Maria Montessori

Today’s Google doodle profiles Maria Montessori, who would have celebrated her 142nd birthday, if she was alive today.

It spells Google — if you squint really hard

Clicking on the doodle brings up results which include this short profile from Wikipedia:

Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator, a noted humanitarian and devout Catholic best known for the philosophy of education which bears her name.

Montessori’s pedagogy is derived from her observation of children’s learning, and the fact that it is still in use a century after it was developed it is testimony to Montessori’s empirical skills.

I am not — I must confess — very familiar with the Montessori method as it applies to general curriculum. But I am familiar with, and very impressed by, the Montessori method as it applies to religious education.

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd programme is developed for children aged 3 to 12. Students are introduced to scripture and liturgy by the use of models: 3D models in the case of liturgy and historical events described in scripture; and 2D models in the case of the parables.

This short video shows the long and the short of it:

Godly Play is a “rival” catechesis which also derives from Montessori’s pedagogy. There are significant differences between the two programmes, which are very clearly enumerated by the US Guild of the Good Shepherd.

But the two programmes also share many similarities. Here’s a clip of a GodPlay lesson on a parable which is also representative of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd:

Even though it was a bit like watching Play School, which normally bores me, I found this video very absorbing. I think I know why. The catechist reminded me of Edith Ann — Lily Tomlin’s vaguely menacing Sesame Street character. Edith Ann always captivated me — and still does — so even though it has nothing to do with Maria Montessori, I’m going to throw her into this post too.

I don’t know if it’s last week’s children’s trivia, or tomorrow’s 31st birthday, but my mind is presently flooded with childhood memories! And that’s the truth. Pfbpfbpfbpfb.

6 Comments

  1. Supertradmum
    Sep 1, 2012

    I had Montessori training, taught in schools, and had my own for a while. I home schooled my son using the Montessori Method and the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. I also had the joy of doing teacher training in regular schools as to both parts in seminars, how to incorporate the MM and CGS into Catholic school curriculum.

    As you can see, I am convinced of the value. Maria Montessori said once that the job of the child is to create the adult he will be, and that learning is a natural impetus and joy.

    We destroy, but bad teaching, the natural joy of learning. God bless you for this article.

    Sadly, in 2008, someone stole my Montessori library. Sigh…a great loss for me. They thought the box was full of DVDs and probably threw it all away. Some of the materials are out of print.

  2. Supertradmum
    Sep 1, 2012

    “but” should be “by”..you all can figure that out..ta muchly for the opportunity to encourage Catholic schools, home schooling parents and parishes to use CGS.

  3. Cathy
    Sep 3, 2012

    Thankyou for this great info! I am currently teaching Catechism in my local parish and this would be a great addition in resourses for the little ones! Love Maria Montessori, she understood the way children learn in a structured environment!

  4. Simon Hogan
    Sep 15, 2012

    I got funny feeling that Fr. John will be talking about the Spring Racing Carnival very soon.
    Here are some tips for tomorrow at Casterton.
    Sea Town in the steeplchase and Last Outlaww in the last race.
    Hopefully we have a big collect in spring but don’t spend all at once!

  5. Simon Hogan
    Sep 22, 2012

    Here are horse racing tips for tomorrow meetings at Ballarat and Swan Hill.
    Ballarat
    Race 1. No7 Our Nellie
    Race2. No1,10.12.
    Race3.No5 Harvey the rabbit and 9 and13.
    Race4.
    No.8,5, and1
    Race5.No 1,5, and8
    Race6
    Is called Westag Kubota Gold Nugget.
    My numbers are
    No5,10 and 17 if it gets a run 17. Caononized.
    Race7
    No.9 Lake View and 7 and 16.
    Race8.
    No.10 On the Cards and 2 and 11.

    Now Swan Hill
    Race 1No 4,10 and 12 is called Saint Star!
    Race2 No.4 Magic Red and 7 and 11.
    Race3
    10. Our Lucky Day and 7 and5.
    Race4
    My numbers are 12,5, and 3.
    Race 5 is the Quambatook Cup
    No4,1 and10.
    Race6.
    No. 3,6 and 9.
    Race 7 No.6 Heisman and 13,2,8 for first fours.
    Harry Coffey is jockey he has cystic fibrois he riding plenty of winner of late and he comes from Swan Hill.

    The Gawler Cup is on tomorrow too my tip in that is Magic Me in Race8.
    Good Luck and Happy Punting and remember Each Way.

  6. Simon Hogan
    Sep 29, 2012

    Well the Coleraine Cup and Great Western Steeplechase is on tomorrow it has been running since 1858.
    The first race starts at 1.05pm
    Race1. No2. Stand and Salute
    5. Albazar
    7. Broamdel.
    Race 2
    5. Papa’s Gothic
    7. Big Lance- I wonder if they named this horse after Lance on Home And Away?
    11. West Ho
    Race3. Is the Steeplechase.
    4. Sea Town should go one better this time. and in 1 and 2 for triffeccas.
    Race 4.
    No9. Oh So Petite
    6. Candy Art
    1. Cool Dude Harry.
    Race5.
    14. Solace
    8. Frantasmic
    16. Chitty Bang Bang
    4. Our Legend

    Race 6. The Coleraine Community Bank Cup
    8. Niptious
    3. Magic Me
    1. Saptapadi
    4. Copppervue

    Race 7.
    4. Hay Bob
    3. Peppa Koala
    8. Solitary Man.
    Race 8
    6. Express Star
    12. Run For the Hills
    5. Wee Mac
    3. Iconseefraaaraway.
    Now for Caufield
    Race2 Rock Princess
    Race3.No10 and and 4.
    Race4. My numbers are 1,9 and 12.
    Race5 No5 Awesome Bro- this name reminds me for you Fr. John add 6 and 3.
    Race 6. Is a Group One race called Clamms- Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes
    My numbers are 4. Second Effort
    10. Mr Make Believe
    12. That’s The One
    2. Pinwheel.
    Race 7 No 16. Prince Obama
    8. Sea Lord
    4. See the World
    11. Royal Bender.

    Race 8
    No.5. Sound Journey
    1o. Module
    2. Spirit Song.
    9. Callanish

    DEVONPORT Race 4 No8 A Touch of Shades
    Race 5 No1. Deputy Duke.
    Race7 No.4 Simon Says Lets Go
    Race8 No9 Star of Egypt
    Race 9 No4. Little Bit Of Joy
    Race 10. No 7 and 9.
    All these are good each way bets Just have little bit on them. don’t loose too much and happy punting