Science Behind the Genius Discussion - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 05-21-2009, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone. Just ordered the Science Behind the Genius. I lost a copy on the train.

http://astore.amazon.com/monteblog-20/detail/019536936X

Is anyone interested in doing a discussion forum on it? Let me know. It will take a little while to get to me, about a month. I'm interested in going chapter by chapter. I figure we can do a book a month or so.

Matt
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#2 of 21 Old 05-21-2009, 02:25 PM
 
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Yes, I would like that. I have it, but I'm finishing my masters degree right now in non-Montessori topic, so I have to focus on that right now. I'm supposed to be done with it end of June, though, so maybe the timing will be right.
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#3 of 21 Old 05-21-2009, 03:34 PM
 
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#4 of 21 Old 05-21-2009, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Flor View Post
Yes, I would like that. I have it, but I'm finishing my masters degree right now in non-Montessori topic, so I have to focus on that right now. I'm supposed to be done with it end of June, though, so maybe the timing will be right.
I get the book mid June, so it works out well.
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#5 of 21 Old 05-21-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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This sounds very interesting, Matt. It really is a fabulous book!! However...I'm reserving any free time this summer for working on my own research (synthetic movement and psychosomatic unity). I will watch the threads to see if I can swing it.

My sweetie and I have a lovely little lady 07/02 and 3 cats
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#6 of 21 Old 05-21-2009, 11:37 PM
 
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An on-line book club - fun! Who brings the snacks?

I could be in depending on timing. I'm heading out of country for 6 weeks on Saturday, so depending on if I could get the book bought before I leave, or sent to me I could catch up....
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#7 of 21 Old 05-22-2009, 12:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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An on-line book club - fun! Who brings the snacks?
Here you go:
http://tinyurl.com/otosa5

Quote:
I could be in depending on timing. I'm heading out of country for 6 weeks on Saturday, so depending on if I could get the book bought before I leave, or sent to me I could catch up....
Cool. We should do a book then pick another one once we're finished. The threads will always be open, of course.
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#8 of 21 Old 05-22-2009, 08:03 PM
 
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Count me in! I have Science Behind the Genius but haven't read it yet. It will be nice to finish it before DD starts pre-primary.

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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#9 of 21 Old 05-22-2009, 10:59 PM
 
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I would LOVE this--have just sent in application materials for 6-12 training, have already read it once, and could use a re-read with good reality testing from the MDC Montessori Community....
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#10 of 21 Old 05-23-2009, 08:40 PM
 
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Ooh! I'm in! This sounds fun! I'll have to go order the book, I only have the DVD.
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#11 of 21 Old 05-24-2009, 02:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ooh! I'm in! This sounds fun! I'll have to go order the book, I only have the DVD.
Here's a link to it on amazon:
http://astore.amazon.com/monteblog-20/detail/019536936X
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#12 of 21 Old 05-24-2009, 02:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would LOVE this--have just sent in application materials for 6-12 training, have already read it once, and could use a re-read with good reality testing from the MDC Montessori Community....
That's why I'm doing it, too. I want to be able to reflect on what I see in the classroom as well as what parents see at home. Think it would be an interesting discussion all around.
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#13 of 21 Old 06-06-2009, 02:17 AM
 
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Wow, I just got the book today and logged in to see what the MDC thought about. Please count me too!
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#14 of 21 Old 06-06-2009, 03:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I get the book in a little more than a week. The delivery time was about the same if I ordered and had it sent here to Taiwan or if I had it sent to a friend's place who is coming here next week, but the cost to have it shipped here was about $15. So I bought 2 books and asked her to deliver them ;-)
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#15 of 21 Old 06-21-2009, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I finally got the book. I'll write something about it tonight or tomorrow night to get the discussion going. I'm basically going to go chapter by chapter.

If you want to join in the discussion and do not have the book, here is a link to it:

http://astore.amazon.com/monteblog-20/detail/019536936X
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#16 of 21 Old 06-24-2009, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok. I'm a few days late on this. A few things have happened at the Montessori school that set up a sort of "emergency situation" to get things together RIGHT NOW. I have a few minutes, since I don't have to be in early tomorrow (setting up a classroom on my own time...) I'm going to start this discussion now. :-)

When we think about Montessori, we have to step beyond why it's better or worse from an educational standpoint, but chapter one starts discussing right away what the difference is between Montessori and conventional popular forms of education. Before really digging too much into that question, I think it's good to set up a way of discussing this book and putting it into a particular framework.

One of the biggest questions I feel we should ask ourselves when deciding any school system for our children is, "What do we want for our children?" What do we want now? 5 years from now? 10 years from now? 15 years from now, when they're ready to move out and onto college? (Assuming they are 3 right now or so, of course). What do we want for them for their whole lives and what values and outlook on life do we want them to hold?

This is a BIG question, but I think it's one we really need to look at in terms of what we decide is right for our children. Too often, we focus on what children learn academically, how easy their life is socially at this particular moment, and what we can do right now that will make their lives (and ours) easier at this moment. So I think we need to back track and ask the basic question...what do you want for your children? It is from this question that we can put the book into a frame of reference to see how that matches up with Montessori ideas and this book.

Your answer doesn't have to be "perfect" right now. Just throw out your initial ideas and respond to other's ideas.

Once this discussion has gotten started, we can really begin to look at the book. For chapter 1, for example, we'll see if the models presented (i.e. the factory model of education) REALLY represent what you want for your child. I think the book will be more powerful this way.

