As Montessori teachers, we know the importance of real, applied learning. We know the value of teaching children to think for themselves, not relying on adults for all the answers. We have seen the art of collaboration at work in our multi-age classrooms. We know firsthand that the child who thinks for him/herself is not afraid to take risks and try new things to solve complex problems. Art Costa (Professor Emeritus, California State University, Sacramento) calls this a “Thought Filled Curriculum”.
The Thought Filled Montessori Classroom - Thinking Together, Learning to Think, and Thinking to Learn
- Learning to Think – This is a form of metacognition*, or “thinking about thinking”. Knowing the processes involved in critical thinking helps develop strategies that can be used throughout life.
- Thinking to Learn – Content of curriculum is learned for the sheer joy of learning, not as a means to an end. It is then shared constructively with others to build shared knowledge.
- Thinking Together – A wider perspective is shared when learning is shared with others. Emphasis is placed on the good of the society rather than the good of the individual.
- Thinking About Our Own Thinking – Self-reflection is part of meta-cognition Keeping an internal mental dialog about one’s own thoughts helps with difficult decision making at crucial times.
- Thinking Big – As teachers, we should reflect on our own lessons. Are we teaching tiny microcosms of a curriculum or are we guiding our students to tie it all together, striving towards the bigger picture?
- Costa, Art. Five Thoughts About a Thought-Filled Curriculum. American Montessori Society. 2006.)
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, May 7, 2009.