While conversations are ongoing in BC and around the world focused on innovation that are linked to larger system goals including a greater focus on personalized learning and giving kids greater ownership of their learning, these are not new objectives. Some practices worth highlighting are not only 21st century, or 20th century learning, in fact, some date back to the 19th century, and are an excellent fit for our current educational directions. At least, this is true of Montessori.
Maria Montessori, who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, developed teaching methods which are often described as part of the “21st century learning” phenomena. When I spend time in our Montessori School, Eagle Harbour Montessori(currently expanding from a K-3 to a K-5 school), I am always in awe of the self-regulation and keen focus these students have. When I walk into the room, students continue to work and there is a sense of calm and alert focus. Students are owning their learning, the conversations with primary students are very articulate; they talk about what they are doing, why they are doing it, and what they need to learn next.
What I have seen at Eagle Harbour is also supported in the recent book from Shannon Helfrich, Montessori Learning in the 21st Century: A Guide for Parents and Teachers which links Montessori teachings with the latest neuroscientific findings.
So just what does Montessori look like in our setting:
Principles Include (from the Eagle Harbour Montessori Program 2012):
January 10, 2012 by cultureofyes