How School Should Be

I must admit I have mixed feelings about Trevor Eissler’s newest video.  I find the first half   a little harsh and melodramatic (and hey, I’m clearly not a fan of traditional education).  Some public and private schools are making an effort to think outside the box and buck the testing trend, and they’re having some success.

I also don’t understand the title of the video. Seems a bit over-the-top, as if saying that Montessori children are somehow “better” than children educated by other method.  Really, Montessori doesn’t need this kind of elitist image…

I do think that many parents and educators need to be woken from their stupor, though, and if this is the way that we’re going to achieve that then Trevor gets my vote.  Watch it for yourself and let me know what you think!


7 thoughts on “How School Should Be

  1. Hey Pilar, thanks for your honest opinion. I agree with you about the beginning, I almost stopped watching it because of its aggressiveness. Yet I do like the message that there are options out there and that Montessori is part of them. I do hope it gets people thinking!

  2. Harsh? Melodramatic? Aggressive? Hmmmm. Over my thirty+ years as a Montessori educator, I have watched in dismay as the brilliance of Montessori education has been ignored, misunderstood, and criticized aggressively. I have personally volunteered in public schools, and have verified through my observations and conversations with traditional ed teachers that the system is broken. (In my opinion it never actually worked well, but I think it is actually destructive to send a child into the public system.) And yes teachers work hard, love children, etc., etc., etc. I’ve heard it all. Bottom line is Trevor is right. Traditional education must be dismantled, and replaced with evidence-based education like Montessori, for the sake of our children and for the sake of our planet. Perhaps you think my words are melodramatic too. Good. We need some drama to open some eyes. I’ve studied these problems for a lifetime, and I say, we must shake things up. If some are offended, so be it. Conflict is an absolute necessity in the facilitation of change. Montessori was school reform 100 years ago. It’s high time we educate to the human potential, reach the soul of the child, and help each and every INDIVIDUAL find his or her wings.So I say, “Go Trevor!!!” As far as the title goes, I believe that it implies that children are not receiving the “hug” of emotional and physical and intellectual support that they need in traditional ed. Trevor can correct me if I missed the point… I enjoy this blog most of the time–just letting you know I disagree with your opinion on this post.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Cody. I share your feelings of frustration, but I have learned the hard way that non-Montessorians (aka, the rest of the world) tend to shut down when you come at them with harsh, critical words (even if those observations are completely accurate). There’s a reason they say “You catch more flies with honey”. Negative rhetoric will just make people even more critical of Montessori, they will jump to erroneous conclusions about the method based on one little video, and all our efforts will be for naught. Instead of attacking those that aren’t doing things right, I’ve learned to lead by example (hence this here blog). My previous blog was much snarkier, and although it received cheers from Montessorians, it got jeers from parents who were looking for some unbiased information and felt attacked for not being “in the know”. It’s not easy to stay positive after seeing children being affected everyday by education that’s mediocre at best, but for the sake of those children we must try to shine a positive light on Montessori without trashing other systems.

  3. As Montessorians we are taught to express positives in children and their learning while patiently waiting for them to move beyond their weaknesses and non-normalized behavior. This video approach is hard for me because it pointedly puts the weaknesses of more traditionally oriented educational systems very pointedly on display. There is no wideness for positives. It is very black and white therefore there is no grace and courtesy in the first portion. It is definitely a “hard sell” approach to Montessori. However, in the second half it does handle Montessori’s strengths and its ability to “create a love of learning to last a lifetime.” That I enjoyed.

  4. I am a public school educator (high school) and I find this video 100% accurate. However, I am fortunate that in my district, we are given the autonomy to take risks and venture away from the curriculum as long as main issues/topics/content are being taught.

    I teach all elective courses so I have freshmen through seniors…all level learners in the classes. It’s truly amazing to see the different students collaboratively working on a project together. My classroom is problem-based – even in an English classroom setting.

    I love this video that you shared and I truly think it’s not showing any elitism. I think it’s fantastic advertising for Montessori Schools.

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