Montessori Class Size: Sam Chaltain Aks “What if?”

“National educator and educational change consultant” Sam Chaltain (Wiki) has an interesting piece on his blog (Democracy. Learning. Voice.), cross-posted at Huffington Post: In Trying to Reduce Class Sizes, Are We Trying to Solve the Wrong Problem? Interesting in part because it gives five paragraphs — a third of the post — to Montessori, citing The Absorbent Mind and Dr. Angeline Lillard.

Money quote that brings him to Montessori:

But what if we viewed school with a different set of guiding assumptions? What if, for example, the default mode of instruction didn’t depend on the transmission of knowledge via a single lesson? What if the philosophy of learning was that children should learn from one another as much or more than from any adult? And what if the model of discipline was not based on restricting a child’s movements, but on unleashing them?

Now, Chaltain is kind of big wheel in the education world: former teacher, author or co-author of six books, prolific newspaper, magazine, and internet writer, previously national director of the Forum for Education & Democracy, and the founding director of the Five Freedoms Project, etc., etc.  And he’s written about Montessori before: (Energy or Entropy), and talked us up at TEDx.

And what’s that he’s saying in that first piece: “I spent the other morning in my son’s Montessori classroom.” Nothing like first-hand experience to inform the dialogue!

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