Montessori: Autonomy and Choice With High-Poverty Students (This time ASCD Nails It)

Yesterday I wrote about a Montessori article in ASCD’s Education Update magazine, and I mentioned a post on ASCD’s In Service blog. It’s a pretty great post, and it’s public, and it’s just 500 words—I really urge you to go read it right now.

So if you read the post, there’s not too much else to say. This is how we like to see Montessori talked about.  It gets right to what’s great about Montessori and it addresses the real issues that are properly agitating the wider education world—poverty and inequality of educational outcomes. Look what’s in the first paragraph:

  • Student choice is powerful in poor communities.
  • Public Montessori is on the move.
  • Public Montessori favors “choice over direct instruction to serve low-income populations.”
  • There’s a thing called the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector, and it has a Senior Associate and Research Director (yes, Jackie Cossentino again).

The rest of the post is essentially more of McKibben’s interview with Cossentino from the Education Update piece, packed with fantastic pull quotes which I will shamelessly excerpt here:

Most people think of Montessori as a middle class, white, affluent kind of thing. But in fact, it was designed initially and implemented in the slums of Rome, and it works really, really well [with disadvantaged students.

What Montessori does is flip that on its head by saying that if you really want to be successful, you have to learn how to regulate yourself. You have to learn how to think flexibly and how to control yourself.

Human beings learn by experimenting and exploring, and by having many opportunities for trial and error; they learn by making mistakes, and by correcting those mistakes; they learn by [making choices], and by making decisions that enable them to internalize concepts.

Students learn better and are more creative when intrinsically motivated.

But seriously, read the post, link to it, and add it to your talking points.

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3 responses to “Montessori: Autonomy and Choice With High-Poverty Students (This time ASCD Nails It)

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