Why Montessori is ruining the Australian child care industry...
All over the country, people in the ECEC sector are screaming and pulling their hair out asking "Why montessori?". There is conversations about how montessori is ruining intakes in mainstream centres and services, how every parent seems to be ceasing care to go to a montessori service.
Montessori is single handedly ruining Australia's ECEC sector... well ruining society's 'norm'.
Parents are choosing montessori services because the philosophy aligns with how they parent, with how they believe education should be for their child, because the method prepares them for a world we don't know about yet. Parents want what the normal sector can't give.
EYLF is heavily 'montessori aligned', but it's actually not the same. Just because you align to the EYLF does not mean you are basically the same.
Montessori is more than just child led learning and nature. Montessori is highly detailed and takes hours of preparation, months of in depth training to really understand how a classroom in a montessori service actually works. The amazing detail behind everything that is put into that environment.
It is not just about jumping on Pinterest, seeing something that has Montessori placed on it, making it up, putting it on your shelf and saying its montessori.
As an Educator in a montessori service, you are continually asking Why? What is the purpose? Where is the control of error? What is the isolated concept?
From the size and type of jug used in a pouring activity to the type of crayon chosen for an art tray. Every little detail is questioned and fine tuned so that it meets the complete need of the child.
Those children are observed with such a skill that only ongoing development and training can provide, and every tray and job on the shelves is created for the children in that class, at that time.
EYLF is a step in the right direction, but it's not montessori.
Three years ago I charted and predicted the montessori movement in Australia, and it has continually met every expectation I have had. I was just a parent with a twelve month old child, who saw what parents wanted, and noone in the ECEC sector was providing, fast enough.
The reason Montessori will ruin the ECEC sector as we know it, is because it's not just about the first six years of life, it's about life. It's a way of life, in and outside of the four walls we traditionally know as a classroom.
The movement was here before Prince George enrolled. The amount of Montessori Long Day Care centres with waitlists, the amount of new centres opening, and the huge Family Day Care movement proves that supply is coming for that demand and those who do not take the parents of today's children seriously will be left behind.
Out of all of the 'alternative' forms of education, Montessori has the strength to become mainstream due to its commonly recognised areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language and Culture. Every parent gets to a point in their child's life where they can go with the grain of society, or go with their gut and choose what their heart believes is right. This difficult decision is easier when you investigate montessori and see the words 'maths' and 'language' as these two areas are drilled into us by society as being extremely important.
This is why Montessori, rather than Reggio or Steiner will become the philosophy parents choose. It is more comfortable to be able to see those areas in the curriculum, even though the holistic approach is the key.
Just wait and see what the sector looks like in 24 months...
Montessori is the future of Education, and Maria Montessori saw that over a century ago...
- Aisling Farley