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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question. This has been bothering me for some time. My daughter and son go to a Montessori school in a small city in Brazil. I understand that that when a learning theory is brought in from another country there are different interpretion based on cultural values ect... must have happen when montessori came to the US.But this thing really bothers me and it doesn´t seem right. What it is, is there is a lot of use of TV, as in comerical movies the whole disney thing. I see in the younger children´s (2-4yo) classrooms at the end of the day them watching a movies. I just feel shocked and my son is in the 4-6 group and the watch a bit of a movie on friday which is toy day. We have very strict rules at home about TV only on weekends or holidays and only hand picked movies no chanel TV ect... I did speak to the director about it and she was very strange and seemed almost defensive and rambled on about her kids...it was strange. Basically she saw nothing wrong with it. I find lots wrong with it one...the comerialism side, the whole disneyification of our children´s lives, two I can´t help but feel it allows the teachers to do other things while the children are glued to the TV and three this private school I am paying for this. Folks are on my dime (they only are there for 4h a day)! I really believe it affected creativity ect.. It almost stops when they go to what is considered kindergarden and have much more work. We don´t have much choice here in this city and there are a lot of pluses for my son and eldest daughter who is 8 and this is not an issue. I just want some imput. My feeling is there should NO comercial TV films ect...just sort using this media to show nature documentery ect...as a learning tool. I feel once a week is too much. I feel abit worn down by this because when my children when to a cooperative this was a stinky point with me there also. Also My my daughter who is 2 I couldn´t send her because of this.
My question is...is there some sort of Montessori document that would support my opinion? Something fairly specific. The school has the international certification it´s not some flyby night thing calling themselves montessori.
ML
 

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I agree that Disney movies and tv watching in general are not part of the Montessori curriculum. I don't think the 2-4 yr olds should be watching it at school at all. I can see if they had a special program or movie that they offered the older children maybe once a month or something like that but everyday is way too much. Maria Montessori did not believe that a young child would be able to seperate truth from fantasy, thus make believe characters should not be introduced at this age. For example, mickey mouse... we know that a mouse doesn't talk or walk around on their back legs and do all the things that may be in a cartoon or movie. This is not reality.

I think that most children watch too much tv at home and that school (montessori or traditional) should not include it. I do think that a lot of schools may have a morning montessori program and then the afternoons tend to be more like daycare. IMO a good montessori school would include the theory all day long. If they are an AMI (association montessori international) school then you might check with ami and see what the guidelines are.
 

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That is so wrong. It's every week? That's crazy business and at least in the US, a sign of a poor-quality childcare situation.

That said, one AMI school my daughter attended did have a movie time, but it was for older children and special occasions (i.e. last day of school) in the afternoons, and after finishing the chapter book that they'd finished. The children and the teacher all watched together and had popcorn and made it a big deal. For example, watching James and the Giant Peach after reading the book on the last day before break. I didn't have such a problem with this approach.

At our current school, the school asks parents to limit television watching and makes several educational appeals throughout the year as to the role of television in the family and in after-school hours. No movies are shown, ever, at this school. Ironically, not AMI but with AMI teachers.

Here is a link, including some great quotes by Silvana Montanaro, an AMI teacher - http://members.aol.com/MParents/RenP...tml#TELEVISION such as:

"Television should ideally be viewed with adults who can comment on it and guide children to a more conscious understanding of what they are seeing. We should make it possible for children to collaborate with us as soon as they can walk well so they are busy in real activities... read together, play cards or chess, paint, and ...talk! The family is the first place where children must live the values we say we believe in. In the family begins the transformation of society. "

Good luck! It sounds like something the teachers and principal approve of though, so it might be an uphill battle. Our family is like yours though regarding the weekend films only, make it a special deal. It has worked for us.
 

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OH MY GOODNESS...........that is awful !! There should be no TV in school and good grief Disney !! And all the other commercialism. Now having picked my jar up off the floor............ is this just the "aftercare" program that is somehow slipping into a non-caring, tv-babysitting mode. And that is still awful. Is it in the afternoon, when the teachers are "planning" for the next week and they need down time ?

No. Montessori schools do not use TV. I have heard of some in the older class age grades using films and internet for educational purposes etc. But not in 0-6 age group.
And exactly right........they need to separate themselves from fantasy.

One of my instructors explains it this way "We separate fantasy from real life, because I must always tell my children the truth (at their age level of understanding), and I can't them tell them something in fantasy is true, when it is not, otherwise this will discredit my words when I am telling them the truth. We need to be consistent."
Also, she says that school is school and home is home, they can have all sorts of fantasy play at home !! She even states that her kids like to play Batman, but not in school. TV is for home with children that young, if you choose to let them watch it.

As for Toy day........they are not allowed to bring "toys" from home, especially fantasy and commercial toys. They can bring real toys, models, representation of real things etc on their "leader of the day" day.

Another point is if your children are there for only 4 hours a day, how do they justify eating up 1-2 hours with a movie.......where do they fit in the Great Work Period !

Keep asking "pointed questions", have them justify their point. You may not win and have to take your child out of school on Friday afternoons, but maybe it will get them thinking.
 

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Oh my gosh...I would ask to be informed ahead of time when movies are going to be shown, and take my child out for that part of the day. My daughter is terrified of Disney movies, and we don't let her watch any movies, really. She's too young for a 2-hour movie! And I agree with what everyone else said about how it goes directly against the Montessori philosophy. Jeeeez...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for your response. I feel so extreme here so it´s nice to get such direct feedback. Just to clarify things in my son´s grade they don´t watch the whole movie just about 20 minutes. I did consider taking him out on the days that they show movies but he is 6 and likes them. And it was a difficult transition for him. Last year he only went two or three times a week. Also It has been many weeks since they have been showed in his room. But it´s just to whole perception of things. And yes it is not an after school program and is only 4hrs in the morning that is it. I definately would not be sending my youngest there for that reason. It´s just really shocking to walk by the classroom of these such young children and see it and the some of the films are in appropriate on other levels. It is hard at home to find that balance when you have older children and to work so hard at that and be undermined by the school is overwhelming. I could go on and on. Also There is a serious obesity problem in children which one assume is related to TV watching and sends all the wrong messages....I will scan the website to find something I can use. I know that I am perceived as ´different´and judgmental being a foreigner and all, so they absorb this information in that context. Last but not least is that we will probably be moving in the next month or two to another city with other choices. Again thank you
 
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