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Taking contemporary research and aligning it with the Montessori method of education. This presentation is a starting point for those wishing to move away from traditional education, which has been entrenched in the industrial model for the last century.

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  • In 2012 I sent out invitations to the director of education in the regional areas of Wales. The only response I received was from Ceredigion where a secretary returned an email saying that Montessori would no be coming to Ceredigion.

    1. 1. www.montessoricentrewales.comInfluencing GlobalEducational ReformTHE SCHOOL IN THE CLOUD©Alan Evans 2012
    2. 2. www.montessoricentrewales.comThe Average Child’s Brain
    3. 3. www.montessoricentrewales.comThe Superior Teacher’s Brain
    4. 4. www.montessoricentrewales.comWaldorf, Montessori & Reggio are the three progressiveapproaches to early childhood education, which appear to begrowing in influence around the world, Edwards (2002).All three approaches represent an explicit idealism and turnaway from war and violence towards peace and reconstruction.They are built on coherent visions of how to improve humansociety by helping children realise their full potential asintelligent, creative whole persons.
    5. 5. www.montessoricentrewales.comIn each approach children are viewed as•active authors of their own development• strongly influenced by natural, dynamic, self righting forceswithin themselves, opening the way towards growth andlearning.•Teachers depend on carefully prepared aesthetically pleasingenvironments that serve as a pedagogical tool and providestrong messages about the curriculum and respect for children.
    6. 6. www.montessoricentrewales.comMontessori Teaching Style•Unobtrusive director observing children in self directedactivity.•Providing an atmosphere of productive calm for children toconcentrate and recover, allowing them to develop confidenceand inner discipline to the point of non intervention
    7. 7. www.montessoricentrewales.comDr. Maria MontessoriMaria Montessori was a brilliant figure whowas Italys first woman physician.Montessori reflected a late19th century visionof mental development and theoretical kin-shipwith the great European progressiveeducational philosophers, such as Rousseau,Pestalozzi, Seguin and Itard.She was convinced that childrens naturalintelligence involved three aspects from thevery start:• rational• Empirical - observation• spiritual
    8. 8. www.montessoricentrewales.comSensorial Education - Multi Sensory MaterialsMontessori’s approach was far inadvance of the generalpsychological understanding of hertime. Montessori developedmaterials and a preparedenvironment for the intellectualtraining through sensory motormodalities for children aged threeto six years of age.
    9. 9. www.montessoricentrewales.comLook At The ChildDr. Montessori discovered the child’strue nature by accident while observingyoung children in their free, selfdirected activity. Building on Seguin’swork and materials, Dr. Montessorifound that young children came toacquire surprising new outwardqualities of spontaneous self-discipline,love of order, and a perfect harmonywith others.
    10. 10. www.montessoricentrewales.comI Do And I UnderstandAccording to Montessori theunderstanding of the sensorymotor nature of the youngchild’s intelligence stemmedfrom acute observations ofchildren. Up until then theidea of intelligence wasbased on verbal developmentand the manipulation ofvisual images and ideas.
    11. 11. www.montessoricentrewales.comLOOK AT THE CHILDBoth Montessori andPiaget’s discoveries andinsights into the mind of thechild were achieved, not bywhat Piaget described as‘adultmorphic’ thinking(seeing the child as aminiature adult), but byunbiased, astute, directobservations of the child.
    12. 12. www.montessoricentrewales.comPiaget and Montessoriemphasized the necessity ofactive interaction betweenlearner and the environment.Piaget and Montessori alsoemphasised the child’srelationship with peers as theprincipal means to overcomingegocentrism in learning.The Quality of the Environment Can Help or Hinder a Child’s Development
    13. 13. www.montessoricentrewales.comThe Montessori method encouragesaccommodation to external reality ratherthan assimilation to the personalizedmotives and fantasies of the child(spontaneous play).Montessori and Piaget observed thatcertain conditions were necessary foroptimal cognitive growth. Among theseconditions is the creation of learningsituations that involve particular kindsand qualities of autonomy.Autonomous Environments Work
    14. 14. www.montessoricentrewales.comThe child in the Montessoriclassroom is allowed to learnautonomously, which they receivefrom the teacher. It is a veryspecial relationship based on theteacher’s trust in the child toreveal their true nature.
