At 06:24 AM 7/8/2014, GS Chandy wrote in response to Joe N::
>- -- How to ensure that the learners 'know that they are learning'?
Here's a thought, give an appropriate test or tests following the lead of all respectable private schools and all respectable colleges and universities.
>At primary school levels, these issues had long, long ago been >pretty well sorted out by Mme Maria Montessori around 100 years ago >- but the 'educational system' did not learn how to apply and put >into practice the valuable lessons she had taught about how children >learn and understand things. (Robert Hansen disputes this, claiming >that the 'Montessori System' is just hokum [or ideas to this >effect]. He is entirely incorrect, and it will not be difficult to >demonstrate that)
Sorry but Robert Hansen is correct yet again. For (a very critical) one, US Montessori schools are highly self-selective among those who are affluent enough to provide that kind of an early education experience so your statistics can't be believed. More importantly, it's not "primary school levels"; it's "pre-K to 1st" (maybe 2nd or 3rd in the hands of a particularly skilled teacher) as my eldest had in the public environment but it petered out completely when she was promoted to a district position. That is, when real school starts knowledgeable people get their kids out of Montessori and into real schools. Or, as some particularly bright Montessori leaders do, quietly convert to a much more structured environment as the little darlings mature academically.
Since the analogy with learning music has been an important part of this lengthy discussion, there is a nice aspect that I don't believe others have addressed but the music folk will understand, Suzuki method, especially for piano. Works great for little kids but, for those with real talent and industry, even bright Suzuki teachers quietly switch them over to being able to genuinely read music. For teachers that are too "gung ho Suzuki", knowledgeable parents with talented kids find piano teachers with their heads screwed on straight.
Or the analogy from another area, US soccer. AYSO (everybody plays) soccer is great for little kids and, for about a half-century now, soccer enthusiasts have been telling us that as these kids grow up, the worldwide craze for futball will finally catch on in the US. The fact is (statistically speaking) none of those kids ever get into real soccer. If they have athletic talent, they move on to football, basketball, or baseball, not fuzzy soccer. There are a few US players of international caliber but it was because they came up through "club soccer", not AYSO. Along with real sports and real music there is also real academic education. The difference is - at least to some level - only one of them matters to everybody.