in what are likely the two single most important and cheapest activities in the casa, Walking on the Line and the Silence Game (and no it's not the "Quiet Game" :P) The sensorial materials isolate single qualities of senses, such as dimension or pitch, leading the child to more accutely observe these qualities in their environment in and out of school. And language and math focus on aspects of language and math in sensorial ways that become more symbolic over time. And the effects of all of these areas are only possible because of the child's sensitive periods for movement, language, refinement of the senses, and order.

The prompting issue you are talking about is preempted by the primary Montessori casa starting at 2.5 years. She observed that these same sensitive periods that propel the child to independently perform all of these activities disappear around age 6. This is why Montessori classrooms are not supposed to take in elementary children who have no Montessori experience. The elementary classroom is developed for the child who has normalized in a primary children's house. The long and short of it is that the ability to concentrate has to be developed, which if it hasn't by elementary, then it is very difficult to do so. Also, deviations, such as avoidance behavior, are easiest to normalize before six, while children still have an absorbent mind and their sensitive periods. After that, it's much harder. Montessori doesn't have much to offer here that you won't find in traditional behavior management books such as "Tools for Teaching" by Fred Jones or similar books.

Lastly, I would encourage you to use very specific examples when answering parents' questions. With examples, it's easier to understand and gauge your school's philosophy. Which is why I asked you a couple specific-situation questions, because I feel that will help me better understand the Montessorian ways =)

Thanks for the advice. If the child you were speaking of were, say, 3, then they would be encouraged to observe so that they could absorb other children using the materials. This is the next most powerful act to actually handling the materials themselves. I'd also find what their interest are and draw parallels between that and a specific material to get their initial engagement. Then I would try to spread that engagement to other materials. If it is a matter of fear or a lack of confidence, breaking down activities into smaller "cycles" and then building up would likely be helping. For instance, I could invite the child to set up the materials of a particular exercise after I show him and just have him repeat doing this until he is confident enough to try the whole exercise. Children often find as much interest in setting materials out as actually working with them.

Hope these posts helped!
ThoughtsandThoughts
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6/11/2014 6:42:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
In general, Montessorians take the long view of things because they understand that any "deviated" behavior like Ned's is has underlying psychological causes in his past.


Definitely, yes. That's why a Montessorian school sounds appealing to me. I agree it takes work to help kids like Ned.

Given that this position was right for Ned, the next obvious question is whether it was right for the group. And the answer is also yes, for the group learned how to not just take pity on someone who doesn't have proper control over himself or see his potential to properly control himself like they do, but to actually act to bring this transformation about.

In this way, yes, ALL actions to a Montessorian are viewed as neutral because we have to remain objective if we are going to find a solution to the problem.

Objectivity is something I feel a lot of teachers lack, but does this mean that a Montessorian teacher is not supposed to explain that our actions can really hurt others? e.g. A violent student stomps on other kids' feet. Can the teacher not tell the student that he/she could break their toes - that it hurts their feelings? Can the teacher not ask the student to apologize? I honestly believe that this can be done with complete objectivity.

We can theorize that not labeling bullying as "bad" will lead to sociopathic adults or something, but that simply isn't true in reality.

I disagree; bullying is bad. It can be labeled as bad. But we don't need to label kids or treat them as a label. That's the important matter.

Since this post got so long (sorry I have a bad habit of being too wordy), I'll answer your other questions in a separate post.

That's fine ^_^

The best part about Monessori is that we don't guide children to be more engaged in school but to be more engaged with LIFE.

Well, school is learning - and learning is a huge part of life that is invaluable no matter what path an individual takes. So that's what I basically meant xD

Also, deviations, such as avoidance behavior, are easiest to normalize before six, while children still have an absorbent mind and their sensitive periods. After that, it's much harder.

So, that brings me to my next question... Are there Montessorian students who don't normalize by age six? What happens to them? I understand that's it's an case by case basis, because students aren't cookie-cutters, but what generally happens?

