An Introduction to Montessori Synergies
Montessori Synergies is a framework for examining and projecting holistic principles, practices and designs in education that share core values consistent with current developmental and brain-based research. Buckminster Fuller defines synergy as the behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the behavior of the parts taken separately. The dynamic of holistic approaches and systems in education is urgently needed to integrate the knowledge we have of childhood development and brain-based research into coherent practices to prepare students for the 21st century.
An integrated viewpoint recognizing the commonwealth of shared values and principles is needed to shift and unite the constructivist and wholistic educational paradigms which reflect this research but which function as separate fiefdoms that fail to impact and transform the ill-defined mythology of so called ‘traditional education.’
To prepare children for the rapidly shifting economic and cultural paradigms in the new global village and whole earth paradigms, education must teach how to construct meaning and learning. Youth need to develop a new critical faculties that not only enable them to find and use information but more importantly how to choose what to investigate in the first place, and how to connect it to wholistic contexts. By aligning with the big picture of things (i.e., long term impact on the environment), people can optimize their effectiveness and responsibility.
Teachers can achieve optimal outcomes by challenging students to engage multiple skill sets in their studies through fuller integration of the curriculum. Maria Montessori cultivated just such an interdisciplinary approach through her introduction of the Cosmic Curriculum in the Montessori system.
We hope Montessori Synergies will unveil strategies for empowering students to construct, examine and ultimately deal with whole systems and rapid change in a balanced and healthy way. With this in mind our posts will range from the theoretical to concrete applications for the classroom and curriculum.