All over the country, people in the early childcare education and care sector (ECEC) are screaming and pulling their hair out asking “Why Montessori?”. There are conversations about how Montessori is ruining intakes and mainstream centres and services, how every parent seems to be ceasing care to go to a Montessori service.
Montessori is single handedly ruining Australia’s ECEC sector, well… ruining society’s’ ‘norm’.
Parents are choosing Montessori services because the philosophy aligns with how they parent and how they believe education should be for their child. The method prepares them for a whole we don’t know about yet. Parents want what the normal sector can’t provide, and every tray and job on the shelves for the children in that class, at that time.
Early years learning framework is a step in the right direction, but it’s not Montessori. Three years ago I charted and predicted the Montessori movement in Australia, and it has continued to meet my expectations. I was just a parent with a twelve month old child who saw what parents wanted, but nobody in the early childcare sector was providing.
The reason Montessori will ruin the early childcare sector as we know it is because it’s not just about the first six years of your children’s life, it’s about their entire life. Montessori is a way of life, inside and outside the four walls we call a classroom.
The movement of Montessori was here before Price George enrolled. The amount of Montessori Long Day Care centres with waitlists, the amount of new centres opening and the huge Family Day Care movement proves that supply is coming for that demand and those who do not take the parents of today’s children seriously will be left behind.
Out of all of the ‘alternative’ forms of education, Montessori has the strength to become mainstream due to its commonly recognised areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language and Culture. Every parent gets to a point in their child’s life where they can go with the grain of society, or go with their gut and choose what their heart believes is right. This difficult decision is easier when you investigate Montessori and see the words ‘maths’ and ‘language’ as these two areas are drilled into us by society as being extremely important.
This is why Montessori, rather than Reggio or Steiner will become the philosophy parents choose. It is more comfortable to be able to see those areas in the curriculum, even though the holistic approach is the key.
Just wait and see what the sector looks like in 24 months.
Montessori is the future of education, and Maria Montessori knew that over a century ago.