    15. 15. www.montessoricentrewales.comPiaget
    16. 16. www.montessoricentrewales.comJean Piaget is considered to havebeen one of the worlds leadingchild psychologists. Piaget alsospoke of sensory motorintelligence as the first period ofintellectual development from agetwo to six years.Sensory motor intelligence restsmainly on actions (doing) onmovements and perceptionswithout language but coordinatedin a relatively stable way.
    17. 17. www.montessoricentrewales.comAccording to Penn (2005) Piagetturned the tables on an approach toearly childhood, which aimed atfilling up the child’s head withknowledge.Piaget argued that children had tofind things out for themselvesthrough experimentation and theirown free thinking.
    18. 18. www.montessoricentrewales.comThe Plowden ReportIn 1967 the U.K. Government publisheda major review of primary and nurseryeducation known as the Plowden Report.Richards (1984) suggests that theprinciples underlying Plowden’s reportswere attacked by critics for being too‘child centred’ and for neglecting theimportance of teaching as a way ofinitiating the young into public forms ofknowledge.Bridget Horatia PlowdenSource: www.npg.org.uk
    19. 19. www.montessoricentrewales.comThe members of the review board for the Plowden reportwere impressed with Piaget’s theories and suggested thatschooling should be radically changed from a teacher infront of the class to many different areas from where achild could draw on concrete experiences with play andlearning materials.
    20. 20. www.montessoricentrewales.com‘Underlying all educational questions is the nature of the child himself…’ (p.1) “At the heart of the educational process is the child. No(educational) advances … have their desired effect unless they are inharmony with the nature of the child, unless they are fundamentallyacceptable to him …’ (p7).Plowden (1967)
    21. 21. www.montessoricentrewales.comWe may assert that all effective learning involves personalchange and the most effective kinds of learning seem to be thosein which the learner is the initiator of the change and involveshimself in active commerce with the learning materials e.g.autonomous experiential learning through play.
    22. 22. www.montessoricentrewales.comA requirement for cognitive growth is thepsychological climate in which the child is free tospend at least some of his time exploring hisworld with complete autonomy.When we interfere with a child’s play, when weinfluence his modes of behaviour, when weimpose our beliefs upon him, we may beperforming a service but we may be unaware ofthe harm we are doing.Children in school and at home are frequentlyforced to assume a purely passive position inwhich he is required to register and laterreproduce material that has been imposed uponhim.
    23. 23. www.montessoricentrewales.comWe tend to treat children according to the group they areplaced in by age, ability, socio economic background andmany other factors.‘It is as if the most important thing about them is their dateof manufacture’, Sir Ken Robinson, (2012).
    24. 24. www.montessoricentrewales.com‘a return to a simple academic model of basic subjects taught in disciplinedenvironments where children are regarded a vessels to be filled with knowledge,’Gerver (2013).According to an Adobe Creativity study (2012) Companies are looking for more thangraduates who can do specific tasks so they want employees who can also thinkdifferently and innovate. To be successful, students need an education thatemphasizes creative thinking, communication, and teamwork.Richard GerverLeading academic thinkers Richard Gerver and Sir Ken Robinsonare calling for reform in the education system.Gerver (2012) believes that we are still basing our educationsystem on the old model of time and motion developed by Taylor(1911). Robinson believes we should encourage creativity anddivergent thinking. Both are involved in reforming educationaround the world through human potential and creativity but herein the U.K. the call is for
    25. 25. www.montessoricentrewales.comHOT MANAGEMENT IN EARLY YEARS AND SCHOOLShttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ck-KrObORfIChildren using a model of thelung. The children were giventhe tools to experiment anddiagrams to make modelsincluding electrical circuitry.They also made and broadcasttheir own radio shows.
    27. 27. www.montessoricentrewales.comDr. Steven Hugheshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcNvTPX4Q08HIGHLY RECOMMEND VIEWINGhttp://www.goodatdoingthings.com/GoodAtDoingThings/Selected_Screencasts.htmlDr. Maria Montessori and Dr.Steven Hughes - ‘The hands are the chief teacher of the child.’Source: www.tovatest.com/news/Fall2008_Newsletter
    28. 28. www.montessoricentrewales.com“It appeared that he might be receiving training in the kind of veridicalsequential perception we have called sharpening-that is, theexperiencing of new stimuli in their own right, independent of what hashappened before.” This research led Gardner to conclude, “Theevidence has been so impressive that we hesitate to accept, withoutqualification, any view of child development that does not includerecognition of this degree of individuality.”Gardener’s (1966) research intoindividual differences in memory revealthat the individual differences inchildren can be constrained accordingto their early experiences especially inrelation to memory and cognitive skills.
