WHAT IS MONTESSORI MADNESS?
Parents of school-age children have seen the latest round of education reforms: tougher standards, accountability, better teachers, better textbooks, more funding. Why do all these reforms continue to anger, frustrate, and disappoint all those involved, from administrators to students to taxpayers?
Parents of children in Montessori schools have discovered it’s because the relentless improvements are not improvements at all. As the saying goes, “When you’re in a hole, stop digging.” These school reforms fail because they do not address the real problem in our schools today: we’ve ignored both how and why children learn.
Montessori schools throw out the textbooks, the tests, the homework, the lectures, and the whole factory-method of instruction we have sheepishly come to accept. The Montessori method is about getting back to a crazy fundamental human principle: we love to learn! Children are desperate to learn. They want to learn everything, and they want to learn it at their own pace—quickly. Montessori is hands-on. Students touch concepts—the Pythagorean Theorem, the diagramming of sentences, the trinomial formula, the study of root systems, and on and on. Students discuss ideas, help each other, ask questions, and work together. Assignments are open-ended, concentration is uninterrupted, and interests are self-chosen. The teacher does not so much “teach” as prepare the learning materials and the environment of the classroom in such a way as to enable the students to discover academic concepts on their own.
Can you still remember the day before you walked into your first classroom at five years old? Back when learning was fun? The day before it became an “assignment?” What if that next day you had set foot in a Montessori classroom instead?
In the book Montessori Madness! A Parent to Parent Argument for Montessori Education, author Trevor Eissler urges parents to take a look inside a Montessori classroom—one thirty-minute observation. Get a glimpse of why some parents around the country are absolutely delighted with their children’s schools.
Trevor Eissler is a pilot and flight instructor. His classroom teaching experience is in a cockpit at 40,000 ft.
Montessori Madness! is available for $20 at www.montessorimadness.com
Montessori Madness! A Parent to Parent Argument for Montessori Education by Trevor Eissler. Original edition. 5.5 x 8.5, 256 pages, no illustrations. ISBN 978-0-9822833-0-1. $20.
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Last Updated (Thursday, 22 July 2010 11:43)