So...discuss.
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#17 of 21 Old 06-28-2009, 12:39 AM
 
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Well, DD2 is turning 8 this summer, after 2 years of M toddler, 4 years of Casa (3-6), and 1 year of lower el.....but assuming my goals when she was 3 years old...
#1 After 5 years, I would wish that dd2 was able to concentrate and focus on whatever was her passion of the day, whether a research topic, reading ALL the "Junie B" books, making a model of the solar system, whatever. And that she was excited enough about learning to keep asking questions and keep experimenting and trying to figure out the answers. (she met this hope)

#2 After 10 years, at age 13, I would hope that dd2 felt comfortable enough in her own skin, and with her own abilities and weaknesses, to be able to start to think about who she wants to be, what she wants to accomplish in life. I hope that an extended Montessori experience will allow her to truly understand herself and nurture her interests, by allowing her unhurried time to explore areas of interest with and without her friends in the classroom. I also hope that the curriculum allows her to develop a connection to the world at large, and gives her a vehicle for being helpful, and that her ongoing experiences with Montessori guides allows her to develop relationships with helpful adults outside of me and her dad, so that she can model her future self on lots of different influences.

#3 After 15 years, at age 18, I hope that dd2 is ready to meet the world as an independent person...that she has the enthusiasm, confidence from real-world experiences, and relationships with enough strength to power her leap into real autonomy. I hope that she chooses experiences based on her own authentic interests rather than feeling like she has to live up to my dreams, or society's expectations, for her.
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#18 of 21 Old 07-03-2009, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry I let this slip. I just started a new classroom this week and, as you can imagine, that takes a LOT of time and I just haven't been on. This weekend I'll pop in again. Right now, it's 2:10 AM and I'm ready for bed.

Happy 4th.

::::::::
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#19 of 21 Old 07-13-2009, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by nkm1968 View Post
Well, DD2 is turning 8 this summer, after 2 years of M toddler, 4 years of Casa (3-6), and 1 year of lower el.....but assuming my goals when she was 3 years old...
#1 After 5 years, I would wish that dd2 was able to concentrate and focus on whatever was her passion of the day, whether a research topic, reading ALL the "Junie B" books, making a model of the solar system, whatever. And that she was excited enough about learning to keep asking questions and keep experimenting and trying to figure out the answers. (she met this hope)
I wanted to respond to this in light of the first chapter of the book that talks about the history of education in America. The author makes the point that the factory model of education has been a key aspect of education in America during the 20th Century. With the factory model, children are just pushed through efficiently to learn certain things. It works well for what that particular goal is.
Another concept is one of seeing the child as a blank slate and needing to be filled with information.

What we see with Montessori is this idea of children developing his or her own ideas. In a Montessori classroom, the child works with the material and comes to the idea that the material is trying to teach or discovers his or her own ideas from it.

Think of how that transfers over into other learning. We can not discover to listen to simply the teacher, but we learn how to seek out answers on our own. We learn how to have an idea, wonder about it, and play with it until we have the answer. What a great gift to give to our children.

I'll move onto chapter 2, but wondered what others think of the above statements.

Matt
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#20 of 21 Old 07-14-2009, 12:36 AM
 
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I'm late b/c I just got the book this week...

First of all - my goals for our children & M. In a nutshell, we want to raise children that LOVE to learn. That are not learning things just b/c some teacher/test/task makes them, but rather b/c they are truly interested in a topic and want to really explore it. These are are underlying principals that I keep having to come back to when I get wrapped up in minutia (like has he started multiplication yet?!?!? LOL)

We have other reasons we chose an M school: concentration, freedom of movement, learning thru the hand then mind, etc. But these are added bonuses, tacked onto to our goal, kwim?

As for Matt's 2nd though - this is part of what I mean about having children that love to learn. Instead of simply doing something b/c they 'have to' in a traditional school, M school inspires the child to dig deeper into topics of their own volition, topics that interest them at a point in time they are interested in it. So, for example, if my son is obsessed with airplanes, he can create all sorts of projects for himself off this topic and encompass many traditional subject areas (history, math, science, physics, etc.) In the primary program (where he is now) he can work with the beads until math concepts are 2nd nature if he chooses. Or in his case, work with that pink tower till he's five years old just b/c he loves it so much.

He can do float/sink experiments with all sorts of objects, then come home and apply that to other types of experiments (mommy, we can see if it will stick to the fridge, let's try all sorts of things to see what sticks, etc.).

I think the traditional schools can certainly teach some children, but not b/c it is a great model to build our school system on, but rather b/c those children can learn despite the system.

I've been trying to figure out how we could effectively transform traditional schools from a blank slate model to one where children are given choices about their learning, and have been hitting a brick wall. The infrastructure in place is so massive it makes my head hurt to think about how to change it. Same way you eat an elephant I suppose...
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#21 of 21 Old 07-23-2009, 02:54 PM
 
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Hello!
I'll join in the discussion after I've finished the book. I got the DVD from the library and watched it last week. I had checked the book out from the library a few months ago but found it a little hard to get into. Now I think it will be easier having watched the DVD of Lillard's lecture.
My son is not yet in Montessori--he's in a daycare/preschool where they have a Montessori classroom for ages 3+ where he'll start in the fall--though they try to familiarize the children with some Montessori principles in the toddler classroom. But I'm more excited about having him start in the Montessori classroom after having watched the "Science Behind the Genius" dvd!
When I'm considering what I want for my son, I reflect on the positives and negatives of my own (non-Montessori) school experience. For instance, I was an advanced reader, and in Elementary school in particular, was not allowed to work at my own pace. That's why I'm thrilled with the idea that in a Montessori school, my son would have the freedom to select his activities (with the guidance of a teacher who's make sure he's covering all subject areas) and work at his own pace!
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