Montessori Motivation

The greatest sign of a success for a teacher…is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.”

  • Maria Montessori

This quote is awesome. It says that the teacher has empowered her students. Maria Montessori allowed children to learn through practical play. In doing so, she allowed the students to chose what they wanted to learn and explore what interests them. Through her unique teaching style she gives  children the knowledge and understanding to tackle problems with confidence and skill. The students use their own logic and reasoning to find answers to their questions. The students explore and discover knowledge at deeper levels while the teacher acts as a guide.

The students are self confident, and eager to accept the challenge of learning new concepts. They are encouraged to use their own initiative and develop their abilities. The children are on the road of discovery and are directing their own learning. The students have the power and control of their own educational destiny. They learn what they need to learn through practical play.

This quote makes it possible for children to be imaginative and creative. They are allowed to follow areas of their own interests and think critically. They aren’t robots and learning by route, instead they use their own minds and ideas to solve problems.

On the negative side, student work would be more difficult to mark and grade. The consistency of the learning journey isn’t there as each student is learning at their own rate rather than a predetermined level.

This quote takes the curriculum which I tend to think of as a dull and boring document, and breathes life and vibrancy into it. Montessori’s approach makes the curriculum a dynamic tool allowing the teacher and the students to be creative.

Her students would love to come to school, as her classroom would be a place of ideas and revelations. It would be a fun place. I want to be like this teacher.

Reference

ECS210. (Winter2018). Some Educational Quotes https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LqctuKiZuTiY7NLPBEv_9xhpJEYE9jChsheqdxqBzU4/edit

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Curriculum and It’s Impact on Society

Explain the ways in which you may have experienced the Tyler rationale in your own schooling.

The Tyler rationale views education as a process that focuses on curriculum goals. These goals are achieved through acquiring new skills in which students can demonstrate knowledge, i.e. exams. It was considered important for students to learn and change behaviours to become smarter. To learn new behaviours, students had to learn through experience and by doing. Teachers needed to control the learning experience and organize materials to ensure students learned effectively. The teacher had evaluation tools such as exams to test if the student had reached the predetermined goals of the curriculum.

All my early and middle education was build on Tyler’s rationale. My teachers would break down subjects into small pieces and then build on that knowledge. All learning was by route. Exams were important as they showed how successful I was in a given subject. There was no inquiry learning, and exploration; creativity wasn’t encouraged. School was not dynamic and fun; it was boring and dull.

What are the major limitations of the Tyler rationale?

The Tyler rationale doesn’t allow the student to have their own voice to say how they are being shaped and molded. Each person has different learning styles and Tyler’s interpretation of the curriculum doesn’t allow for that. His rationale doesn’t look at the person and their specific needs, the individual is left out of the equation and Tyler’s rationale is sterile. There are no values given for positive or negative attributes “kind/unkind, moral/immoral, responsible/irresponsible” (Schrio, p. 78), these attributes are what makes us who we are, and unique.

What does Tyler’s rationale make impossible?

Tyler’s rationale makes creativity impossible. Students aren’t allowed to have self expression and follow areas of self interest. Students imaginations are not stimulated and allowed to be expressed, which is an important part of education.

What are some potential benefits?

Tyler’s rationale does have benefits. Students have the skills to be productive within society, as the schooling system has taught them necessary skills for success. Education is standardized, and all students have the same knowledge base.

What is made possible?

Everyone conforms to societal norms as all individuals have the same educational background; society as a whole moves forward as a collective unit.

Reference

Schiro, M. (2013). Curriculum theory: Conflicts visions and enduring concerns. (second Ed). SAGE.

Common Sense Needs Criticizing

How does Kumashiro define ‘common sense’?

Kumashiro teaches that common sense is the cultural normative narrative. It’s the way things have been done traditionally and we feel an intense pressure to conform to the norms of society. As Kumashiro explains common sense is the term used when we “continue to privilege only certain perspectives, practices, values, and groups of people” (p. XXXVI) and because of this, common sense needs to be challenged.

Why is it so important to pay attention to the ‘common sense’?

Because of our normative narratives or common sense, we tend to follow our society and cultural norms without asking questions. We accept things the way they have been done, and assume traditions are our base line for society. Common sense gives us the feeling of comfort and we like to feel comfortable. The problem is that our society is oppressing people without the majority realizing it. Common sense is like a giant blanket where those with privilege are wrapped up feeling cozy, while others on the outside are freezing in the cold; unseen and unnoticed.

We need to pay attention; who is seen and who is unseen. Who is standing in the peripheral sphere of society and has been ignored, ridiculed, or harassed? Those of us wearing ‘rose tinted spectacles’ and walking around with white privilege need to take off the glasses and start asking difficult questions. The “Status quo is oppressive” (Kumashiro, p. XXXV) and we need to challenge the status quo and shake up common sense. Oppression is wrong. Common sense needs criticizing.

Reference

Kumashiro. (2009) Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice, pp. XXIX – XLI.