Every day at
Eagle Harbour our students are highly engaged in learning that is so 21st
century! Montessori education is everything we want for learners today. To
quote principal research scientist, Andrew McAfee: Montessori
Builds Innovators! (Harvard Business Review, 2011)
week our youngest students learned how to complete and follow their own
individual work plans. Students learned that they can follow their own personal
areas of interests but that there are some “must dos” at the same time. Each
student’s plan closely follows his/her individual progress. It was a real
opportunity to discuss what we “want” to do and what we “need” to do and teach
our students how to balance both.
students are working on individual research projects while collaborating with
peers at the same time. The topic of conversation amongst the students this
week was how to present their findings….using Keynote on an ipad? making a print
booklet? constructing a model? using art material? making a movie? using Power Point
on a PC? Students are encouraged to pursue their ideas, seeking assistance as
they need it. In a Montessori classroom, students learn that their ideas have
merit. Early on students at Eagle Harbour learn that staff are
available to assist them in their inquiries and that they can move freely about
as long as they conduct themselves with respect, grace and courtesy.
teachers are specially trained to manage a myriad of individual student
interests and needs. Groupings of students are flexible and always fluctuating
depending on student need and interest. Learning communities form naturally in
the Montessori environment. Fortunately, Montessori classrooms are equipped
with materials to assist in making personalized learning possible. Last Friday,
one of our students reported that his teacher needed a break as the teacher had
been doing presentations all day non-stop! Our students take responsibility for
the direction of the learning and our teachers work diligently to provide
lessons on request. Nevertheless, EH students learn there’s always time in a
busy day to pull out the addition and subtraction strip boards and fit in some
work memorizing rote facts.
hard to see why Montessori
is an example of the new culture of learning!