Oh, before I forget! I have more questions. How would I expect content to be taught? e.g If Montessorian schools are fairly aligned with the common core, how does teaching addition in Montessorian schools differ from teaching addition in public schools? Should I expect more hands-on activities? Is there homework? How are students assessed (observations and note-taking, quizzes, tests, etc. - a combination of these)? Are there high-stakes testing?
HumbleThinker1
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6/12/2014 6:12:23 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/11/2014 6:42:25 PM, ThoughtsandThoughts wrote:

Objectivity is something I feel a lot of teachers lack, but does this mean that a Montessorian teacher is not supposed to explain that our actions can really hurt others? e.g. A violent student stomps on other kids' feet. Can the teacher not tell the student that he/she could break their toes - that it hurts their feelings? Can the teacher not ask the student to apologize? I honestly believe that this can be done with complete objectivity.


I would say it totally depends on the child and the reasons for their behavior. This can radically change how a simple explanation of the effects of his actions is perceived. For instance, if the offending child already knows this yet has a poorly developed will to inhibit this action or has his actions rooted in anger over some past trauma, this is likely not going to have any effect or can even have a negative effect. But for others, it may call to their attention the effect their actions had they did not occur to them despite them absorbing the experience. Another factor is age" the younger a child is, the more likely he is still in the egotistical stage where such an appeal would have little to no effect on him, and thus would require a different approach such as giving all the attention to the injuried party or singing to the offender if his violence is rooted in anger or other strong negative feelings.

As far as making him apologize, this is more than likely just going to induce the child to lie, apologizing when he does not feel sorry. The most effective course is to, at a neutral time, teach a small group of children how to apologize or give comfort to an injuried party, then they will apologize when they genuinely feel sorry. Forcing them to say sorry can also have the unintended consequence of the child avoiding dealing with the effects of his actions. Saying sorry doesn't change that the child's foot is hurt, and I have seen plenty of children who reflexively apologize for everything, yet continually making the same poor choices/mistakes. The better person is he who never has to apologize because he has control over himself than he who always apologizes.

Well, school is learning - and learning is a huge part of life that is invaluable no matter what path an individual takes. So that's what I basically meant xD


Depends on the school haha

So, that brings me to my next question... Are there Montessorian students who don't normalize by age six? What happens to them? I understand that's it's an case by case basis, because students aren't cookie-cutters, but what generally happens?


Absolutely there are. This either means that the child still has progress to make before overcoming his deviations (for particularly powerful ones) or the guide has made errors in preparing her environment and connecting the child to it (including but not limited to taking the child in when he is too old(. Depending on the child, a fourth year (in whole or in part) may be appropriate or, if they are ready in all other respects and clearly in the second plane, then he may be moved on to the elementary classroom where the elementary guide can help him further on the path of normalization.

Oh, before I forget! I have more questions. How would I expect content to be taught? e.g If Montessorian schools are fairly aligned with the common core, how does teaching addition in Montessorian schools differ from teaching addition in public schools? Should I expect more hands-on activities? Is there homework? How are students assessed (observations and note-taking, quizzes, tests, etc. - a combination of these)? Are there high-stakes testing?

This is on the cutting edge of Montessori advocacy right now. There is a joint venture between AMI-USA and AMS, the leading Montessori organizations in the US, to show the correlation between the Common Core State Standards and the Montessori "curriculum" (for lack of a better term). IIRC math is effectively finished and English will be the next to be completed. The short version, though, is that Montessori children are doing activities years ahead of their traditional peers. For instance, while traditional children are learning to count to 100 in kindergarten, Montessori children are counting to 1000 and, near the end of their primary time or beginning of their elementary time, applying math operations to numbers into the millions.

As for your direct question about addition, it really goes back to the teaching of numbers. Traditionally schools generally teach 4 as 1+1+1+1, maybe by putting connector blocks together. Montessori children learn 4 as a single rod whose length is equal to 4 times the first rod and is separated into alternating blue and red partitions the length of the first rod. After learning the numerals associated with these quantities 1-10, THEN they learn that numbers are composed of separate quantities that can be brought together by bundling, say, 4 spindles together and placing them under 4 in the spindle box.

In this same manner, they what 1, 10, 100, and 1000 look like as a single entity of golden beads bound together and how these categories can be combined to make more complex numbers. THEN they learn how to combine these quantities and (indirectly) how to combine the numerals together in addition. THEN, after a lot of practice with that and the other three operations, they start a different activity with addition that involves them writing actual addition equations. So besides being more effective by breaking down the process, it's just more fun and developmentally appropriate than the traditional public school way. And I say this as a former public and private traditional school teacher for a brief period.

