Montessori Sun Times 30176 : Page 1

A newsletter for The Children’s House community in Traverse City · Winter 2012 www.traversechildrenshouse.org Schools of the Future By Michele Shane When people new to Montessori hear the phrase “schools of the future” it may conjure images of George and Jane Jetson sealing little Elroy in his space capsule and launching him off to Little Dipper Elementary School. Thirty years ago, our cultural impressions of what schools would be like today were as farfetched as sitting in a chair and having a robot clothe and feed us. Now here we are in the 21st Century, and national questions on educational reform abound: What are the most important skills of the future? How do we provide an education that will ensure success for the leaders of tomorrow? What does that school look like? (Hint: schools of the future look like schools that were developed over 100 years ago by an Italian doctor with a vision that transcended time, culture and socioeconomics.) Pat Bassett, president of National Association of Indepen-dent Schools, recently began a series of blog posts on the subject. Bassett writes, ‘“The Five Cs...’ (are) the universally agreed-upon expectations that quality schooling teaches, not subjects so much, as a handful of essential skills and values that, when they stick, result in graduates who are ethical and successful contributors and leaders in their families, their communi-ties, the workplace, and the world.” The “Cs” are not unfamiliar skills to quality Montessori classrooms. In fact, a well prepared Montessori classroom is designed to provide children real, consistent and ongoing cumulative experi-ence of developing, practicing, and perfecting these skills such as critical thinking, communica-tion, collaboration, creativity, and character. Driven by their interests and guided by well trained Montessori teachers, students in our mixed-age classrooms are given the freedom, encouragement, and time to develop these skills. The identification of these universal “Cs” is based on data collected from a number of sources. These include: a review of Google’s hiring criteria (Google’s founders are Montessori kids);, The Report of the New Commission on the Skills for the American Workforce; and “College Learning for the New Global Century”, published by the Association of American Colleges and Universities; and, oth-ers. There is a clear disconnect, Bassett claims, between current mainstream focus in education and the skills that are most valuable for our children. In order to affect change and close the learning gap, this requires significant attention on the part of educators. Our optimal schools of the future don’t require all of the latest and greatest gadgets and technology that change with each passing moment like we imagined back in the days of The Jetsons. What our future leaders need to learn is how to look one another in the eye, appreciate each other for their strengths, have confidence to respectively speak their minds, and think outside of the box to offer original thoughts (and be respected for doing so). These are the immeasurable skills that make us human and deserve focus in our schools now and in the future. Michele Shane, Head of School There is a Season...... By Kristina Weidenfeller It was not so long ago that the summer sun warmed our courtyard filled with families, all sitting together to enjoy the bounty of the harvest at our first Harvest Festival/ Feast. Even though the name may be in process, the event was a hit. Food, scavenger hunts for parents and children, and music; how can you go wrong? The meal, which included potatoes gratin, ratatouille, apple crisp, and basil mint tea, was a year in the making. The soil was prepared the previous fall, seeds ordered over the winter, seedlings sprouted in the greenhouse and planted in the spring and plants tended through the summer. Staff, students, moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas worked the week of the harvest gathering the bounty, preparing the soil for the next season, and preparing the meal to celebrate a successful end to one cycle and beginning of the next. All of that brings us back to the nearly one hundred and fifty smiling faces sharing potatoes, carrots and onions dug from our grounds, tomatoes, eggplant, yel-low squash, and zucchini picked off our plants, apples shook from our tree and herbs trimmed from our beds. Hands of all sizes scrubbed forty pounds of potatoes, sorted, washed and sliced forty pounds of apples, and peeled and/or diced varying amounts of all the other vegetables. From beginning to end and back to the beginning again, the harvest feast (festival?) marked one full cycle of our entire school community working together to raise food that not only fed our bodies but our hearts and souls as well. As the winter season rolls back around, we are still enjoying the fruits of our garden that were dried, frozen, or stored in the root cellar. We celebrate many great seasons of life throughout the year; whatever we decide to call this new addition, I look forward to seeing you there again next year! Sterling and Owen gathering apples on campus for Harvest Festival.

