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After over 30 years of occupational experience (engineer), I am now able to recognise educational patterns in colleagues present and past.

I have worked with people from many cultures, mostly western / central Europeans.

In the latter years, I am encountering people who have received their pre-university education at Montessori schools.

My 1st impressions of this 'class' (debateable term!) is that they could be described as 'selfish', or better self-centred. The scope of their social awareness is limited, and their basic manners unusually self-centred. This contrasts to the Steiner pupils, whose social awareness is superb.

Is this a justified view... or have I just hit 'a bad bunch'?

Thanks for your views. -g-
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishconger View Post

After over 30 years of occupational experience (engineer), I am now able to recognise educational patterns in colleagues present and past.

I have worked with people from many cultures, mostly western / central Europeans.

In the latter years, I am encountering people who have received their pre-university education at Montessori schools.

My 1st impressions of this 'class' (debateable term!) is that they could be described as 'selfish', or better self-centred. The scope of their social awareness is limited, and their basic manners unusually self-centred. This contrasts to the Steiner pupils, whose social awareness is superb.

Is this a justified view... or have I just hit 'a bad bunch'?

Thanks for your views. -g-
ROTFLMAO.gif


Do you mean the kind of superb social awareness demonstrated by abruptly entering a new community with barely any introduction and immediately questioning the character of its members and/or their children?

If your own example reflects what you consider refined "social awareness", I'm afraid that your credibility on the subject is somewhat questionable so I'm not sure I can rely on your assessment of Montessori and Steiner students.

Thanks for the laugh, though. Welcome to the forum. I hope you read past threads and learn from the community.
smile.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the welcome to your forum Olly.... 2926 posts... impressive!

Anyways... I guess you and your forum are a waste of time for me... one of those pesky little experiences one has to make in life.

As regards your abusive posture... maybe you had best try it out in front of a (full length) mirror. You surely will be impressed... I was!

Farewell Olly... a virtual conglomerate of bytes... internet debris.

-g-
 

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Welcome Irishconger. I hope you will stick around. So you are saying that you are looking at adults that seem self centered and finding that in their early years they received Montessori education? Just trying to understand the gist of it. Let's see if we can have a more considerate discourse of this topic.
 

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I'll assume your post was to generate questions and conversation and not to attack without substantiating facts.

Depending on your target population - as a quantitative person, you should recognize the difference between causation and correlation. Before making such dramatic generalities would recommend that you consider the full picture, rather than assume a limited causation relationship.

An alternative perspective - when my daughter was about 1 1/2, I met with a couple of educators with the specific question - if I were to spend the extra money in the first 6 years of education or the last 6 years, the consensus opinion was the first 6 years. Anecdotallly, they were able to recognize those who were Montessori educated as more self-sufficient, self-directed, etc. Note - these were high school teachers.

Granted, it must be recognized that parents who send their children to Montessori are especially involved in their children's development so the Montessori cannot be assumed to be the sole reason for successful students in high school.

I have to admit, I'm a bit skeptical of a professional asking other professionals - "so, you were a Montessori or Waldoft student?" - I'm sure that is not the approach you took, but again, seems a bit suspect that a brand new participant to this forum would make such a dramatic statement without taking into consideration all of the factors involved with a person's education and subsequent professional career.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishconger View Post

My 1st impressions of this 'class' (debateable term!) is that they could be described as 'selfish', or better self-centred. The scope of their social awareness is limited, and their basic manners unusually self-centred. This contrasts to the Steiner pupils, whose social awareness is superb.
I would like some examples of this selfishness/self-centeredness. What you call selfish, I might call "not being a doormat." Lots of kids are raised to be people-pleasers.

My kids have not attended a Montessori school, nor does our homeschool resemble Montessori schooling, but I have gone out of my way to teach them how to say "no" to people, since it's been something I've struggled hard with in my life.
 

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You have hit a bad bunch! Unfortunately, not all Montessori schools are created equal. What you will find, I'm sure, if you dig deeper into the situation, is that your students came from a Montessori school that was the local "it" school. What I mean by this is that the school had expensive tuition and parents of those children would send them on that information alone and purely for the status symbol that it provided. When THAT happens, you get a bunch of kids whose parents aren't involved because Mom and Dad think the school is taking care of it.

Montessori isn't an approach to teaching alone, it's an all encompassing method that penetrates homelife. It should be, anyway. Uninvolved parents equate Montessori with "no rules" and apply that at home instead of taking the time to enforce the right rules. That makes it really rough on the teachers and completely strips the legitimacy of the school.

A real Montessori school (A Children's House) is full of involved families who heavily rely on respect and grace and courtesy. Sorry you had such a bad experience!
 

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I would like some examples of this selfishness/self-centeredness. What you call selfish, I might call "not being a doormat." Lots of kids are raised to be people-pleasers. I appreciate you making that distinction. Though I teach my son to share and care, I've also let him know it's OK to say "No, thank you" when someone asks for one of his toys. It's a hard line to travel, polite but not overly compliant. A lot of people are afraid to talk about that, so thanks!
 

