Montessori Methodologies in High School?

Well, 2020 has been an interesting year so far, hasn’t it? I’ve seen memes galore. Some of my favorites:

And then, there were more after the first presidential debate:

I finished off the 2019/20 school year remotely, not being able to hug my students goodbye. They knew I wouldn’t be back next school year because my family would be moving overseas to Qatar. The physical distance was devastating, but then again, we were all going through it, so I didn’t feel alone.

The summer came and went, and then new school season began at my school, someone else teaching “my” students in “my” classroom. I am still in country due to delays in visa processing, #coviddelays, and so I find myself at home, a full time mom helping my own three children manage full time online learning through the overseas school we all thought we’d join in person back in August. It’s a good thing. They need my help, and family always comes first. Still, in my free time I find myself considering other ways to continue my love of learning.

This search has me thinking about a doctorate degree. I’ve been looking around at different schools and trying to wrap my head around what I’d want my dissertation to be about. Curriculum and instruction is what really excites me, especially after this whole “forced distance learning” thing, compliments of COVID19.

In most circumstances, I haven’t seen it done well. Problem-based and student-centered learning can be difficult enough for teachers to wrap their heads around, but add in remote learning and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. However, you might enjoy this episode from i.nspiration e.ducation which highlights best practices in online learning for the kindergarten classroom.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but my guess is that distance learning will not go away now that it is here. Even if does, becoming more versed in curriculum and instruction is something we could all benefit from. Educators want our students to love to learn, but this is almost impossible without first equipping ourselves in skills such as student engagement through intrinsic motivation. Excelling at designing curriculum, both vertically (school or district wide) and horizontally (your own classroom aligned to the vertical), can help. Learning how to deliver our content in new and exciting ways can help.

To this end, I am reading in earnest about the Montessori philosophy of education. Perhaps Maria Montessori’s methodologies could be intertwined into a future dissertation about high school curriculum and instruction? This would be most interesting as her perspective changes little as children grow, but the actual implementation dwindles past middle school. I’ll keep you updated!

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