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Old 03-04-2015, 07:27 AM
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Heidi Heidi is offline
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Location: Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I also find Montessori to be quite the opposite of free for all. I find it terribly stifling. There is only one way to play with each toy. Its the opposite of child led. They do get to choose which area, item, job they will use. But when we talk about child led, we usually mean the child comes up with ideas and they build on interests, they experiment, investigate and create. That doesn't work in Montessori. Maria Montessori first started her work with troubled children who needed extreme consistency, heavy instruction, micro-managing and were at risk. These children needed to be taught to live independently and had been rejected from their schools as unteachable... Now these long ago special education methods are being applied to children who long to get messy, create, investigate, jump, twirl across the room, color outside the lines, and try new things. I will say she did amazing things and made great advances in early childhood education- in her time. But are these the methods we want to use today and with all children? I'm the type that sets up activities but wouldn't give any expected outcome, just materials for creation. So, these modern Montessori programs just rub me the wrong way. I do think it is ideal for certain children. So many 'Montessori programs' aren't at all what Maria Montessori carefully created through decades of research. She would never do things the way some of these places do. Her biggest ideal was to respect each child as an individual. Strict adhearance to these evolved Montessori ideals aren't respecting individual children at all.

The other thing I have always found to be very strange is the combining of Montessori methods with anything Waldorf or Reggio. Its the opposite of the natural, child led, investigative, delayed academics that Waldorf or Reggio inspired philosophies aspire to. Well anyway, I find it all very interesting. And would love to hear more comments on these various philosophies!
I;m going to respectfully disagree with most of this. In today's world where everything is about immediate gratification, electronic "learning" toys, and quick fixes, there IS a place for the precise, planned, purposeful concepts of Montessori for typically developing children.

Should it be an all-day thing? No. Might a two-hour work period (or 3, with older children), surrounded by opportunities for creative expression, dramatic play, social interactions, and motor development be a good thing? Sure. It could be a very positive experience for children, as long as it's balanced.
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