I know nothing about Montessori schools in the US; I base my case ENTIRELY on the attitudes to learning and social life of the children I have seen 'at work' in a couple of genuine Montessori schools I have checked out here in India. (I've not checked out a great many of them).
I have no statistics available at all, so don't worry about believing 'my statistics' - for I have offered none at all. (Where did you find that I had asked you to believe 'my statistics'??!!)
What I have found is the following: I have found that children at work in genuine Montessori schools are usually so focused on the work they are engaged in that they very rarely (if ever) get distracted by visitors, people coming around to see the school at work, etc. This is the case whether they're working on 'language skills', 'math skills' or other skills that are deemed necessary. (I have no statistics as to number of schools visited; number of children observed; number of children who were distracted by visitors vs. number of children who focused on their work, etc, etc).
My claim is ONLY that the Montessori system has succeeded, by and large, in removing the 'fear and loathing' felt by children for math [as well as other learning]. Also, genuine Montessori education definitely does help children (whom I've seen) develop into cooperative, collaborative adults, genuinely respecting the social rights of others around them.
As to how Montessori's developments in education are to be *integrated* into the conventional education system, I agree she did not show us how to do that. Therefore: let's hang Maria Montessori and all her works instead of trying to find out how those useful results may be developed for society in general! (THAT's the right way to go, and it's no less than what I'd expect from someone promoting the slogan: "BLOW UP THE SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION!").
It is true that:
- -- Montessori schools are not inexpensive - the equipment used by the learning children is precision-made and does not work out 'cheap';
- -- children leaving the 'Montessori environment' sometimes (/often) do not find it easy to integrate into the 'conventional education stream'. (It is my belief, however, that the Montessori training should be helpful in that).
- -- the conventional educational system at large (in India, definitely; probably in the USA as well) has to date not learned how to take the Montessori system much further than where Maria Montessori had left it around a century ago. > > 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. > See above. > > 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. > I know nothing about the Suzuki method, "gung ho" or otherwise. > > 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. > > Wayne > I know little about soccer except that I enjoyed playing it when I was in school. I know nothing about AYSO.
I don't believe you've demonstrated the relevance of your comments about Suzuki or about AYSO soccer to the case I'm making about education.