Schools Of The Future

Michele Shane

When people new to Montessori hear the phrase “schools of the future” it may conjure images of George and Jane Jetson sealing little Elroy in his space capsule and launching him off to Little Dipper Elementary School. Thirty years ago, our cultural impressions of what schools would be like today were as farfetched as sitting in a chair and having a robot clothe and feed us.<br /> <br /> Now here we are in the 21st Century, and national questions on educational reform abound: What are the most important skills of the future? How do we provide an education that will ensure success for the leaders of tomorrow? What does that school look like? (Hint: schools of the future look like schools that were developed over 100 years ago by an Italian doctor with a vision that transcended time, culture and socioeconomics.)<br /> <br /> Pat Bassett, president of National Association of Independent Schools, recently began a series of blog posts on the subject. Bassett writes, ‘“The Five Cs...’(are) the universally agreed-upon expectations that quality schooling teaches, not subjects so much, as a handful of essential skills and values that, when they stick, result in graduates who are ethical and successful contributors and leaders in their families, their communities, the workplace, and the world.”<br /> <br /> The “Cs” are not unfamiliar skills to quality Montessori classrooms. In fact, a well prepared Montessori classroom is designed to provide children real, consistent and ongoing cumulative experience of developing, practicing, and perfecting these skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, and character. Driven by their interests and guided by well trained Montessori teachers, students in our mixed-age classrooms are given the freedom, encouragement, and time to develop these skills.<br /> <br /> The identification of these universal “Cs” is based on data collected from a number of sources. These include: a review of Google’s hiring criteria (Google’s founders are Montessori kids);, The Report Of the New Commission on the Skills for the American Workforce; and “College Learning for the New Global Century”, published by the Association of American Colleges and Universities; and, others. There is a clear disconnect, Bassett claims, between current mainstream focus in education and the skills that are most valuable for our children. In order to affect change and close the learning gap, this requires significant attention on the part of educators.<br /> <br /> Our optimal schools of The future don’t require all of the latest and greatest gadgets and technology that change with each passing moment like we imagined back in the days of The Jetsons. What our future leaders need to learn is how to look one another in the eye, appreciate each other for their strengths, have confidence to respectively speak their minds, and think outside of the box to offer original thoughts (and be respected for doing so). These are the immeasurable skills that make us human and deserve focus in our schools now and in the future.<br />

There Is A Season......

Kristina Weidenfeller

It was not so long ago that the summer sun warmed our courtyard filled with families, all sitting together to enjoy the bounty of the harvest at our first Harvest Festival/ Feast. Even though the name may be in process, the event was a hit. Food, scavenger hunts for parents and children, and music; how can you go wrong? The meal, which included potatoes gratin, ratatouille, apple crisp, and basil mint tea, was a year in the making. The soil was prepared the previous fall, seeds ordered over the winter, seedlings sprouted in the greenhouse and planted in the spring and plants tended through the summer. Staff, students, moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas worked the week of the harvest gathering the bounty, preparing the soil for the next season, and preparing the meal to celebrate a successful end to one cycle and beginning of the next.<br /> <br /> All of that brings us back to the nearly one hundred and fifty smiling faces sharing potatoes, carrots and onions dug from our grounds, tomatoes, eggplant, yellow squash, and zucchini picked off our plants, apples shook from our tree and herbs trimmed from our beds. Hands of all sizes scrubbed forty pounds of potatoes, sorted, washed and sliced forty pounds of apples, and peeled and/or diced varying amounts of all the other vegetables. From beginning to end and back to the beginning again, the harvest feast (festival?) Marked one full cycle of our entire school community working together to raise food that not only fed our bodies but our hearts and souls as well.<br /> <br /> As the winter season rolls back around, we are still enjoying the fruits of our garden that were dried, frozen, or stored in the root cellar. We celebrate many great seasons of life throughout the year; Whatever we decide to call this new addition, I look forward to seeing you there again next year!<br /> <br /> Sterling and Owen gathering apples on campus for Harvest Festival.<br />

Next Page


Publication List
 

Loading