- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Sevenoff, LLC; First edition (July 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 098228330X
- ISBN-13: 978-0982283301
- Package Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 53 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Montessori Madness! A Parent to Parent Argument for Montessori Education Paperback – July 1, 2009
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Just what the wider educational community needs a book written with passion and understanding by a Montessori parent to other parents. Trevor Eissler is a rare parent who can put into writing his enthusiasm and first-hand experience as a Montessori advocate to other parents. ---Barbara Gordon, President, Montessori Institute of Texas; Founder, Barbara Gordon Montessori School
I am excited that our faculty will be reading Montessori Madness! this summer for our summer reading selection. It is a very practical perspective from a parent that gives great insight and answers to the questions that our parent body seems to be seeking. This book gives us very tangible topics to discuss with parents in the upcoming years. ---Michele Shane, Head of School, The Children's House
What's great about this book is that it is written by a Montessori parent for other parents who may or may not have already discovered Montessori education for their children. It's easy reading and passionately makes the case for choosing Montessori. ---Nirvair Khalsa, Head of School, Khalsa Montessori School
About the Author
Trevor Eissler, father of three children attending Montessori schools, is a pilot and flight instructor. His teaching experience is in a jet airplane cockpit at 40,000 feet. The painfully slow evolution of pilot training was brought home to him while observing 3 year-olds in a Montessori classroom. The learning principles that leading-edge aviation instructors were trying to implement (while running up against entrenched bureaucracy in aviation) were the very same principles already implemented and proving wildly successful in Montessori classrooms.
Researching these learning principles and practices, observing his children's progress, and experiencing a new way of looking at children, family, and community through the Montessori lens convinced him of the urgent need to let other families know about this wonderful education option.
Eissler is an author, a juggler, a unicyclist, a Toastmaster, a pianist, a triathlete, and a husband. He wants to be a Montessori student when he grows up.
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I put together a few quotes from articles and other places from looking into the case of Finland's education system. Those things that make Finland's system different from the US's could also be said about Montessori schools:
Finland's schools owe their newfound fame primarily to one study: the PISA survey, conducted every three years by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The survey compares 15-year-olds in different countries in reading, math, and science. Finland has ranked at or near the top in all three competencies on every survey since 2000.
Pasi Sahlberg, director of the Finnish Ministry of Education's Center for International Mobility and author of the new book "Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?"
Quote from review on Amazon: “Finnish teachers are rarely found standing in front of classrooms lecturing students. Instead, they are found milling about - whether inside their classrooms, in the school kitchen for cooking class, or outside in the woods for a lesson that incorporates nature. In other words, hands-on, project-based learning is common in Finland. This approach to pedagogy engages children, while inspiring them to think creatively, become absorbed in thoughtful analysis, problem-solve, and work with others in a collaborative manner. ”
From an Atlantic article:
Finnish schools assign less homework and engage children in more creative play
Finland has only one standardized tests, at the end of their voluntary upper-secondary school, roughly like our high school. Instead, the public school system's teachers are trained to assess children in classrooms using independent tests they create themselves. All children receive a report card at the end of each semester, but these reports are based on individualized grading by each teacher.
And while Americans love to talk about competition, Sahlberg points out that nothing makes Finns more uncomfortable. It's hard to think of a more un-American idea, but when it comes to education, Finland's success shows that the Finnish attitude might have merits.
Also, they spend about the least amount of time in class compared to other countries.
“We prepare children to learn how to learn, not how to take a test,” said Pasi Sahlberg.
Now that I'm married, and my wife is trying to have a baby, we are looking for alternative educational approaches, since we both agree that education is pretty much the foundation and axis of human experience on Earth.
Those are the circumstances under which I've found this book.
It's not just funny; it's amazingly down to earth, straightforward, clear and persuasive. It rests the case beautifully for the point that Mrs. Montessori's approach is not at all about how to educate children - it's about teaching us to help them educate themselves. While having a lot of fun in the process.
The father who wrote this book takes the reader on a journey of discovery of Montessori. Part of the book is a personal story, interwoven with well-written explanations of Montessori from a parent's point of view.
This is a much better book of Montessori elementary than _Montessori Today_ which is singly an explanation of the philosophy and specifics of Montessori elementary. (_Montessori Today_ is an excellent next book for those wanting to learn even more. _Montessori Today_ is required reading for those training to be Montessori elementary teachers.)
There aren't many books about Montessori elementary, even written by Dr. Montessori herself. In addition, Dr. Montessori's own books are difficult books to wade through -- she tends to stumble on her own words to get out the flood of thoughts and ideas that are raging in her intelligent mind. (And keep in mind that all of her books are translated from Italian, and many of them were translated decades ago.)
Better to read books *about* the Montessori philosophy by someone besides the good doctor herself.