As the end of the school year drew near we reflected on the future of our young graduates. Where will they go to continue their learning? Will their independence be respected? Will their inner motivation be fostered?
Montessori children tend to be very flexible and adaptive with strong social skills. Yet we caution parents to look out for certain things that a traditional kindergarten experience may bring.
Comparing children (gold stars, etc.)
Fostering competition instead of giving opportunities to socialize
Sitting in front of a computer
Less and less recess/outdoor time
Some research into what methods most traditional educators employ yielded unimpressive results. The Common Core exacerbates the developmentally inappropriate practices on the rise since NCLB. Teachers report having to post the standards in the room before every scripted lesson, as if 5-year-olds can read or care what they say. They time children adding and subtracting, and train them to ask formulaic questions about an “author’s message.” All children are trained in the exact same skill at the same time. One teacher lamented that “there is no more time for play.” Another wrote “these so-called educational leaders have no idea how children learn.”
Yet current educational policy banishes play in favor of damaging practices such as direct instruction of inappropriate academic content and testing; practices that are ineffective for young children. We are ever hopeful that educators in our small town will meet MCH graduates where they are in their journey and respect them as the independent and motivated learners we know them to be. Our wish is extended to every child in this country and the world.
“This is education, understood as a help to life; an education from birth, which feeds a peaceful revolution and unites all in a common aim, attracting them as to a single centre. Mothers, fathers, politicians: all must combine in their respect and help for this delicate work of formation, which the little child carries on in the depth of a profound psychological mystery, under the tutelage of an inner guide. This is the bright new hope for mankind.”
--Maria Montessori, (The Absorbent Mind)