Welcome to Montessori Musings! This blog is designed to inspire thought, stimulate inquiry and motivate reflection. We hope to provide opportunities for our writers (who may be staff, students or even parent committee members) to be creative and thought-provoking and for our readers to be enthused.
Your feedback will ensure this blog is about what you want to read, so please write to us openly and honestly either by email or our facebook page. Our first offering comes from Upper Primary Teacher Jacob Horsey. Click here for more info about Jacob. Jacob has as strong desire to decipher the many intricacies of the Montessori philosophy. In this, the first of many Montessori Musings he explains simply, the essential purpose of a Montessori education.
Recently, while lying awake in bed at 12:30am (the way sleep deprived parents do) trying to count sheep, meditate, and unfortunately becoming more conscious and alert (not sleepy), I happened upon a wonderful thought that was floating through the subterranean landscapes of my mind.
The idea was simple: “why not start writing about different Montessori topics from my own perspective and submit them to the school blog?” Immediately a bunch of other thoughts chimed in and cried “YES! That’s a great idea!” I was suddenly very awake and my rational mind was madly racing around trying to suppress these ridiculous night-time thoughts that were wildly discussing and planning all of the merry things I could write about. Of course, it only took 3 hours to shut these thoughts up and get some sleep. When I woke up at 5:30 my sub conscious finally surrendered and admitted that it was in fact a bad idea. Nonetheless, I made a wager with my sub conscious in true Jungian fashion and agreed that we could in fact write a submission for the blog as long as the writing and thinking happens during my regular waking hours. Here it goes…
In truth, I don’t think it such a bad idea to discuss these things aloud with the community. In my experience, Montessori can get a little cryptic, and parents (and sometimes teachers) are the ones left in the dark with some of the basic principles and philosophy that underpin Montessori education. I have my own views and experiences, qualifications, and questions that have guided me down the Montessori track, and though I recognise the need for going straight to the source (books, training, Maria’s ghost), I think there is just as much a need for Montessori practitioners to be honest and open. Working with children is ever humbling and rightly have the great figures from history (including Dr Montessori) stated: one needs to become a child to enter into the life of knowledge.
Montessori education is, simply, education that follows the basic psychological development of the child or to paraphrase Dr Montessori herself “education is aiding the life of the child”. It is modern and at the same time old (in fact Dr Montessori was also an anthropologist), and there is a living need within the Montessori philosophy to ensure that it doesn’t become a dry set of methods and philosophy, but a living and growing field of observation, research, and discovery.
Before delving into the murky depths of Montessori philosophy, I would like to say that, although scientific, profoundly researched, and evidence-based, it is my belief that there is no “golden rule” in Montessori education that solves all the many problems of raising and educating children. Instead, Montessori provides a brilliant vision that puts things into perspective and provides a guide for the adult into the many secrets and mysteries that belong to that sacred period of life we call “childhood”.
In future editions I hope to elaborate on some of the more concrete ideas that underpin Montessori education, so please feel free to offer suggestions and feedback if you see me at school. Montessori education is the biggest controversy the education world continues to ignore, while at the same time is slowly moving towards. This is my attempt to give it some due attention. Thank you for joining me for the conversation.