There is no homework of any sort except MAYBE in the most extreme cases where adaptation is necessary, and even then I don't know of an AMI accredited Montessori school that does this. School is school, home is home. There's absolutely no reason to be blending the too, especially with a primary age child. There is no testing of any sort except in public Montessori where we haven't YET formulated a plan of getting fully exempt from federally and state mandated tests. The guide is trained to observe and the materials themselves provide plenty of informal "tests" of the child's understanding, most noticeably in math.

Hope that helps :)
HumbleThinker1
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6/20/2014 2:45:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Would you agree or disagree with this statement from Maria Montessori?

"Actually the normal child is one who is precociously intelligent, who has learned to overcome himself and to live in peace, and who prefers a disciplined task to futile idleness."
ThoughtsandThoughts
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6/22/2014 7:21:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Woops, late response! Sorry! Anyway, thank you for your detailed replies =) I've enjoyed them thus far and I think Montessorian schools sound pretty appealing.

For instance, if the offending child already knows this yet has a poorly developed will to inhibit this action or has his actions rooted in anger over some past trauma, this is likely not going to have any effect or can even have a negative effect.


Ah, okay. This I agree with.

As far as making him apologize, this is more than likely just going to induce the child to lie, apologizing when he does not feel sorry. :

I never said "making." I said asking ;) But yes, I agree. Forcing an apology isn't likely to help. Suggesting an apology probably won't hurt.

This either means that the child still has progress to make before overcoming his deviations (for particularly powerful ones) or the guide has made errors in preparing her environment and connecting the child to it (including but not limited to taking the child in when he is too old(.


Is this supposed to imply that children who haven't overcome deviations by a certain age are an almost lost-cause?

For instance, while traditional children are learning to count to 100 in kindergarten, Montessori children are counting to 1000


Pretty cool. Would you say this is because Montessorian children are more motivated in general?

Traditionally schools generally teach 4 as 1+1+1+1, maybe by putting connector blocks together.

Is this about teaching different base number systems? (I know that the one we use conventionally is base-ten). If not, I don't understand - why is it done that way? XD

School is school, home is home.:
I like the idea. But this leads me to ask: do Montessorian schools encourage parents to enrich learning experiences at home in any way?

Would you agree or disagree with this statement from Maria Montessori?

"Actually the normal child is one who is precociously intelligent, who has learned to overcome himself and to live in peace, and who prefers a disciplined task to futile idleness."


I take issue with the word "normal." It doesn't seem like the right word choice. It means "usual" or "typical". I would say that the normal child is naturally inclined to be these things, given the right environment and nurturing ^.^
HumbleThinker1
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6/25/2014 12:17:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/22/2014 7:21:40 PM, ThoughtsandThoughts wrote:
Is this supposed to imply that children who haven't overcome deviations by a certain age are an almost lost-cause?


Not a lost cause, but it is much harder to alleviate deviations later in life because of neurological changes in the brain. Any leftover deviations are also likely to arise in more destructive or maladaptive behavior.

Pretty cool. Would you say this is because Montessorian children are more motivated in general?


I wouldn't say that. The beautiful thing about "Montessori children" is that they are simply given the proper environment to develop as they are meant to based on the natural processes, what Montessori termed their "inner guide." They aren't being molded are brought up by the guide, but by themselves. But putting this nuance aside, they are more internally motivated, for there is not punishment or reward in a Montessori classroom. Being internally motivated fosters confidence and perseverance. To repeat, though, all of these behaviors are natural to the child.

Is this about teaching different base number systems? (I know that the one we use conventionally is base-ten). If not, I don't understand - why is it done that way? XD


Nope, we teacher the decimal (base 10) system. Numbers as quantities are easier to grasp when they can be seen as single, distinct quantities. The best way Montessori found to do this was with the Number Rods, which I described earlier. - is red, = is blue. Each is a whole rod, not pieces stuck together.
-
-=
-=-
-=-=

Only when they have grasped this do they experience quantity as a group of separate objects.

I like the idea. But this leads me to ask: do Montessorian schools encourage parents to enrich learning experiences at home in any way?