    29. 29. www.montessoricentrewales.comHoward GardenerMultiple Intelligence TheoryIntrapersonalInterpersonalMusicalSpatialKinestheticVerbal/LinguisticLogical MathematicalCredit: Peter Gregoire
    30. 30. www.montessoricentrewales.comThe curriculum was thematic, and the centres provided seven different ways for thestudents to learn the subject matter. Each day began with a brief lecture and discussionexplaining one aspect of the current theme. For example, during a unit on outer space,the morning’s lecture might focus on spiral galaxies.After the morning lecture, a timer was set and students in groups of three or fourstarted work at their centres, eventually rotating through all seven.Bruce CampbellBruce Campbell (1999) implemented Gardner’s theory in aneducational setting by organising his third grade classroomin Marysville, Washington, into seven learning centres, eachdedicated to one of the seven intelligences. The studentsspent approximately two-thirds of each school day movingthrough the centres 15 to 20 minutes at each centre.Source: www.corwin.com/authors/528294
    31. 31. www.montessoricentrewales.comWhat kinds of learning activities take place at each centre?All students learn each day’s lesson in seven ways. They build models, dance, make collaborativedecisions, create songs, solve deductive reasoning problems, read, write, and illustrate all in one schoolday. Some more specific examples of activities at each centre follow:In the Personal Work Centre (Intrapersonal Intelligence), students explore the present area of studythrough research, reflection, or individual projects.In the Working Together Centre (Interpersonal Intelligence), they develop cooperative learning skillsas they solve problems, answer questions, create learning games, brainstorm ideas and discuss that day’stopic collaboratively.In the Music Centre (Musical Intelligence), students compose and sing songs about the subject matter,make their own instruments, and learn in rhythmical ways.In the Art Centre (Spatial Intelligence), they explore a subject area using diverse art media,manipulables, puzzles, charts, and pictures.In the Building Centre (Kinesthetic Intelligence), they build models, dramatize events, and dance, all inways that relate to the content of that day’s subject matter.In the Reading Centre (Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence), students read, write, and learn in manytraditional modes. They analyze and organize information in written form.In the Math & Science Centre (Logical/ Mathematical Intelligence), they work with math games,manipulatives, mathematical concepts, science experiments, deductive reasoning, and problem solving.and reasoning.
    32. 32. www.montessoricentrewales.comSelf Organised Learning Environments - S.O.L.E.Sugata Mitra placed a computer in a hole in a wall in a slum andreplicated this experiment across India.The hypothesis was whether education was effected by•Remoteness of education•Teachers•Infrastructure•Maintenance of infrastructureThe tests were carried out on children in communities across India.Measured performance was based on distance from Delhi.Results were not correlated to size of class, quality of infrastructureand not related to poverty.
    33. 33. www.montessoricentrewales.comTeachers were asked would you like to move?•69% yes•I wish I were in another school impacts on resultsConclusion. Teacher motivation effects children’s learningObservationsET is piloted in the best schoolsImpact is limited because they already have what they wantConclusion ET is over hyped and underperformingTake the same into a remote school and the impact is far greaterConclusion. ET is better used at bottom of pyramid
    34. 34. www.montessoricentrewales.comThe first hole in the wall experiment took place in New Delhi in 1999.Mitra’s office bordered a slum. He cut a hole in the wall and put in aPC a touch pad and high speed Internet.Questions asked wereIs this real?Does the language matter?Will the computer last?Will they break it?Will they steal it?Source: www.perceptum.nl
    35. 35. www.montessoricentrewales.comMitra took the experiment to a number of poor areas where childrentaught each other to browse, use the computer.Three months after leaving the computer in a rural area where noEnglish was spoken children were using 200 English words. Mitra wasfunded to replicate the experiment. Children found a website to teachthemselves the English alphabet. Younger children began teachingolder children.Results of experiment6 to 13 year olds can self construct - teach themselves in groups if youlift adult intervention.Results showed the same learning curve you would get in a school.300 children were computer literate within 6 months with onecomputer. 8 year olds live in a society, which says don’t do that don’ttouch.
