Sunday, October 08, 2006

More on Montessori and High School

Found this at Meadow Montessori:


Structure
Each student is assigned a mentor (with a limit of 10 students to one mentor). The role of the mentor is to guide his/her students both philosophically and practically. The mentor spends time each day with students in discussion and academic support. The mentor is also responsible for coordinating the student's schedule, assisting with college selection and applications, and always--ALWAYS--searching for and exploring additional educational opportunities.

I'm thinking that a daily little meeting with each of the kids would be good. Not as part of the group, though; as one-on-one as possible. Then we can tackle such things as:
  • How's it going?
  • How much have you finished in these areas?
  • What would you like to accomplish by the end of the week? Ideally and realistically?
  • How long do you figure it would take you to complete ___?
  • What is your primary goal for today?
  • Are there any subjects stressing you out right now? Which ones and why?
  • What is going really well?
  • How do you feel about your studies in general right now?
  • What can I do today to help you?

Of course, not all of these questions would be covered each day, but a little one-on-one connection time sounds like a great idea. It could still happen around the table and in our group, but more focused.

I'm trying to figure out what they mean exactly by guiding the student philosophically. When I think of philosophy, I think of my university course and things like Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy and one of Bertrand Russell's works on epistemology (what is knowledge? what do we know and how do we know that we know?). And yet, I don't have a problem with looking at the Montessori Method as a philosophy, but it's a part of the philosophy of education. But how do you guide someone philosophically in general?

Musings on a Sunday morning...

2 comments:

Correne said...

I think that philosophically in this sense simply means whatever is NOT merely practical. For example, guiding them in how to do a math problem, how to call for an interview, how to research a topic are all examples of practical guidance. Philosophical guidance might mean helping them figure out what they want to do, why one course of action or one approach is better than another, explaining how your own decision-making process works and how it relates to your philosophy of education. Basically, answering all the "why" questions.

Daisy said...

That makes sense, Correne. Thank you!