Parents who can afford to send their children to private school often choose a Montessori education.
MPS is making Montessori education public; accessible to everyone. MPS has been offering Montessori education since the mid-1970s. We are expanding this year by growing MacDowell at Juneau Campus and opening a new school in the old Tippecanoe building.
Why? Because it works.
How do we know MPS Montessori works? Test scores, student engagement, student success after leaving Montessori schools, parent satisfaction and confident children. In a June 2011 report, the Milwaukee NAACP wrote that "Prospects for educational achievement are brightest for Milwaukee Public School students who are enrolled in Montessori Schools."
When I walk Into Maryland Avenue Montessori I do not see my elementary schooling. I went to St. Bernard's Catholic School in Middleton, Wisconsin. There we strictly sat in rows, only given the chance to talk when hands were raised and seldom engaging in any instruction other than lectures and reading from a textbook.
What is Montessori? Maria Montessori began with her first classroom in 1907 in the slum tenements in Rome, Italy. There she scientifically observed children, paying close attention to developmental issues, interaction with the environment and experimenting with specific materials encouraging student engagement.
Fundamental to Maria Montessori's philosophy is all children have a natural inclination to learn. That drive for knowledge must be tapped into, facilitated, encouraged and self constructed by each child.
Maria Montessori concluded from her observation that children develop at different rates, on different biological and psychological timetables, and students learn best from working with materials in interaction with the environment as opposed to direct instruction.
In response Maria Montessori developed a method which allows for a constructed learning in a "prepared environment" with order and room for independence.
So if you have a chance to Visit Maryland Avenue Montessori ‚Äď or Fernwood, or Craig, or MacDowell, or Lloyd Barbee, or Kosciuszko, or Howard Avenue ‚Äď you won't see students sitting in rows. Instead you'll see orderly interaction between students, between teachers and students and between students and a whole array of learning materials. You might see sandpaper letters or the Brown Stairs or the Pink Tower or the Pythagoras board or the trinomial cube or the color beads. You will see large group settings. You will see small-group settings. You will see students reading books.
MPS is growing its present Montessori programs and creating new Montessori programs. While the type of schooling and the specific school that fits each child's needs is an individual family choice, I strongly suggest that parents and guardians checkout Montessori. Chances are there will be a public Montessori school near you soon.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Larry Miller
Published Aug. 15, 2012
Tuesday's Democratic primary election in Milwaukee was a victory for public education. Who lost? Democrats who support vouchers, the Republican Party and Tea Party activists.
Published May 30, 2012
This coming Tuesday we will decide Wisconsin's future.
Published May 8, 2012
I recently read Michelle Alexander's book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness." It takes head-on the "elephant in the room" concerning race in America. I feel it is a must read for anyone interested in equality and social justice.
Published April 17, 2012
As an advocate of public education, working for over 80,000 Milwaukee students, my goal is to steer education policy and funding away from privatization, and toward teaching all students with equity in funding and resources.
Published March 21, 2012
Dealing with the aftermath of Walker's horrific cuts has been devastating to our public schools and to the community. And teachers have been at the forefront of the struggle to stand up and reclaim our state. But right now we have to do something to stop the flooding.
Published Feb. 29, 2012
On Feb. 28, over 400 people assembled in the Milwaukee Public Schools central office auditorium in response to a call to action following the recent shooting deaths of four young men, along with other acts of violence witnessed in Milwaukee.
Published Feb. 17, 2012
Recently I had a chance to observe some of these teachers at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. Unannounced, I accompanied the principal into seven classrooms.
Published Jan. 16, 2012
This is reminder to those of you who follow K-12 education in Milwaukee: there's a new plan waiting in the wings that includes another attempt at the takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools.
Published Jan. 11, 2012
What's the real picture on joblessness in Milwaukee? At a conference I attended this past weekend titled OneMilwaukee and sponsored by the NAACP, Mayor Tom Barrett estimated that there are 30,000 people out of work presently and up to 20,000 jobs lost in the city since 2007. He went on to describe the dilemma he faces as mayor.
Published Dec. 24, 2011
In the spirit of the season, it's only fair to wish a happy holiday to the people on Santa's "naughty" list.