Yes, but not in the way most parents want haha. They usually want to go out and buy Montessori materials for their home, but that is the last thing the child needs. Doing so would more than likely cause him to become bored with the material before he has gained what he is intended to gain from it. The best things that parents can do at home is to have activities that the child can do in every room of the house, show him how to do these, leave him alone when he is doing them unless he asks for your help, and then neither praise or scold him for how he performs the activity. If you can, get materials for these activities that fit his body instead of being adult size. The best thing is to just observe the child and respond to his needs. If you ever have the chance to buy/watch a DVD called "Edison's Day," it's a great example of what a "Montessori child" can do at home and school.

I take issue with the word "normal." It doesn't seem like the right word choice. It means "usual" or "typical". I would say that the normal child is naturally inclined to be these things, given the right environment and nurturing ^.^

Her use of the word normal can be exchanged with the word natural. The "normal" child is the one who has been placed in an environment that allows him to develop according to his natural processes, which are effectively the same for the vast majority of children. There will of course be some individual differences, but there are distinct behaviors that emerge that have been observed by Montessorians in all cultures and SESs. This is why the path the child travels to alleviate his deviations is called normalization; it is simply him returning to his natural state of development. Thanks for the great discussion :)
ThoughtsandThoughts
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6/26/2014 7:44:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Nope, we teacher the decimal (base 10) system. Numbers as quantities are easier to grasp when they can be seen as single, distinct quantities. The best way Montessori found to do this was with the Number Rods, which I described earlier. - is red, = is blue. Each is a whole rod, not pieces stuck together.


Does that mean there's a rod for numbers 1-10? And that the rod for two is bigger than the rod for one... the rod for three is bigger than the rod for two... etc?

Never mind, I googled the rods! They are :P I like the concept. I think it makes quantities more concrete.

The best things that parents can do at home is to have activities that the child can do in every room of the house, show him how to do these, leave him alone when he is doing them unless he asks for your help, and then neither praise or scold him for how he performs the activity.


Ahh, I like that. The no praise thing kind of baffles me though. Praise (especially very specific praise) has been known, in many studies, to improve self-esteem. There's no, "Good job!" or "I really like how you did that."? Or would you not classify positive encouragement as a reward?

Her use of the word normal can be exchanged with the word natural. The "normal" child is the one who has been placed in an environment that allows him to develop according to his natural processes, which are effectively the same for the vast majority of children. There will of course be some individual differences, but there are distinct behaviors that emerge that have been observed by Montessorians in all cultures and SESs. This is why the path the child travels to alleviate his deviations is called normalization; it is simply him returning to his natural state of development. Thanks for the great discussion :)


Oh, okay, I understand why the word "normal" is used now.

And no, thank you! =) I've never heard about these schools before - they sound interesting.
HumbleThinker1
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6/26/2014 8:31:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/26/2014 7:44:47 PM, ThoughtsandThoughts wrote:

Never mind, I googled the rods! They are :P I like the concept. I think it makes quantities more concrete.


Precisely.

Ahh, I like that. The no praise thing kind of baffles me though. Praise (especially very specific praise) has been known, in many studies, to improve self-esteem. There's no, "Good job!" or "I really like how you did that."? Or would you not classify positive encouragement as a reward?


There is the distinction between evaluative praise (Good job, etc.) and descriptive (the loops of your cursive Ls are very neat). Evaluative praise has a lot of negative effects, while descriptive praise is generally seen to have positive effects. IMO, though, Montessori goes a step further in simply making objective statements about a child's work if any statements are made at all. For instance, "I see a lot of blue in that picture." And even then, only when the child asks you to evaluate his work. The less adults are involved in a child's work once he begins concentrating on it, the more independent they become and the more they persevere through hardships because they have an intrinsic motivation to work. I've even read about and seen children who are simply turned off by even descriptive praise if it is uninvited, causing them to become disinterested in their work.
ThoughtsandThoughts
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6/26/2014 8:39:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/26/2014 8:31:52 PM, HumbleThinker1 wrote:

There is the distinction between evaluative praise (Good job, etc.) and descriptive (the loops of your cursive Ls are very neat). Evaluative praise has a lot of negative effects, while descriptive praise is generally seen to have positive effects. IMO, though, Montessori goes a step further in simply making objective statements about a child's work if any statements are made at all. For instance, "I see a lot of blue in that picture." And even then, only when the child asks you to evaluate his work. The less adults are involved in a child's work once he begins concentrating on it, the more independent they become and the more they persevere through hardships because they have an intrinsic motivation to work. I've even read about and seen children who are simply turned off by even descriptive praise if it is uninvited, causing them to become disinterested in their work.


