Montessori Inspired Nonsense

A site called Living Montessori is a prime example of the kind of nonsense that goes by the name of Montessori Inspired. This site is particularly pernicious because the author claims legitimacy by having been a Montessori teacher and school director. The fact that the Montessori training was in the UK, which only recently has achieved any kind of parity with AMS and AMI quality standards, is not widely known. An example of the kind of nonsense being peddled as Montessori and Montessori Inspired is a post entitled Learning to read can be just a fun game. In it, the main lesson is apparently to trust yourself... trust your child... Learning to read can be just a fun game. This kind of generalization from a child's early use of sandpaper letters (which is far from learning to read) is overblown and ridiculous. The result is justified by a quote from Maria Montessori as follows:

The teacher must derive not only the capacity, but the desire, to observe natural phenomena. In our system, she must become a passive, much more than an active, influence, and her passivity shall be composed of anxious scientific curiosity and of absolute respect for the phenomenon which she wishes to observe. The teacher must understand and feel her position of observer: the activity must lie in the phenomenon.

There was no method to be seen, what was seen was a child ... acting according to its own nature. The essential thing is to arouse such an interest that it engages the child’s whole personality.

One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child. There is a tangential point here, which is that a teacher needs to observe, and that their role is to facilitate an environment that fully engages the child. Nevertheless, the idea that materials should not be introduced properly, and that learning to read is nothing more than a fun game. Montessori materials are not toys and Montessori learning is not playing. It is more than a simple irony that the website is chockablock with activities, the sum of which is nothing more than the usurpation of the inner guide for taking actions that engage developing the will and concentration of the child. Just as with modern life that is packed full of activities, this kind of Modern so-called Montessori-Inspired curriculum for the parent and for the child is a distraction from actual Montessori.

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