I spent some time last week at the American Montessori Conference here in Orlando. Lots of thought-provoking presentations and conversations! I’m still in the early stages of learning about Montessori philosophy and practice, but much of what I have seen so far is a real breath of fresh air compared to the drill and test reality I see every day in the low-performing high school where I work.
Here are some cool things about Montessori:
- Focus on “soft skills:” self-monitoring, self-correction, independent decision making, empathy, innovative problem solving, etc.
- Multi-age grouping
- Lots of well designed and intriguing manipulatives
- Self-paced progression through the curriculum
- Teachers working with many of same students for multiple years
- More than one educator in the classroom (I should clarify–more than one adult educator in the classroom, plus lots of students who are ideally educators themselves, too!)
I’m excited to keep learning more!
(Note: more blog posts based on thoughts from the conference are forthcoming.)