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What do fashion and a WMS education have in common? On the face nothing. Yes, we have some nice T-shirts in our school store and the design is changed once in awhile, but you may have noted that we are not in the fashion business. However, Montessori education is a bit like fashion in that we set trends. We also adapt and change, remaining relevant in an ever-changing world…just like fashion.
There are buzzwords in every field; education is no different. The interesting thing about the latest buzz in education is that it centers on words and ideas such as innovation, flexible thinking, social skills, leadership, collaboration, communication skills, critical thinking, teamwork, creativity, time management, organization and more. Most, if not all, of these words – and practices – have been a part of Montessori education for well over 100 years, reminding us of the adage, “What is old is new again.”
A close look at educational “trends” today demonstrate that Dr. Montessori knew what she was doing. She understood how children learn. She created an educational model that put learning in the children’s hands, using the teachers as guides. She worked to create an environment where children could maintain their independence and find what was interesting to them, where they could create their learning in a supportive well-established environment. And while they were learning, they thought they were having fun…because they were…and they yearned for more. She set the stage for what has become more accepted in mainstream education today.
However, she didn’t stop there. Just as in fashion, where once wearing “trousers” was relegated only to men, things changed. Gradually, women adopted this fashion and it is now common practice. However, the style of trousers, or pants, have changed regularly throughout history, and so has Montessori education. As a long-standing Montessori school, our backbone consists of Dr. Montessori’s pedagogy, taking into account the beginning of a now-fashionable educational system. However, our strength is in adapting and changing along with the times. Throughout those changes we maintain our core and bring in additional practices that mirror society’s changes. We work hard to reflect not only the well-established Montessori pedagogy but also the society in which we live. Our students’ learning must remain relevant in today’s world.
As you consider the clothes you wear and what you will keep from season to season and what you may discard because it is out of fashion or out of date, rest assured that we are education you can count on each season. We are WMS.