Schools for the Boys?: Co-education reassessed (Routledge Library Editions: Education)
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While Maria Montessori began her work in Italy, Montessori schools have gone worldwide spreading to different countries and continents. By looking at its origins and ways in which the Montessori method has changed, I seek to discover why the Montessori movement was not initially successful, and why its growth has been relatively slow in the US. The Montessori method had much success in Italy where it originated and much attention was given to the method in the US in its early years, however, rising skepticism from media outlets news papers, magazines, etc.
Many people, however, were influenced by the amazing teaching approach that was introduced by Maria Montessori and in the s the method was reborn in the US. Soon after the opening of this school, which was in a run-down tenement building of San Lorenzo, the Montessori method grew more popular and eventually made its way to the US in McClure was ultimately able to convince Maria Montessori to travel from Rome to the United States to inform the American people, in greater detail, of her great teaching approach in the hopes that once informed, Americans would take action and help implement the Montessori method into American schools.
Through the slow application of the Montessori method in American schools, Maria Montessori began to generate followers who opposed the traditional forms of schooling. Montessori had many supporters not because she said all of the right things, but because she advocated for active children even before it was commonplace to have children do activities in school Rathunde, p.
The Montessori method was a booming movement, and more and more people became interested in the educational approach by American teachers traveled to Rome to become better informed and trained in the teaching method, things seemed to be going really well for Maria Montessori and her movement in the United States, however, as quickly as the movement was picked up speed, it slowed down and by the Montessori method began regressing in the media and received critical reviews in newspapers and magazines.
The supporters that Maria Montessori once had were no longer supporting the Montessori method, but moving on to other things that interested them. Though Montessori schools still existed, the movement and major support for the method was nonexistent. The very implementation of the Montessori method into American schools played a significant role in its failures. From the start the Montessori method implemented in the United States vaguely resembled the Montessori method that originated in Italy.
As the years passed, the movement was slowly slipped under the rug and forgotten by many media outlets, thus the Montessori movement had died out.
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The success of the Montessori method in the United States was short lived, however, bits and pieces of the Montessori method were being talked about among kindergarten teachers seeking different ways to supplement the kindergarten experience for students. In bringing her teaching method to the United States Maria Montessori did not intend to have bits and pieces of her method implemented in schools. And this way of using her method proved that the intent to apply the Montessori method to schools in the United States was unsuccessful from However, Dr.
The Montessori method appealed to many hopeful parents who believed in the method, however, at the same time it clashed with educational institutions who did not favor that change. A great critic of Dr. Shortridge cited a diary entry by Kilpatrick in which he wrote:.
I do not object to the notion of the liberty, in fact that seems very good. Beineke, , p. Kilpatrick, like many critics of the Montessori method viewed the approach in a negative light, not agreeing with the level of freedom and independence that is given to the child. The unfortunate decline in support that was experienced by Maria Montessori played a major role in the early failure of the movement. What is important to note, however, is that although the Montessori method went inactive for many years, the growing support for the movement continued to excel in different countries Whitescarver and Cossentino, p.
Just as the Montessori method saw failure in , in the s the movement experienced rebirth through Nancy McCormick Rambusch. Rambusch saw for herself how the Montessori method worked while she was studying in Paris Whitescarver and Cossentino, p. The success of returning the Montessori method to the United States and having it be accepted in the way that it was played major roles in the rise of the Montessori Movement after its fall decades earlier.
Whitescarver and Cossentino provide readers with both ends of the spectrum, showing that the Montessori method had little success and received many critiques, thus leading to its temporary demise, and later showing how the movement rose from the ashes and has grown to be very well known and implemented around the world. Mario Montessori made sure that bringing the Montessori method back to the US meant making no changes to the teaching approach that his mother had created.
The rebirth of the Montessori Movement in the United States can be attributed to many things, however, the main contributors to the revival of the movement were Nancy McCormick Rambusch and Mario Montessori. From being heavily supported by the media and American people, to being almost forgotten and erased from American education, and finally breaking through in the s and still being around today, the movement has gone through a lot in the past century.
