Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Montessori Teacher Training

All of us want our children to be happy, courageous, creative, intelligent, independent. How to raise a children this way? What are the resources we need? What are the challenges we face?

We love our children, but we don't know how to express that. We find most of the time children not obeying us, not interested in learning, they are shy, we want to develop creativity in our children, to grow in good manners, grace and courtesy. We want to help our children get rid of bad habits. We would like our chidlren to develop a sense of responsibility.

Montessori is a practical approach to the growth and development of children. It gives you a deeper understanding of your child. It will give you practical tools to help your children grow to her/his full potential. It also gives you ways and means to help your children with academic learning of language, math, and science.

Foundation for life  
From birth to age six.
Transform yourself.
Helps you to become a better parent to your child.
Parents are the first teachers and teachers are the second parent.

If you want a daughter or son who will make you proud of 15 or 20 years later, you need to cultivate the right beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes today. Today is the time to ACT.


Your kid deserves better parenting

Montessori can be of great help.

Identify the basic issues of parenting - busy work schedule, lack of awareness, lack of practical tools, patience.

How the course can help?

The content.

What I know myself about the principles of growth.

The nature of children.
The difference between the adult thinking and child thinking.
The desire to be independent - how to support it.
asking questions - how to handle it.
Respecting children - How?
How the habits forms - How to nurture good habits.
How children learn - How to help.
Rewards and punishment.
Asking permission.

The children can achieve more than what their parents think. Unfortunately, they can limit their achievement by their lack of awareness and imperfect parenting.

Purpose of this course
Be better parents.
Be better teachers.
How will you achieve this?
When do you know you've achieved this

Safe and encouraging environment in the school.
Close collaboration with parents.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Change the Subject: Making the Case for Project-Based Learning

What should students learn in the 21st century? At first glance, this question divides into two: what should students know, and what should they be able to do? But there's more at issue than knowledge and skills. For the innovation economy, dispositions come into play: readiness to collaborate, attention to multiple perspectives, initiative, persistence, and curiosity. While the content of any learning experience is important, the particular content is irrelevant. What really matters is how students react to it, shape it, or apply it. The purpose of learning in this century is not simply to recite inert knowledge, but, rather, to transform it.1 It is time to change the subject.
This is no small matter. For more than a century, the whole point of schooling has been to restrict the curriculum, specify the required content, and limit the entry points to it -- often by means of a watered-down, already obsolete text, mediated by a classroom manager whose task is to transmit the subject matter to 30 or more individuals of diverse backgrounds, experiences, interests, and resources. This is particularly true of the "big four" core subjects that the Carnegie Commission decided, nearly a century ago, to be the subjects that matter. English, math, science (biology, chemistry, and physics), and social studies count for much, and the fine and practical arts for much less.

Expanding the "Big Four"

Why not study anthropology, zoology, or environmental science? Why not integrate art with calculus, or chemistry with history? Why not pick up skills and understandings in all of these areas by uncovering and addressing real problems and sharing findings with authentic audiences? Why not invent a useful product that uses electricity, or devise solutions to community problems, all the while engaging in systematic observation, collaborative design, and public exhibitions of learning?
It has long been axiomatic in the United States to separate students according to perceived academic ability, to separate academic from technical teaching and learning, and to isolate adolescents from the adult world they are about to enter. Instead, our aim in this century should be to integrate students by eliminating tracking, to integrate the subjects via problem-focused experiences, and to integrate school with the world beyond through fieldwork, service learning, and internships.
What might students do in such schools, in the absence of prescribed subjects? They might work together in diverse teams to build robots, roller coasters, gardens, and human-powered submarines. They might write and publish a guide to the fauna and history of a nearby estuary, or an economics text illustrated with original woodcuts, or a children's astronomy book. They might produce original films, plays, and spoken word events on adolescent issues, Japanese internment, cross-border experiences, and a host of other topics. They might mount a crime scene exhibition linking art history and DNA analysis, or develop a museum exhibit of World War I as seen from various perspectives. They might celebrate returning warriors, emulating the bard in Beowulf, by interviewing local veterans and writing poems honoring their experiences. The possibilities are endless.

The Value of Changing the Subject

In executing such projects, students develop deep understandings by making something new of their subject matter. Of necessity, they learn how to collaborate, how to plan, how to give and accept critique, how to revise, how to self-assess. They read complex texts and write a wide range of pieces for a variety of purposes, from personal reflections to news articles, project proposals, memos, research reports, stories, and essays. They interview community members, learning to listen and appreciate diverse perspectives. As they present their work to important audiences, they come to understand what it means to be a member of the human community. And the irony is that as students pursue their passions and interests, the curriculum springs back to life.
Changing the subject, then, means deriving the curriculum from the lived experience of the student. In this view, rather than a collection of fixed texts, the curriculum is more like a flow of events, accessible through tools that help students identify and extract rich academic content from the world: guidelines and templates for project development, along with activities and routines for observation and analysis, reflection, dialogue, critique, and negotiation.