    36. 36. www.montessoricentrewales.comCan A Teacher Be Replaced By A Machine?Source: http://lifestarstgeorge.com/blog/?p=489Source: http://www.montana.edu/ttt/school_admin.php
    37. 37. www.montessoricentrewales.comConclusion•Primary education can happen independently•Not imposed from top down•Can be self organising•Natural systems are all self organising•Values are acquired doctrine and dogma are imposedIf They Can They Should BeSource: lrnteach.com blog
    38. 38. www.montessoricentrewales.comSugata Mitra is working on providing an alternative to traditionaleducation through his ‘Granny Clouds’ where children teachthemselves and tackle the big questions.The results of his work are startling and challenge any educatedmind into rethinking education.Isn’t that why we became teachers?Do we stop learning?Do we dismiss the research in favour of maintaining the statusquo?Do we continue with a system, which has been overtaken by therest of the world?
    39. 39. www.montessoricentrewales.comA CHANGE IS GONNA COMECultural change is organic from the ground up but people are desperately clinging on tothe old or suggesting we reinstate and update the old.The future is with the alternativeRevolution does not require permissionIt does not start from the topIt is not politicians leading the wayThere is a global shift feeding off child and parental unrest.The effort of constraining talent is greater than the effort in releasing it.‘All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, andthose that move.’ Benjamin FranklinDon’t waste too much time, move around them.Work with the movable and the movers
    40. 40. www.montessoricentrewales.comIn conclusion, Montessori education places the child firmly at the centre of the process andrelies on observation of the child to lead and inform the adult. The relationship between childand adult is the key to the success or failure of the method.The Plowden report was revolutionary and should have had a much stronger effect on nurseryand primary provision given that its statement of overall aims included what we now know asthe main premise of Montessori education, i.e.“At the heart of the educational process is the child. No (educational) advances … have theirdesired effect unless they are in harmony with the nature of the child, unless they arefundamentally acceptable to him …’ .Autonomy and individuality are also a key factors in the delivery of educational methods. Howthat autonomy and individuality transpires differs from place to place and again is dependent onthe adults within the environment. Gardner goes so far as to hesitate to accept any view of childdevelopment that does not recognise the possibility of a high degree of individuality broughtabout through the skills that every individual uses to process, categorize and make sense out ofwhat we see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. The Montessori provision is all about just that ifdelivered true to the original philosophy. Montessori has been providing self organised learningenvironments for over a century catering for multiple intelligences.
    41. 41. www.montessoricentrewales.comReferencesAdobe, 2012. http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pdfs/Adobe_Creativity_and_Education_Why_It_Matters_study.pdfCampbell, B. 1999. The Learning Revolution, Education innovations for global citizensEdwards, C. Gandini, L. & Forman, G. (Eds.). 1998. The hundred languages of children:Edwards, C. P. 2002, Katz & Cesarone, (1994) New (2000). Three Approaches from Europe: Waldorf, Montessori and Reggio Emilia.The Reggio Emillia approach-Advanced reflections (2nd ed.).Gardener, H. 1993. http://www.multipleintelligencetheory.co.ukGardner, W. R. 1966, The Elementary School Journal, Vol. 67, No. 2 pp. 72-83.Gerver, R. 2013 http://www.richardgerver.com/blog/Hughes, S. 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcNvTPX4Q08Mitra, S. 2013. http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud.htmlPenn, H. 2005, Understanding Early Childhood, Issues and controversies, Open University Press.Peters, R. S. (Ed.) 1969, A Critique of Plowdens ‘Recognisable Philosophy of Education.’Richards, C. 1984, The Study Of Primary Education, The Falmer Press.Robinson, K 2012. http://www.educationrevolution.org/blog/kenrobinsonTaylor, F. W. 1911, The Principles of scientific management. http://www.ibiblio.org/eldritch/fwt/ti.htmlWilson, P. 1974, Plowden’s ‘Facts’ About Children: A Child Centred-Critique.http://www.npgprints.com/image/70750/mayotte-magnus-bridget-horatia-nee-richmond-lady-plowdenResourcesS.O.L.E. toolkit http://www.ted.com/pages/sole_toolkitRichard Gerver and Sir Ken Robinson http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creating-Tomorrows-Schools-TodayFree Montesori learning resources www.montessoricentrewales.ning.com