Okay, I understand that. I agree, there are certain times when praise might turn off children. It truly depends on the situation sometimes.

Thanks for the discussion! =) I'll have to look more into these schools ^_^
HumbleThinker1
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6/26/2014 8:45:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/26/2014 8:39:48 PM, ThoughtsandThoughts wrote:
At 6/26/2014 8:31:52 PM, HumbleThinker1 wrote:

There is the distinction between evaluative praise (Good job, etc.) and descriptive (the loops of your cursive Ls are very neat). Evaluative praise has a lot of negative effects, while descriptive praise is generally seen to have positive effects. IMO, though, Montessori goes a step further in simply making objective statements about a child's work if any statements are made at all. For instance, "I see a lot of blue in that picture." And even then, only when the child asks you to evaluate his work. The less adults are involved in a child's work once he begins concentrating on it, the more independent they become and the more they persevere through hardships because they have an intrinsic motivation to work. I've even read about and seen children who are simply turned off by even descriptive praise if it is uninvited, causing them to become disinterested in their work.


Okay, I understand that. I agree, there are certain times when praise might turn off children. It truly depends on the situation sometimes.

Thanks for the discussion! =) I'll have to look more into these schools ^_^

AMI/USA is a good site to find AMI accredited schools, which is the organization founded by Montessori herself. Unfortunately, Montessori is not a trademarked term, so anyone can call their school Montessori. Being credentialed doesn't ensure that it is a great school, but a credentialed school is much more likely to be quality than an uncredentialed school. Being credentialed costs more money, but it comes with a lot of perks that one should be skeptical if a school isn't at least trying to become credentialed. And any good Montessori school will be happy for you to observe in the classroom depending on the time of the year (usually the later in the year the more likely they will accept an observer).
ThoughtsandThoughts
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6/26/2014 9:02:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
AMI/USA is a good site to find AMI accredited schools, which is the organization founded by Montessori herself. Unfortunately, Montessori is not a trademarked term, so anyone can call their school Montessori. Being credentialed doesn't ensure that it is a great school, but a credentialed school is much more likely to be quality than an uncredentialed school. Being credentialed costs more money, but it comes with a lot of perks that one should be skeptical if a school isn't at least trying to become credentialed. And any good Montessori school will be happy for you to observe in the classroom depending on the time of the year (usually the later in the year the more likely they will accept an observer).


I've favorited their website. Thanks =) I also looked at their school locator, and there a few of them in my state, but a few hours away. I will probably take the opportunity to observe after I've graduated from college and I try to figure out where I can teach. I'm actually very inclined to aim for teaching in a Montessori school right now, based on our discussion.
HumbleThinker1
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6/27/2014 6:08:57 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/26/2014 9:02:03 PM, ThoughtsandThoughts wrote:
AMI/USA is a good site to find AMI accredited schools, which is the organization founded by Montessori herself. Unfortunately, Montessori is not a trademarked term, so anyone can call their school Montessori. Being credentialed doesn't ensure that it is a great school, but a credentialed school is much more likely to be quality than an uncredentialed school. Being credentialed costs more money, but it comes with a lot of perks that one should be skeptical if a school isn't at least trying to become credentialed. And any good Montessori school will be happy for you to observe in the classroom depending on the time of the year (usually the later in the year the more likely they will accept an observer).


I've favorited their website. Thanks =) I also looked at their school locator, and there a few of them in my state, but a few hours away. I will probably take the opportunity to observe after I've graduated from college and I try to figure out where I can teach. I'm actually very inclined to aim for teaching in a Montessori school right now, based on our discussion.

That's cool. Depending on the school, they will probably want you to be certified to teach in a Montessori classroom if you want to be a guide/director aka a lead teacher. A good question to ask a school is if you can become an assistant and then sponsor you for training by helping you pay for it.
ThoughtsandThoughts
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6/28/2014 6:48:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
That's cool. Depending on the school, they will probably want you to be certified to teach in a Montessori classroom if you want to be a guide/director aka a lead teacher. A good question to ask a school is if you can become an assistant and then sponsor you for training by helping you pay for it.


I did notice the certification aspect, but thanks for the advice! =) I will definitely consider it.