montessori madness

Apparently Montessori Madness – a book by Trevor Eissler is very good & entertaining.  I am yet to read it, though.

“This is by far the most passionate, interesting (and even humorous at times) Montessori book we have read in a long time. It is written by a father, a pilot, who compares the Montessori education his children are receiving with his own education. His insight makes this revolutionary educational method understood better even by those teachers and teacher trainers who know it well…it is the most valuable parent book available today.”

— Susan Stephenson, Michael Olaf Montessori Company

On a related note, there is this post that has an interesting take on the Montessori mode.

… I can’t help looking at Montessori andthinking that it is excellent, but not because Montessori’s approach and materials are inherently better.

It is excellent because

– Montessori teachers are teachers who are clearly smart and
passionate about education, and the school environment (principals, etc) share the smarts and the passion.

– Parents sending kids to a Montessori school are smart and
passionate about education.

– The group of kids is small and manageable, so the smart and
passionate teachers can work their magic.

And that wins. They could teach with computers, or abacuses or post it
notes or books written in Esperanto. It’s all a catalyst that brings
the 3 (purely human!) elements above together. Indirection. A social
mind trick.

Of course, I like most of Montessori’s approach. But remove the human
elements and… poof! it’s effects will be gone. Montessori strategies
in a crowded group with an unenthusiastic teacher have very slim


An interesting take, eh?

But then, I also know that Montessori is being reduced to a mere brand with not much to back it up in so many schools. It is like the famous Udupi-Chinese-NorthIndian-Andhra-Chettinad-NorthKarnataka ‘specialty’ cuisine restaurants that abound in Bangalore. Basically they serve some reasonable food – may be that bane of a ‘minimum common denominator’ of the cuisines! Nothing more. No soul.

One has to be wary of these makarathoranas of education, I suppose…

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