picture of infant toddler environment

Go Where There’s No Back Row

Have you ever sat in an elementary classroom in a conventional school?  I have.  There is one thing I notice no matter if it is private or public school- there is always a back row!

The ‘whiz kids’ are in front.  The middle rows are the “in-betweeners” and the back row has the paper airplane builders.

Think about how the whole education system force ranks students into these categories.  The Bell curve uses rankings such as 16% top group, 68% middle and 16% lower.  The standard school grading system also ranks students – A’s are the top 10%, B’s the next 10%, C’s D’s and F’s take it to 50%.

This means that for 100 students, only 10 are winners, 10 are second best, and the majority are average. The students at the bottom find school, or at least a particular subject, soul crushing.

The school system in this country is a 150 year old juggernaut.  Parents are the force that will eventually move this out-of-date system towards a method for learning that fosters each student’s individual strengths, talents and abilities.

Those who watch this struggle have estimated it will be 15-25 years before governments realize that the purpose of education is to bring out the talent within, rather than teach everyone the same thing on the same day at the same time.  This time frame for reform is too long for any child living now.

Fortunately, there are actions parents can take.  First, gather information and research school choices available NOW.    Visit schools, sit in classrooms.  Look for the back row, because many children are there that don’t need to be.

Compare this with a classroom where there are no rows at all!  Where students can move or work freely in whatever space suits them on the subject or work that ignites their passions.  Imagine a place where there are no rows and everyone has an opportunity to be fully engaged in what they are doing.

Such a place is a Montessori classroom.  I invite you to come visit an authentic Montessori Program, observe in a class and see the difference for yourself.

Stay Wise!


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