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I have had the same experience. In fact I googled "Montessori breeds selfishness" or something similar and that's how I found this website and your post.

I hope you still get this because the original post is almost 4 years old!

I think Montessori teaches these young impressionable minds to be self centered...to think of themselves first without considering others' feelings. I pulled my daughter out of a Montessori program because I thought the environment was toxic. Here's my review of the school that explains the in detail why I thought so:
 

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I am in adult education and I admit that I have seen people from Montessori schools who cannot handle group work at all, not even a bit. I don't necessarily blame Montessori itself but I think that sometimes students who don't do well in a more traditional setting because they have problems with groups and group work are moved to a Montessori setting where they might have an easier time. This might be a good choice sometimes especially if this is due to something that is more related to immaturity, in that case they will start to do better in group settings later on but if it is purely down not needing to learn to play the game I think that such a transfer is less ideal.

Sadly I have also seen people who came from Waldorf schools with extremely poor skills, way beyond the worst from public schools and they have no idea that they are lacking a lot of knowledge which public school educated people usually are aware of. For good and bad I want to add, being aware of having a problem is good but been to aware to the point of lacking self-esteem is not good at all.

I don't want to say that either of these systems are bad, not at all but I still have seen both these clear "trends". I think that as a parent it is important to be aware and watchful of the chosen school to make sure your children do get a good edcuation. I would be even more watchful of waldorf schools than Montessori, most of the time the latter do seem to give their students a good edcuation when it comes to content.
 

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I cannot make a blanket judgement - NOT IN THE LEAST - so, let me first make that clear. However, I will say that I've babysat for a few Montessori babies, and have found them to exhibit rather difficult behaviour (though I do love them and enjoy them as people). My experience (and what I've seen their parents fostering) is that they've been taught that they will always get their way if they simply use their words well enough to communicate their wishes. I'm all for teaching children to use their words to communicate their opinions and feelings, and whenever possible (i.e. it's in their best interests or won't harm them), I like to respect their wishes and say yes to them; but it's also important to teach children that sometimes they won't get their way, and that's just how it is. With these babies, every little thing was a battle. There were constant meltdowns over the simplest things. I feel that, while Montessori has many wonderful attributes, when looking at the values of this educational philosophy, it can set children up for unrealistic expectations in later life. Because in the adult world, we don't always get our way, and we have to live with that. Sometimes, people don't listen or are rude. Not a day has gone by in my life where everything went exactly the way I wanted it too. And many times, even when I was doing everything 'right' (using my words, being polite, communicating well, planning well), life treated me unfairly. As an adult, if I wasn't prepared during childhood to be able to handle things not going my way, I might completely lose control or even have a nervous breakdown. Yes, children should be taught to assert themselves (although many children do this naturally and don't need to be taught this lesson), but they also need to learn how to deal with disappointment, taking responsibility, admitting when they're wrong, and not getting their way all of the time. One of my favourite books, 'The Secret Garden' illustrates this parenting lesson beautifully. One of the characters, Martha, is quoted thus: "Mother says as th' two worst things as can happen to a child is never to have his own way - or always to have it. She doesn't know which is th' worst." I think this wisdom a wonderful foundation for parenting.
 

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My daughter attended a Montessori school for about 2 years. In my experience the Montessori helped my daughter to develop social awareness. The concept of Montessori is designed to lure the children into learning with each other and from each other much more than in conventional schools.
 

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Know this is an older thread but I'm perplexed & think that those who have experienced "Montessori" children/students being selfish have not interacted with children/students who attended a true Montessori school or who did not complete the primary curriculum. At the end of the primary years, children are taught to take responsibility for their younger classmates, to teach them & to help them. This fosters selflessness & a sense of responsibility for the group. As children get older, they begin to work in groups & the classroom is a boisterous environment with children working in small groups. Again, these children are learning from each other & learning to negotiate with others. True Montessori schooling is truly a social experience. I don't seem much of the Montessori method is the criticisms described above, nor have the critics provided much detail on why they think the selfishness of the individuals they have encountered was linked to a Montessori schooling. Are there selfish children in Montessori schools? Of course! But that's a problem that goes beyond schooling. I'm perplexed.


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I think I sensed some of what you are talking about. One person in college was in Montessori system and he gave this egocentric vibe on couple of occasions. He was a good manipulator, but I guess he wasn't good enough, since I still had this negative impression left. Of course, this is just an anecdotal evidence.
 

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I am a mother of a 10 month old, so I have limited opinions. I am researching Montessori schools because I love the philosophy, but these things are what I am looking for - what kind of negative personality traits may arise? The American Montessori Society doesn't exactly give an unbiased opinion.

I have interacted with only one person that went to Montessori schools as a child that I know of. I could see where some would see her as a little egotistical at first - females are still kind of taught to be demur, and she very decidedly is not. After speaking with her (we were complete strangers that had to live together in close quarters for a week) I would describe her as assertive, not aggressive or selfish. She was open minded and very intelligent - we had engaging discussions about things we did not agree with carried out in an insightful and respectful manner that lead us both to learn new things and consider alternative views.
 
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