Sunday, June 06, 2004

Montessori Programs in Public Schools

Montessori Programs in Public Schools. Does Montessori work in public schools. This site says yes.

From the site:

Maria Montessori founded the first Montessori school in Rome in 1907. It served 4- to 7-year-olds from low-income families in a full-day program. Montessori schools grew in number in Europe and India, and there was a great deal of U.S. interest in Montessori's methods from 1910 to 1920. After this time, Montessori methods were all but forgotten in the U.S. until the late 1950s. Then, a second Montessori movement began in the U.S., with a set of private schools serving an almost entirely middle-class population. A teacher shortage resulted in the opening of private Montessori teacher training centers that were typically free-standing, that is, not associated with a college or university. In the late 1960s, parents in several school districts began to agitate for public schools to offer the Montessori model for their elementary school children who had graduated from private Montessori preschools. This push was given a boost by the availability of federal funds for magnet programs. Today, more than 100 U.S. school districts have some type of Montessori program (Kahn, 1991).

From the beginning, the name "Montessori" has been in the public domain in the U.S. As a consequence, both schools and teacher education programs have proliferated without regulations or restrictions. Fortunately, many Montessori teacher education courses have some community college, college, or university affiliation, and some offer Master of Education degrees with the Montessori Program.

Some elementary schools have used the name "Montessori" to refer to programs that have little relation to the schools Montessori described. Many people rely on a school's affiliation with the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) or the American Montessori Society (AMS) to determine whether the school's program actually uses Montessori methods. But the majority of the public schools have not chosen to affiliate with either organization, usually citing financial restrictions.

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