Probably the most famous theory of philosophy and education in schools today is from Maria Montessori, and her appropriately named technique called the Montessori Method. Its goal is to nurture a child’s natural tendency to be curious and to take initiative. Using the theories and concepts they learnt in class, students will not just improve their natural abilities, but will also develop a knack to formulate their own theories and ideas as well. For this reason, schools like the Global Indian International School (GIIS) uses a Global Montessori Program (GMP), which works hand-in-hand with their renowned ‘Nine Gems’ educational framework.
Holistic education and the Montessori Method
Schools nowadays give so much weight on holistic education — a philosophy based around the premise that a person can find purpose and identity through community work and understanding the world through the lens of compassion and peace. And this jives so well with the Montessori Method because it encourages children to be inquisitive and explore the environment that they are in. The goal of both is to produce students who are not only succeeding academically, but who will also become socially responsible leaders.
There are three significant age groups in the Montessori Method:
- 2 – 2.5 years of age – when the propensity to be curious is nurtured
- 5 – 6 years of age – when they are expected to repeat definitions and concepts learn in class
- 6 – 12 years of age – when they are expected to discuss abstract concepts and be able to come up with their own ideas through reasoning and creativity
International schools like the GIIS accomplishes the learning goals of their framework and of the Montessori Method by adapting an ‘understanding by design’ teaching style. It could be best understood through this basic learning taxonomy:
- Repetition – students can define textbook definitions and repeat them
- Application – students can apply what they have learnt through team projects or reports
- Creative thinking – students can make their own theories that may or may not agree with the definitions they have learnt
Both educational philosophies, holistic education and the Montessori Method, go through this same taxonomy. Once a student achieves lesson synthesis, that is, if they are able to successfully go through this method, this tells us that their conclusions were made with sound logic. These methods are not just for academic use, but it can also be applied to the arts, sports, and community involvement.
If we want our children to get the best out of their education, these are the kinds of programs and values we should be on the lookout for. The Montessori Method and holistic education means that we can be confident our children will not just be effective movers in society, but also ones who have genuine concern for others.