If you’re an MSO parent, welcome! I’m thrilled to be writing the school’s blog. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look around, click on a few links and, of course, subscribe! That way, you’ll keep coming back again and again.
If you’re not an MSO parent, you’re still welcome! Maybe you’ve heard of the Montessori Method. Maybe you’re considering sending your child to a Montessori school or your child is already enrolled in one. Or perhaps you just drove past a Montessori school and were curious enough to check it out. Regardless of your position on Montessori Education, if you’re reading this, you’ve made your way to this blog and you have some basic interest in the topic. So, while you’re here, I’m going to take advantage of that spark of interest by sharing a few thoughts with you.
Foremost, I want to address is the name of this blog. Montessorians will recognize the reference, but for those of you who don’t, The Absorbent Mind is, arguably, Maria Montessori’s most famous treatise on education. Even by today’s standards, it’s a bit radical in its notions. But, though The Absorbent Mind explores how important education is to society, at its core is the child. At the core of all Montessori is the child. It’s how we teach and it’s what we believe as people and educators.
Montessori’s concept of “the absorbent mind” (the idea, not the book) is that, during the first six years of life, children take in information the way a sponge absorbs water. That absorption, that learning, is the work of the child. Parents, teachers and society all play roles in the child’s development, but the actual work is the child’s alone. As a result, Montessori teachers reject the notion that they exist to impart knowledge. Rather, we believe that our job is to facilitate the child’s willingness to learn, to create environments that support concentration and provide opportunities for them to exercise their natural desire for information and order.
Since the child has an absorbent mind, I believe he should also have an absorbent teacher. What does this mean? It means a teacher who is dedicated to him, who is absorbed in his process, who is constantly observing and making adjustments to make his learning as successful as possible. Just as the child absorbs knowledge, the teacher absorbs the needs of the child. That’s her job, her highest purpose.
The master whom the teacher serves is the child’s spirit; when it shows its needs she must hasten to respond to them. (Montessori, 281).
An absorbent teacher is also one who never ceases her own learning. Just as her students strive for knowledge, so should she. Is it possible to teach children the importance of education if you believe that you’ve completed your own, if you think there is a finite end to learning? I say no. As adults, we may not absorb knowledge the way young children do, but we are absorbent nonetheless.
That’s all for today! I hope all of you will visit The Absorbent Teacher again. All posts will be linked to the school’s Facebook page, but I invite you to follow via email (check the left hand sidebar). That way, posts will go directly to your inbox–no fuss, no muss. Thank you for reading and come back soon!
Montessori, Maria. “The Teacher’s Preparation.” The absorbent mind. New York: Henry Holt, 1995. Print.