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Meeting the challenges of keeping Montessori authentic in a Public School setting

CONVENER(S): Jean Christianson and Leah Black

PARTICIPANTS: Diane Jasinski, Barbara Seidner, Nancy Hodge, Pam Partenteri, Joan PurdyBarbara? Durrer, Michael Duffy, Jane Ward, Adrienne Moyer, Kathy Branch, Susan Jefdrar, Melissa MacQueen?, Linda Zankowsky, Jill Marsden, Michael Dorer, Susan Smith, Amy Seibert


Concerns that were brought up included:

A. Keeping the integrity of Montessori in a public school setting

B. Growing a new program: *grouping by age vs grade

C. How to deal with state standards and standardized testing and how to keep from hurrying students and stressing staff

Discussion: In addressing melding state standards with the Montessori curriculum, we need to remain aware that the scope of the Montessori curriculum is much richer than the standards but that the sequence is different. So, the same and even more is coveres but at different times. We need to examine whether to modify the sequence so as to fit better with the time constraints of testing, etc. Is this possible? Or really desirable.

We need to trust in the Montessori curriculum to prepare our students to more than do well. To enable administrator, parents and other non-Montessorians to better see what the curriculum presents, a scope and sequence could be developed from the curriculum in our albums. this may provide the information to show how Montessori meets and more than meets the state standards and could be tailored for different states. If a website was established for public school Montessorians, work on this scope and sequence could be done on a cooperative basis.

In Florida, Ppublic Montessori schools, including staff and administrators, couild get together to lobby the legislature to recognize the special nature of the Montessori Method and get waivers from the many specials and traditional demands to protect the children's work. We need to come up with a good plan to show them. Also how do we satisfy parents when they ask how their children are going to get PE, art, music, etc.

When looking ar standards, we need to realize that many of them are really good and can provide guidance in what we want our children to know and be like when they leave us. The end points can give guidance but we need to deliniate what "we" need to do to get the children there. Are we as Montessor presenting the curriculum adequetely? In making a scope and sequence available, we take the curriculum out of the albums and make it accessable to others and help keep us on track too. When every classroom does its own thing, it is really confusing to others. It would be beneficial to get common goals . This needs to come from the teacher themselves. It will take time and energy to work out. So we need to work together. Please add your ideas to help make this happen. It would help everyone teach the children and meet their neeeds and help destress the teachers too.

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Last edited February 15, 2003 9:23 am USA Pacific Time (diff)