Montessori Education: An Idea Whose Time Has Come
IL-Integrated or Separate
ET-Inquiry and Problem-based Learning
Torrence, Martha. “Montessori Education: An Idea Whose Time Has Come.” Montessori Life Summer 2012: 18-23.
What future will our children face, and how can we best prepare them for it? What changes in the educational landscape are essential in order to prepare them? Education has changed throughout the years, always with the best intentions, but not always with the best results. Changes like “No Child Left Behind” has led to relentless testing and the idea that the only knowledge worth gaining is testable and measurable; and that successful students are repositories of knowledge rather than processors of information, creative thinkers and problem solvers.
With the introduction of Common Core, 21stCentury skills have become a major focus. These 21st Century skills shift the role of the child to become central to the process and an active co-constructor of knowledge rather than a passive vessel waiting to be filled. These ideas are beginning to sound like what has been going on Montessori classrooms for decades; student-directed learning, where the center is the child.
I decided to add this article to the blog because as we started learning about QuickMOOCs and student-directed learning, the more it started sounding like a Montesorri classroom to me. I think that traditional education needs a major overhaul and I’m not sure that Common Core is the right answer. Although there are aspects of Common Core that are a great improvement ( 21st Century skills), there are others (enormous amount of standardized testing) that defeat the idea of education reform. I am very interested in alternate ways of educating and testing children, and I find the Montessori approach fascinating.