Maria Montessori felt that the future of the world rested in the hands of the children.
Trevor Eissler’s new book, “Montessori Madness”, has arrived on the scene at a time when many of us are questioning how well we are preparing these children who will determine our future. Are we educating happy, responsible, compassionate, and globally aware leaders who can make a real difference in the world? Or are we shortchanging both them and us by adhering to ways of educating that do not meet the needs of the child nor nurture his full potential?
Using a very readable and often humorous style, author and Montessori parent Trevor Eissler has used his own experiences in traditional education as a way to illustrate the true genius of Montessori as “education for life”. He has done an excellent job identifying what I refer to as the “intangibles” – the real core values – of Montessori education that are so often not apparent to the untrained eye: respect for self, others, and the environment; emphasis on the positive; appreciation of beauty; and real community.
Trevor writes about many of the basic principles of Montessori, such as Sensitive Periods, the Absorbent Mind, and the Prepared Environment; but what I appreciated most was his explanation of Freedom and Responsibility – two concepts often misunderstood and sorely lacking in today’s world.
During a recent phone conversation, Trevor shared with me that some people actually questioned his usage of the words “Montessori” and “Madness” in the same title.
Yet for people who are products of traditional education, allowing children to move freely about the classroom choosing their own work might indeed appear to be madness. How can children learn to adjust to the “real world” if they’re allowed to do whatever they want? Surely, this IS madness!
But while reading this book, it doesn’t take long to realize that the real madness lies in not offering Montessori education to every child!
“Montessori Madness” is a real gem. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in a clear, concise introduction to Montessori education. I recommend it even more to those who are seeking a true alternative to traditional education.