All of the lead teachers, specials teachers and administrative staff at Greene Towne School recently read Ken Robinson’s Out of our Minds, Learning to be Creative
In chapter 7, Robinson gives a shout out to Montessori Education in a comparison of those who promote educating the rational individual, and those that promote educating the natural individual (this is the Montessori camp).
Robinson distinguishes two main educational traditions, the one that emanates from the Enlightenment he calls the “rational individual” and the other, emanating from Romanticism, which he calls the “natural individual.” In the tradition of the rational individual, education follows a logical path and the primary role of the teacher is to transmit bodies of knowledge to the student.
In contrast, the tradition of the natural individual makes the assumption that “every child is by nature, a unique individual with innate talents and sensibilities. Education should draw out these qualities rather than suppress them with the values and ideas of the adult world. Education should not be knowledge-based, but child-centered. Naturalist models of Education make the following assumptions:
· Education should develop the whole child and not just their academic abilities. It should engage their feelings, physical development, moral education and creativity.
· Knowledge of the self is as important as knowledge of the external world. Exploring personal feelings and values is essential and so are opportunities to exercise imagination and self-expression.
· One of the main roles of teachers is to draw out the individual in every child. In this sense, education is a process of self-realization.”*
The cultural roots of natural individualism run deep” and are based largely on the work of Jean Jacques Rousseau from the late 18th century. Montessori was one of the educational pioneers who embraced the natural, child-centered view of education. Along with other educational pioneers, Pestalozzi, Froebel, Steiner, Orff, and Dewey, Montessori believed that it is “vital for education to encourage the development of children’s natural abilities and personalities.”**
We hope you will find some time to read this important book. All of us who care about the future of our children’s education and the world they will live in, will acquire much to contemplate.
If you don’t have time to read the whole book, check out Robinson’s TED presentation form 2006: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1067760674856532262#
*Robinson, Ken (2001) Out of Our Minds, Learning to be Creative, Capstone Publishing Ltd, West Sussex, UK. Page 179
**Robinson, Ken (2001) Out of Our Minds, Learning to be Creative, Capstone Publishing Ltd, West Sussex, UK. Page 180
Applying to First Grade: A Parent Workshop for parents of next year’s Kindergarten children and other interested parents.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 5:30-7:00 pm
Childcare available/ Dinner provided
(R.s.v.p. required in order to guarantee child care space and dinner).
Practical and philosophical advice about selecting and applying to schools
Guest speakers representing a variety of schools
Demystifying outside testing
Childcare is limited. Priority for care will be given to next year’s Kindergarten children.