Montessori in Godzone

I live in Auckland, New Zealand, aka God’s Own Country or Godzone, and occasionally I find interesting articles about Montessori and how it relates specifically to Kiwi culture.

Here is a Kiwi-specific summary of Montessori written by ECE experts

More interesting for Montessori professionals is “The Historical Evolution and Contemporary Status of Montessori Schooling in New Zealand”, by Mary Jane Shuker and published in the New Zealand Journal of Teacher’s Work in 2005.

It is a short article, but the provocative language in this paragraph caught my attention

I am now more than a little curious about Cohen, Fisher, and Hainstock and whether words and phrases such as “vain”, “fanatic”, “cultist”, “total allegiance”, and “devoted disciples” come from these authors or Mary Jane Shuker herself.

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One thought on “Montessori in Godzone

  1. Once again, one is reminded that Context is everything! I am familiar with the works mentioned and it obviously depends upon one’s own point of view – exactly the same comments can be made about Dr Maria Montessori in a positive way. She took pride in her work and she was obsessive about promoting a better way of life for children. Hmmm, is that bad? I have met some wonderful Montessori teachers devoted to the well-being of their children; where their “allegiance” to a method that requires personal and ethical integrity is refreshing! What a weary world it is when, “aiming for the highest good for all children” can be denigrated. As for being a cult – if this particular educational method allows more children to grow up into balanced, healthy, self-determining adults who give more to society than they take away, well then, I’m a Montessori cultist. Adam Smith once said (and I paraphrase) that there were two kinds of education: one to teach us how to earn a living, and the other that teaches us how to live. As you know, Montessori gave us a way to teach a child both. Keep up the good work!

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