Monday, July 30, 2007

Why Choose Montessori: Educating the Human Potential

children studying biology why choose NAMC montessori human potential
As a parent, you want to be able to choose the best education possible for your child. But, with so many options available, what is the best choice? After all, the decision will impact your child for the rest of his or her life. So, why, with all these choices, should one choose Montessori?

The truth is, there are more reasons to choose Montessori than could ever be put down in writing, but in this installment of NAMC's Why Montessori? series, learn how your child's potential is unlimited.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Monday, July 30, 2007.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Why Choose Montessori: Intellectual, Behavioral, Emotional Autonomy

child looks at parts of a plant why choose NAMC montessori autonomy

The American Montessori Society (AMS) states that “The aim of Montessori education is to foster autonomous, competent, responsible, adaptive citizens who are life-long learners and problem solvers”. (Montessori Education: Key Concepts and Practices, 1990)

Autonomous: auto (self) + nomos (law) = “self-ruling or self-regulating”

Montessori said there are three types of autonomy: Intellectual Autonomy, Physical Autonomy, and Emotional Autonomy. By developing all three, a person is capable of becoming in charge of his or her own life.

One of the reasons so many parents choose Montessori is because they want to help their children on their journey to autonomy, independence and success. What does this mean for Montessori students?

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, July 20, 2007.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Why Choose Montessori? Montessori vs. Constructivism: An Explanation of Montessori Philosophy

NAMC montessori teacher and class why choose montessori constructivism traditional
Why choose Montessori for your child? Before you can answer why, it is important to understand what Montessori is. Mark Powell wrote an article in Montessori LIFE (Winter 2000) called Can Montessorians and Constructivists Really Be Friends?, which provides a good background into what traditional educational systems are and what is different about Montessori.

The purpose of conventional education is to relay knowledge, skills, and standards of behavior which have previously been decided upon in order to prepare children for their future responsibilities.

The teacher provides the stimulus and is the most important figure in the classroom; the environment and materials play a secondary role. The curriculum is separated from every day life and has little contextual meaning. Students, often likened to “blank slates” or “empty vessels”, are expected to “learn” this information and regurgitate it back to demonstrate that they have “mastered” the material. Very little emphasis is given to creative, original thought, and success is heavily weighted in favor of memorized facts. Students are motivated by reward or punishment, which is thought to facilitate learning.

However, there is a problem with this paradigm. Since students simply need to parrot-back the curriculum, it does not lend itself to the development of higher-level thinking skills. Because there is rarely any student interest in the material being taught, for the most part, students simply memorize facts to pass the test, and then quickly forget them.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, July 19, 2007.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Pouring Water - A Montessori Practical Life Curriculum Activity

girl pouring water Montessori practical life curriculum activity
“What’s so important about pouring water over and over and over?” I once heard a mother ask.

Indeed, what is the importance of pouring water, besides it being a very popular activity in the Montessori practical life area? Pouring water from one pitcher to another, a pitcher to a glass, and a pitcher to three glasses, prepares children for more complicated work like washing a table or flower arranging, as well as later geography work when they pour water into Land and Water forms.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, July 13, 2007.

Nurturing Independence in Montessori Students During the Summer Months

boy in corn summer time NAMC montessori practical life activities develop independence

Ahhhh…summer! Trips to the park, the museum, the pool, the mountains, and the beach. Play dates and sleepovers. Vacations to amusement parks and national parks. Most parents and children don’t give a second thought to school, unless it is in regards to summer homework.... or unless your child is enrolled in Montessori!

This said, Montessori is not just for school. It is, at its core, a method and philosophy for teachers and parents alike that provides the positive experiences children need to have in order to develop habits and life skills that will serve them. This translates not only to children in the Montessori classroom, but well into their adult lives. Parents seek out a Montessori education for their children because they believe that it’s important for children to feel purposeful and valuable, derive satisfaction from their accomplishments, and become independent, confident adults.

So, what can you do at home over the summer to encourage and support your child’s sojourn to independence?

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on .

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Fourth Plane of Development: Ages 18-24 - Montessori Philosophy

Here is the final piece in NAMC's series on the Montessori planes of development. The fourth plane, from 18-24, is known as the plane of maturity or adulthood. More stable than the third plane, it is now possible for the young adult to pursue studies that interest them in the context of making a difference in the world. This is known as the time of the “specialist mind.”

As with previous planes, the fourth plane of development is marked by the acquisition of economic independence. Previous educational and life experiences have, along the way, provided a general purpose… “the whole life of the adolescent should be organized in such a way that it will enable him, when the time comes, to make a triumphal entry into social life – not entering it debilitated, isolated, or humiliated, but with head high, assured of himself.” (Montessori, 1962)

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, July 12, 2007.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Third Plane of Development: Ages 12-18 - Montessori Philosophy

girl with rake in garden Third Plane of Development Ages 12-18 NAMC Montessori Philosophy

This is the next installment in NAMC's series on the Montessori planes of development. The third plane of development is the period of adolescence and marks the end of childhood. Youth in the early years of the third plane of development (12-15) are much like their counterparts in the first plane; they can be self-absorbed, they need adequate food and sleep to sustain rapid growth, and they need time to “just be.” Learning and mental development may even slow down as more time is spent on their own, with friends, and eating and sleeping.

Early youth (12-15) are coming to terms with their new identity as an adolescent and the world outside the family and school. For the first time, they no longer see themselves as sons or daughters, brothers or sisters, or students, but as individuals who must integrate all of their separate identities into one while moving into a larger community. This is a time of dissonance as childhood ends and a new identity emerges. Learn more about this sometimes confusing plane to help prepare yourself and your child for positive growth experiences.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, July 10, 2007.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Second Plane of Development: Ages 6-12 - Montessori Philosophy

boy and girl with globe Second Plane of Development Ages 6-12 NAMC Montessori Philosophy
Continuing our series on learning about the four planes of development, we move on to the second plane, which encompasses ages six to twelve. The second plane of development is the plane of childhood. The absorbent mind, so prevalent from birth to age six, gives way to the conscious mind in the second plane of development. Learning now takes place at a slower, steadier pace. Children in the second plane of development are much less drawn to the repetition of activities, unless there is some variation involved.

Children in the second plane of development are also no longer solitary beings. They now tend to gravitate towards others in their environment. Around the age of 6, children begin to become interested in their classmates and are learning how to get along. They start to choose to work with others on projects of mutual interest. By 11 or 12, most students prefer to work with others rather than individually. Keep reading to learn more about the changes during the second plane of development.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, July 3, 2007.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The First Plane of Development: Birth to Age 6 - Montessori Philosophy

children chalk drawing NAMC montessori first plane of development

Most modern educational philosophy centers around the theory that growth, development, and learning occur on a steady linear continuum from birth to early adulthood. Montessori philosophy on how humans learn differs in some key ways: Maria Montessori believed learning for children and youth occurred in waves.

After years of observation, Montessori concluded there are four distinct planes of development that everyone must pass through on their way to adulthood: birth-6, 6-12, 12-18, and 18-24. In each of the planes, she believed that children and youth are drawn to different skills and activities. If provided with the opportunities to explore and practice these skills, children can make extraordinary progress. Read on to learn more about why the first plane of development is such an important time for your child.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Monday, July 2, 2007.
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As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.

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