Maria Montessori, a visionary Italian anthropologist and physician, developed the Montessori Method of Education. The Montessori Method of Education is recognized throughout the world for its success in the education of young children. It has been implemented on six continents and has proven effective across cultural and socio-economic boundaries. In North America alone, there are approximately 5,000 private Montessori schools and 200 public Montessori schools.
The educational philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori inspires the development of the child in a safe, supportive, and culturally diverse environment that gives children the freedom to explore, cooperate, create, and grow.
The essence of Montessori schools, therefore, is a pedagogy based on a truly hands on approach to education which develops all aspects of a student's intellectual, spiritual and emotional psyche. Montessori is centered on establishing independence, self-esteem, and confidence while fostering learning at a child's own pace.
This self-paced education is accomplished by changing the role of adults in the classroom from teachers of a whole class into that of facilitator or guide for the students as individuals. According to the American Montessori Society, guides have four principle goals, which encompass what the Montessori method hopes to achieve.
A Montessori guide strives to:
awaken your child's spirit and imagination
to encourage his/her normal desire for independence and high sense of self-esteem
help him/her develop the kindness, courtesy, and self-discipline that will allow him/her to become a full member of society
help him/her learn how to observe, question, and explore ideas independently
A carefully prepared environment is another trademark of a Montessori program. With so much emphasis on individual and small-group exploration, the room itself is kept bright, warm, and inviting. It will often contain many learning centers that allow a child to focus on what they are most interested in, while being gently encouraged to try new things. These centers are filled with objects that cater to what preschoolers are most responsive to - highly tactile, very hands-on learning materials that teach through manipulation.
The sense that they are in charge of this environment also fosters feelings of responsibility and accountability in the children. Studies have shown that a feeling of ownership contributes to better care of belongings. Visitors to Montessori classrooms are often amazed to see children working together to clean up centers after they are done experimenting and learning in them. Older children are encouraged to help the younger children in their explorations, teaching compassion and instilling the lesson that there is no shame in needing help in life.
Rudolf Steiner, founder of Anthroposophy and the first Waldorf School (1919) was a leading philosopher, lecturer, and author early in the last century. Through more than 50 books and 6,000 published lectures, his ideas continue to exert a world-wide influence on the arts, sciences, medicine, agriculture, and philosophy. His insights and views on education are embodied in an international movement with over 950 Waldorf schools worldwide.
Waldorf programs strive to stimulate children's bodies, spirits, and souls with a nurturing, homelike environment that engages all five senses. Rudolf Steiner believed that small children learn best by imitation and by their physical surroundings. Creative play is the most important means of learning in a Waldorf classroom, with a focus on teamwork and togetherness. Therefore, a Waldorf program strives to provide an environment worthy of imitation, where children can play imaginatively and creatively, gradually developing a balanced feeling life which will lead in turn to a solid and creative capacity for thinking and a lively intellect.
In preschool, children learn concentration, interest, and a love of learning through cooking, dress-up, singing, art projects, storytime, and other activities. Waldorf classrooms are all natural: no televisions, computers, or even plastic toys. The philosophy teaches that children benefit from the feel, sight, and smell of natural materials. Children learn responsibility and a love for nature through feeding the animals they are helping raise, watering plants and tending to small gardens.
Waldorf programs are more group-oriented and have a stronger sense of rhythm and routine than the Montessori system.
The self-directed project-oriented Reggio Emelia approach encourages children to take on projects that stimulate their curiosity and see them through to completion. Documentation is an integral part of the process and involves observation, reflection, collaboration, interpretation, analysis, and is made a part of the classroom. It also provides opportunities for children to revisit the experience. All three methods encourages teachers to let a child's interests guide the curricula.
There is much material on the internet about the new children that have been incarnating during the past several years. Their DNA is different. The neurological wiring in their bodies is different. They see more, feel more and innately know more than their elders. They know their mission and will not be deterred from their path. They will definitely change what they cannot accept. These newcomers are generally grouped into two categories, the Indigo and the Crystal children.
The Indigos were the first to arrive. They have a warrior spirit, and their collective purpose is to break down the dysfunctional old systems that no longer serve us and to dismantle and remove old and limiting ways of thinking. They are here to quash government, educational, and legal and other systems that lack integrity.
The Crystal Children have come to begin the process of renewal and rebuilding. The Primary Mission of a Crystal Child is to teach the ways of Multi-Dimensional Living – in harmony, peace and love. They have come to teach us how to live empowered lives. They have come to help us to reconnect with the Divine Feminine energies. They represent the future path of the Human Race.
Many of these children born now and into the future will confound and exasperate their elders for they come here at this time with very specific missions. They are serving as catalysts for the evolution of humankind. It is society’s role to support them in their endeavors to create a higher level of living. It is our duty to encourage and support them in their efforts to promote social justice, environmental preservation, global awareness, and peace.
The most common traits of Indigo Children
They come into the world with a feeling of royalty (and often act like it) and have a feeling of “deserving to be here.” They are surprised when others don’t share that.
Self-worth is not a big issue. They often tell the parents “who they are.”
They have difficulty with absolute authority (authority without explanation or choice) and, are not shy in letting you know what they need.
They simply will not do certain things; for example – waiting in line is difficult for them.
They get frustrated with systems that are ritual-oriented and don’t require creative thought.
They often see better ways of doing things, both at home and at school, which makes them seem like “system busters” – (nonconforming to any system).
They seem antisocial unless they are with their own kind. If there are no others of like consciousness around them, they often let no other human understand them. Regular school is extremely difficult for them socially.
They will not respond to “guilt” discipline.
The most common traits of Crystal Children
This generation of new lightworkers,roughly ages 0 through 7, are happy, delightful and forgiving.
They have telepathic abilities.
Many of the Crystal Children have delayed speech patterns, and its not uncommon for them to wait until they’re 3 or 4 years old to begin speaking.
Crystal Children are quite the opposite. They are among the most connected, communicative, caring and cuddly of any generation.
They are also quite philosophical and spiritually gifted. And they display an unprecedented level of kindness and sensitivity to this world.
Crystal Children spontaneously hug and care for people in need.
They are a powerful force for love and peace on the plane