Talk of the Towns 3/23/12

Issue: Local education
Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Engineer: Joel Mann

Program Topic: Montessori Education at Belfast’s Corner Spring Montessori School
Key Discussion Points:
a) What are the basic elements of a Montessori education (Self- Construction, Liberty, Spontaneous Activity) and how do these match with children’s development?
b)Talk about the “human tendencies” that Maria Montessori observed in children… (mention any connection to non-violent communication??)
c)What does a typical Montessori day look like at Corner Spring Montessori School? (sound like, smell like, taste like?)
d)What have you observed in how children respond to the day to day elements of a Montessori education? What are students learning about collaboration?
e) Dr. Angeline Lillard’s research indicates that Montessori education has positive effects on social skills… how do you see that playing out in your own experience?
f) If the “human tendencies” are fostered over the four phases of development, what hopes do you have for the kinds of adults that result? How do those adults contribute to the wider community in which they live?
g) How important are parents in Montessori education… assuming that Montessori parents are already motivated to care about their children’s education, how do you involve them to integrate the philosophy of the classroom to their own parenting and teaching?
h) What are some of the criticisms of Montessori education and how do you respond to them? (stifling creativity – John Dewey; Homework? Grading? Elitism?)
i) What sorts of opportunities and challenges do you face as a private non-profit school, and how are you responding?

A) Paula Johnson, Corner Spring Montessori School
B) Cindi Scappaticci, Head Teacher, Lower elementary
C) Matt O’Malia, Board member
D) Anne Saggese, parent

Call In Program: Yes