Looking outside the Montessori Bubble

Posted by Montessori Kiwi on

'Montessori has the answer to everything.'
'Oh, We have been doing that for years in Montessori!'

Have you ever heard or said comments like this before?

Montessori educators sometimes think we have the answer for everything in Education and conversly assume they know everything about all other forms of education.

I used to work in a Public School. Our Montessori classes were part of a 'normal' school. We would sometimes have Principals or people in from similar schools. A common theme was the frustration and exasperation from 'normal' Principals over their Montessori colleagues perceptions of them and their pedagogy. One Principal once said to me 'their perceptions (of us) are based on what we were doing in the 1980s - its the 2000s now though!'

I wonder whether this phenomena is because Montessori is  relatively small as an educational pedagogy compared to mainstream education so Montessorians feel they have to defend their 'brand?' - I don't know though!

The problem I see is that some Montessorians have a tendency to be akin to religious fundamentalists in that they see their way as the ONLY way. One of the effects of this is that dialogue and listening of other points of view are cut off.
The reality is that we live in a society where knowledge is power and ideas are exchanged at a rapid rate due to technology. Additionally Neuroscience continues to increase our knowledge of the brain and how learning happens, information that Montessori did not have, although many of her observations certainly back up some modern research.

If we live in our bubble of Montessori and never look out we loose the opportunity to dialogue and communicate compassionately and with knowledge to our colleagues in other forms of education. We also miss the opportunity to reflect on our practise and to improve it!

Here are some common trends or research pedagogies that are currently in modern education. Have you had opportunity to read up on them? Do you think they compliment or contradict Montessori pedagogy?

INFANTS AND TODDLERS
Attachment theory
Relational Pedagogy

PRESCHOOL AND OLDER
Multi-literacies
Growth Mindset
Teaching as Inquiry
Formative Assessment
'Learning Stories'
Socio-cultural learning
The 'GERM'

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