Unleashing the Future of Education

If we are to change the subject in this way, then we must change the trappings within which we educate our youth. It is a fool's errand to expect teachers to model 21st-century skills in a 19th-century work environment. Instead, situate them where they can collaborate with other teachers -- and with their students -- to pose problems, engage expert assistance, and design products and performances of lasting value. Embrace a cohort model, where teams of teachers and students work together. Build professional collaboration and development time into the daily schedule, so that teachers can meet variously in teaching teams, academic departments, and study groups to reflect on and refine their day-to-day practice. The aim is to unleash teachers -- and their students -- to design learning experiences that are applied, integrated, situated, expeditionary, and alternatively assessed.
When we learn -- really learn -- we transform the content, the self, and the social relations of teaching and learning. This is what it means to change the subject. We can do this. If we value our future, we must.

Notes & Reference

1As we look forward in the 21st century, it can be instructive to look back. In “The Rhythmic Claims of Freedom and Discipline,” first published in 1922, Alfred North Whitehead cautioned against the mere teaching of subjects for “inert knowledge.”
Whitehead, A. (1967). The Aims of Education and Other Essays. New York: Free Press (reissue edition).
From Edutopia

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Paulo Freire's Description of the Banking Model of Education

From Facebook by Manish Jain

Paulo Freire's Description of the Banking Model of Education 

(a) the teacher teaches and the students are taught;

(b) the teacher knows everything and the students know nothing;

(c) the teacher thinks and the students are thought about;

(d) the teacher talks and the students listen—meekly;

(e) the teacher disciplines and the students are disciplined;

(f) the teacher chooses and enforces his choice, and the students comply;

(g) the teacher acts and the students have the illusion of acting through the action of the teacher;

(h) the teacher chooses the program content, and the students (who were not consulted) adapt to it;

(i) the teacher confuses the authority of knowledge with his or her own professional authority, which she and he sets in opposition to the freedom of the students;

(j) the teacher is the Subject of the learning process, while the pupils are mere objects.

A General Description of Montessori Education

Montessori Education is characterized by multi-age classrooms, a special set of educational materials, student-chosen work in long time blocks, a collaborative environment with student mentors, absence of grades and tests, and individual and small group instruction in academic and social skills. (Science Magazine, September 29, 2006).

Montessori is an approach to education as well as a method. As an approach, in our particular context of moral education, there is plenty of room for adding new content to the Montessori Curriculum; and as a method, it is a framework for auto-education and discovery for children of the Montessori Houses.

Although the Montessori system of education has been in existence for over 100 years and still thriving in many parts of the world, it is in its infancy in our region. It makes our task of establishing a true Montessori school rather difficult.

It takes a lot of effort and understanding from the part of all stakeholders .

There are three major components to a Montessori Environment: Montessori materials, Montessori Adult or Directress, and the social life in the classroom.

The most common features shared by the Montessori Schools worldwide are:
  1. Full range of Montessori learning materials arranged in prescribed order.
  2. Montessori Adult trained in Montessori theory and practice.
  3. A class size of 24-35 children. It is interesting to note that a much lesser ratio of Adult and Children is not recommended for a Montessori Classroom as this will negatively affect the learning environment.
  4. Vertical grouping. Unlike the traditional classroom, children enter into Montessori Primary at the age of 3 and leaves at the age of 6. So, one-third of the children in a Montessori Classroom will be 3-year olds, one-third 4-year olds, and the final one-third 5-year olds.
  5. Montessori Schools follow a 3-hour uninterrupted work cycle.
  6. Free choice for children.
  7. A minimum of direct teaching and indirect preparation is the norm. 

This is a post in the making:)

Friday, January 4, 2013

This post has been edited on 2/19/2016 for gender neutrality and grammatical errors and to reflect some new changes in school.

What We Know About Children....

We know that our children are unique in many ways and they are to be engaged differently. We know that each of them has certain preferences and tendencies because of their genes and their particular environment. Then, how we can compare them with anybody else?

We know that our duty is to prepare an environment that is most suitable for each one of them and let them grow at their own speed and natural ways. Our job is to observe and guide. We know that they can learn anything and everything if they want to like they learn their mother tongue, like they learned to walk,smile, and many other things all by themselves. We know that they need freedom to express and realize full potential and reach greater heights in life.

We know that they deserve Respect for being them, the unique individuals, and we give them exactly that.

We know that they seek love and care and they are capable of giving love and care too to others also, so we prepare an environment with plenty of opportunities to give and take love and care. We know that they are inherently good and we don’t see our children as a trouble makers, so we have no corporal punishment at our school.

We know that they are growing and they need support and guidance and we provide that. We know that they have a natural urge to explore and learn and we should not spoil that with any kind of intervention, reward or punishment.

We know that the academics are important, so we have an extensive curriculum of Language, Maths, Science, Geography, History, and what not, spanning over nine years.

We know that they are capable and responsible, we let them take care of their environment.

We know that they need to concentrate on things like we the adults, so we care not to interfere while they are engaged seriously in their work.

That is why We Follow Montessori Education.