How I chose Montessori.
When someone asks me what I do for a living I get this excited feeling that wells up from the depths of my soul and gushes out in, what I hope isn’t excited squeals but instead, controlled passion. For me, having the opportunity to send my child to a Montessori school is invaluable and the reason is my expectation of this system of education and what it can mean for a child. I remember returning to South Africa after completing my degree in the U.K. and going to visit a friend’s Montessori School. I had always known I was going to work with children, having just completed an Honors degree in Psychology with the intention of starting a Masters degree in Developmental Psychology. I was NOT expecting to be BLOWN AWAY by what I experienced in a Montessori school. I walked into the school expecting to spend the day listening to screaming children, running around and not really listening… What I found was the completely opposite! There, in a classroom of at least 40 3-6 year olds, were 2 adults calmly moving from child to child working with them individually whilst the other 38 children calmly and quietly worked…INDEPENDENTLY??? Without being directed, encouraged or persuaded? In this peaceful classroom I found these young children helping each other, talking softly, moving from activity to activity independently, cleaning up after themselves and replacing activities in their original positions and not demanding undivided attention by the adults. In fact, these, now super human young children in my mind, did the strangest thing and put their small hands on the adult’s shoulder when they needed something. What I found quite incredible is that the child then stayed there patiently while the Montessori Adult was busy and when she was finished what she was doing she quietly put her hand over the waiting child’s and the spoke quietly to each other, discussing the child’s query. Again I just sat there, hoping my mouth hadn’t been open the entire time. Having lived with a 3 and 4 year old for a few years, I knew this wasn’t “normal” preschool child behaviour… was it? After a few days observing in the different classrooms in the school I realised that perhaps due to my own experience of school and my already established view of education was completely wrong. Before me were different classrooms filled with independent, confident children. Children between the ages of 3 and 6 years old working on activities of varying levels in different educational areas, choosing what activities they wanted to engage in and deciding how long they were going to take to complete the task. I found children who had a wealth of knowledge from such a young age and not once did the Montessori Adult need to negotiate to get them to do anything. On the contrary she was often taken by the hand and guided to where the child wanted her to show him something new that had sparked their interest. That week I was also exposed to the Montessori Elementary School and I decided my parent’s clearly didn’t love me as much as they said they did, forcing me to endure a schooling system that didn’t suit me. That week I decided I needed to be part of this incredible journey.
THE MONTESSORI METHOD: AN EDUCATION FOR CREATING INNOVATORS
Imagine an education system that trained students to be creative innovators and leaders without the use of grades, tests or homework. It actually exists and it’s called the Montessori Method. The Montessori Method focuses on fostering a hands-on, self-paced, collaborative and enjoyable learning experience. It teaches students to start small with their ideas, to build them through experimentation and to solve the problems that come up along the way with a sense of stimulating curiosity. One of the most striking aspects of Montessori education is its similarities with the “fail fast, fail forward” do-it-yourself hacker mentality that has built many of the most innovative companies in Silicon Valley. Even the popular innovation frameworks in the global start-up scene, like agile development and lean startup methodology, share similarities with the experimental process of Montessori learning. I believe that if we want to become better creators and innovators, we would be wise to study the principles of the Montessori Method. Even though the Montessori Method is usually associated with the primary education of children, the seven pillars of self-directed learning that it is based on also apply to adults who want to become more creative, adaptable and self-motivated: 1. Independence 2. Responsibility 3. Self-Discipline 4. Leadership 5. Initiative 6. Academics 7. Lifelong Learning to read more please follow the link to diygenius.com https://www.diygenius.com/the-montessori-method-creating-innovators