Our child has become a great reader and a very curious individual. A big and loud thank you to the teachers who have stimulated his natural curiosity.
As Graduate Level Educators, we understand the value of child-centered learning. Sometimes known as the ‘Constructivist Theory’, Montessori was a key resource for Jean Piaget to flesh out his ideas, as to the ideal way for people to learn. Gone are the days of teachers being “The Sage On The Stage”. Now they really must be “The Guide On The Side”.
Though this is what the current curriculum in our province suggest is the way to teach, the reality in the regular school system is far different.
To understand the difference here is a quote:
“According to the social constructivist approach, instructors have to adapt to the role of facilitators and not teachers (Bauersfeld, 1995). Whereas a teacher gives a didactic lecture that covers the subject matter, a facilitator helps the learner to get to his or her own understanding of the content. In the former scenario the learner plays a passive role and in the latter scenario the learner plays an active role in the learning process. The emphasis thus turns away from the instructor and the content, and towards the learner (Gamoran, Secada, & Marrett, 1998). This dramatic change of role implies that a facilitator needs to display a totally different set of skills than that of a teacher (Brownstein 2001). A teacher tells, a facilitator asks; a teacher lectures from the front, a facilitator supports from the back; a teacher gives answers according to a set curriculum, a facilitator provides guidelines and creates the environment for the learner to arrive at his or her own conclusions; a teacher mostly gives a monologue, a facilitator is in continuous dialogue with the learners (Rhodes and Bellamy, 1999). A facilitator should also be able to adapt the learning experience ‘in mid-air’ by taking the initiative to steer the learning experience to where the learners want to create value”.
This is exactly what Montessori does at Kingswood Academy. We have the best facilitators in Moncton. Our child understands basic global geography. He asks questions about global, national, provincial and municipal responsibilities and the impact of elections. World peace is an issue he wants of learn about. At the supper table the adults are peppered with questions about poverty, science, math, history, language, and social interaction. These questions come from conversations he has in class that have stimulated his interest. His curiosity about his surroundings has increased.
But best of all, he wants to go to school. He enjoys the day-to-day challenges the program offers and the interaction with his peers.
Paz and Tom Hart
~Paz and Tom Hart