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Matters by Kelly Griffith Mannion, M. Ed.

The Montessori Madmen We are often asked for a definition or simple way of explaining Montessori education. This is an especially hard challenge as it is so encompassing of child development and specific and brilliantly designed supports that digesting it into a sound-bite is rather impossible. Or is it? Check out the link below to an “elevator speech” (how much can you say about Montessori when they ask you in between floors) contest, started by Montessori Madmen. If you are not familiar with the Montessori Madmen, be sure to check them out. Trevor Eissler, a Montessori dad and pilot, is writing books and increasing awareness of Montessori education by getting the word out to parents in big and clever ways. One of his ideas was a reasonable way for the whole community to band together for a Super Bowl ad! Here are a few of the written submissions for the elevator speech contest. We hope it will help you with how you define Montessori. Of course, if you have any questions, give us a call!

“TO some, it is a method for achieving academic excellence.” 2



Montessori is multi–faceted. The takeaway from Montessori education can be very unique and personal. To some, it is a “method” for achieving academic excellence. To others, it is the benefit of hands-on learning that is very appealing. To me, Montessori is a path to self-discovery. Montessori is a place where children and adults collaborate in a “prepared environment” — A habitat that fosters compassion, respect, independence and interdependence. The child owns his/her learning and the adult follows the child. The guides/teachers are the “custodians” of this environment. They are the silent observers, listeners and facilitators. The ultimate goal is that the passion for learning must come from within the child. That’s when ideas are born, thoughts and actions take shape. And thus begins the journey towards selfdiscovery. Experience this yourself! Join me and visit a Montessori and find out — “What is Montessori?”

Maria Montessori was a physician and anthropologist who observed that children learn much better when nurtured in a Prepared Environment.

“Independence is the ultimate goal.” Through physical repetition of touching and seeing different materials, the child develops a natural sense of respect of his or her surroundings and becomes self-sufficient in their own development. Independence is the ultimate goal and Dr. Montessori believed that in the classroom, the child is the leader; and that puts the teacher in the role of a facilitator. As a substitute in two Montessori schools, my advice would be to visit an accredited Montessori school and observe a classroom. They are very generous with letting curious parents have an opportunity witness curiosity at its most natural form.

the RIVER CURRENT January 2014  
the RIVER CURRENT January 2014  

Monthly newsletter of River Montessori Charter School in Petaluma, California