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Montessori secondary schools: opportunities and obstacles Michael Rubinstein Mirjam Stefels.

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Presentation on theme: "Montessori secondary schools: opportunities and obstacles Michael Rubinstein Mirjam Stefels."— Presentation transcript:

1 Montessori secondary schools: opportunities and obstacles Michael Rubinstein Mirjam Stefels

2 part 1 Secondary Montessori schools in the Netherlands

3 1930: Montessori Lyceum Amsterdam The first secondary Montessori school 2009: - 20 schools - 11.000 pupils

4 Educational system in The Netherlands Age 4-12 : Primary schools In Montessori schools: - group 1 and 2 - group 3, 4 and 5 - group 6, 7 and 8

5 Educational system in The Netherlands Age 12 – 18: Secondary schools Pre-vocational education: 4 years Senior general secondary education: 5 years Pre-university education: 6 years

6 Lycea combine streams and usually have two years of basic education in mixed streams Gymnasia are either part of pre- university education in lycea or separate schools Schools take part in a final examination, consisting of a nationwide part and specific school exams

7 Legal status of schools Public-authority education Private education: denominational and non-denominational All recognized schools receive (lump- sum) state funding - for teachers - educational materials - school buildings


9 Secondary Montessori schools in The Netherlands Main goal: create an environment in which children can develop themselves into independent adults No blueprint, but general Montessori principles e.g.: freedom in restraint freedom of choice independent learning

10 No Erdkinder schools, because: Boarding schools don’t fit in concept of family upbringing and contemporary pedagogical perspectives on growing up (youth culture; peer groups; work experience) Emphasis on relevance of pedagogical triangle child/family/school

11 Need for a shared perspective - General principles: ‘Montessori education for the 21 st century’ - Six characteristics of secondary Montessori education - Profile secondary Montessori teacher

12 ‘Montessori education for the 21 st century’: modern translation of Montessori principles

13 6 characteristics Head, heart and hands Learning how to make choices Reflection Social learning Cohesion in subject matter In school and outside school

14 Head, heart and hands ‘Complete education’ Rich curriculum Combining subjects, projects

15 Learning how to make choices Choices: When? Where? With whom? How? What?

16 Reflection What have I learned? How do I tackle things?

17 Social learning Adolescence as sensitive period for social learning Difference between unintentional social learning and intentional social learning (for instance: cooperative learning)

18 Cohesion in subject matter Instead of cutting things up into subjects: attention for the big picture and relation (Montessori: ‘Cosmic education’) Cooperation between subjects

19 In school and outside school Authentic education, realistic assignments Link with motivation

20 Profile secondary Montessori teacher Knowledge of Montessori education Pedagogical attitude Designing the learning environment Coaching learning processes Concord between - role as teacher - role as member of the school organisation - handler of external contacts

21 Pedagogical attitude Trust Respect Involvement Dealing with differences Self-discipline Role model

22 Designing the learning environment A learning environment that fits all pupils A challenging environment Selecting and/or making materials Maintaining the learning environment

23 Coaching learning processes Observation Reflection Help: interventions (or: intentionally not intervening)

24 Quality management: Education Inspectorate Montessori reviews Teacher training courses and school advisory services

25 Organising education Teaching period: 70; 60; 40 / 80 minutes Free choice hours Various solutions: - combined subjects - workplace and studio - stargroups - …


27 All houses are exactly alike; you may not change anything

28 The houses share a common ground Within the regulations of the community you have freedom in building your house

29 Time-out In buzz groups: What struck you as remarkable? Questions for panel discussions?

30 Part 2 Starting a secondary Montessori school Who takes the initiative? Who supports the initiative?

31 Parents Sometimes parents take the initiative to start a secondary school Parents need to trust the quality of the new school Involve parents right from the start

32 Teachers Teachers need knowledge and skills both in their subject and as Montessori teachers To set up a new school (or part of a school) requires facilities in time, materials and support School management needs to lend full support to teachers, otherwise opposition may arise

33 School management School managers need basic knowledge of Montessori education School managers need a supportive attitude towards teachers (empathy, patience, willingness to facilitate)

34 School board The school board needs the willingness to invest

35 Government Government (central or local) needs to give room for alternative education: - curriculum regulation - examination - finances

36 Finally: Organisation: - school or part of school? - separate building? Number of pupils required Support for teachers

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