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No Erasors?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

My kids' teacher (at their tiny montessori school) tells me they don't use erasors because it doesn't encourage them to think enough before they write.  Is this normal for montessori?  I can't find anything about it, but it seems weird to me.

post #2 of 13

Hmmmm.  I've been a Montessori parent since 2004, but I don't recall ever hearing that there are no erasers allowed. 

post #3 of 13

Well, I just asked dd and she says that they do have erasers at her Montessori school (just preschool through kindergarten).  


The rationale you describe kinda makes sense in a way. . . but I'd hope that if its an issue for your kid they'd be flexible.  I could see some kids balking at trying writing without an eraser, for example.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

I was helping out there and (as a non-montessori-trained teacher) I found it extremely strange... especially since the kids just completely write over the "messed up" bits so it's completely illegible. Interesting that it's not common practice.  I have my doubts over this teacher.

post #5 of 13

My kids use them all the time.  We use refillable pencils as well.

post #6 of 13

In my oldest primary (private AMS training school) class only adults were allowed to use erasers.  I never asked for the reason.  I thought it was because they caused trouble with them.

They do use erasers now in lower el.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

The weirdest part (because as pp have said, the explanation sort of makes sense a little) to me, is that she doesn't seem to teach them to, you know, draw a single line through what you don't like or anything... and they just write over it and make it impossible to decipher.

post #8 of 13

I have no idea if that's a real Montessori thing or not, but it totally makes sense to me. It's better to not censor yourself on a first write-through. I had English teachers who preferred we cross out our changes and mark our rewrites above or in the margins so we/they could see our though progression through successive drafts.


ETA: We also used this technique in the writing lab where I tutored in college.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

That makes sense, to me, but I think she needed to teach them to do that instead of just writing it over the same place so it's completely unreadable. LOL

post #10 of 13

I'm a Montessori teacher (19 years in the classroom) and I've never heard of this.  If her rational is that the kids will "think" before writing, this is not sound.  Children "think" with their hands and with movement.  Montessori showed how writing comes before reading, not after.  I would alter this slightly to say that they are mutually dependent.  Montessori teachers want to encourage writing in any form.  At this age the children learn from their mistakes.  That's pretty much the point, and the reason why Montessori doesn't focus on evaluating or correcting.  The children do that.


If this teacher had said she doesn't have erasers because the kids can see their progression, it would make sense to me.  I still would allow erasers because some children get very upset if they can't rub out their errors!

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hrm.  Well, English is not her first language, and I find a lot of the things she tells me comes out wrong, or I misunderstand the first time around, so that could be what she was trying to say, I'm not sure.

post #12 of 13
I dont know about montessori, but my high school art teacher had this policy. The idea was that if you drew it, it was how you felt any you shouldnt erase it. I hated it, I like to fix my mistakes.
post #13 of 13

Max goes to an AMI school that works closely with the Montessori Institute NW and they use erasers. Maybe sparingly? I can see that perspective, but I also know that it would make my kid not even try for fear of making a mistake!

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