Although the Montessori method is used in many states across the country, its growth is still quite slow considering the efforts that have been put forth for the movement to thrive. The slow growth of the movement can be attributed to the still present skepticism of educational institutions. Over the course of one hundred years the Montessori movement strived to become effectively implemented into American education, and while it has succeeded in doing so, the movement is slowly growing because tensions exist between the Montessori movement and American educational institutions and policy makers Whitescarver and Cossentino, p.
Like the critics that Dr. Montessori did not appeal to in her address, Kilpatrick did not agree entirely with the Montessori method. Shortridge and Whitescarver and Cossentino all present readers with ample background of the rise and fall of the Montessori Movement and the wonderful works of Maria Montessori and her followers such as Nancy McCormick Rambusch to revive the movement.
So many Americans embraced the Montessori movement when McClure first introduced it to the United States; however, the interest of Americans in the method was short lived and the movement was ultimately cast out by its critics and non-supporters. The ups and downs experienced by Maria Montessori and her followers were what made the movement stronger and what made Montessori want to stick to the purity of the approach.
Maria Montessori laid out the foundation for her followers to help the movement grow into what it is today. And although the movement is growing slowly, more and more supporters of the movement continue to raise awareness on the importance of instilling independence, respect, and self-accountability into children at an early age. Century of Reform on the Margins. Having grown up in a suburban part of the greater Boston area, I greatly valued being a student at a diverse high school.
However, my town was not particularly diverse itself, but rather it participated in a program called METCO, also known as the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity. This program allowed for minority, inner city kids to come to predominantly white, wealthy suburbs for a good public school education. This program was always important to me, as I felt fortunate to be educated along side people who were so different from me. Though I valued the program in my own education, I did not know a lot about the program as a whole outside of my friends who participated and my town, which sparked my curiosity to learn more.
Specifically, I wanted to know how the experiences of the first METCO participants and those in more recent years differed. The METCO Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity was originally created in in response to the deeply segregated educational communities in Massachusetts, the African Americans being concentrated in the inner city and Somerville with whites in the suburbs. Bostonians met the program with relative warmth, in part because of new legislation.
In , Massachusetts passed the Racial Imbalance Law, which offered benefits to school districts with at least fifty percent minority students Eaton, 3.
As opposed to dying out, the program accelerated South Boston Today. The participation increased from only seven school districts in its first year, to thirty-three districts now, forty-nine years later Massachusetts Department of Education. Over the course of the last half a century, it is generally thought that America has made leaps and bounds in terms of achieving racial equality. Though the country may have an African American president, the road for METCO students has not been as smooth as one might romanticize. The students have a lot to overcome, many of the same things students in the sixties struggled with.
One main issue they had with being placed in these suburban schools was their feelings when placed in either high performing or low performing classes; both caused problems.
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When a black student was placed in a high performing class, he or she was often the only black student in this class. They described a feeling of isolation and unworthiness. The adults Eaton interviewed described a constant feeling of need to prove themselves because of a believed pre-conceived notion by their educators and white peers that black students were not as smart as their white counterparts. The METCO students also reported that they and their other African American friends were placed in low performance classes even when they were excelling students academically Eaton, Eaton identifies the three major possibilities for the causes of these problems with the tracking system and METCO students.
One of these is the possibility that the suburban schools had higher standards than the schools the METCO students had come from. The second is that long-term METCO students still underperformed in comparison to their white peers, despite having the same education. This could be because of difference is very early childhood or because of the unique problems. Aside from racism perpetrated by teachers, the former METCO students also interviewed by Eaton also experienced racism inflicted by their peers. There was also occasionally racist graffiti throughout the school.
There were cases of dramatic racism, like repeated harassment, which was largely ignored by educators and administrators Eaton adds, though, that their appeared nonchalance of racism is not completely accurate. They, in fact, would often get in physical altercations with the kids who called them these racist slurs.
There was a difference in the way two different groups of METCO students thought about the racism they experienced. The METCO in its current form program seeks to address two major issues in the Massachusetts public school system by placing inner city, minority Asian, Hispanic, and Black students in predominately white suburban schools. That is, the concentrated amount of minority groups in public schools. Studies have shown the importance for students of all races to have the experience interacting with races different than their own Cubeta, METCO in some regard has proven these studies correct.
In addition to this, although METCO students can be sent to the receiving public school from the early age of pre-kindergarten, they still have an extremely lower average test scores than their peers in school Cubeta, The research shows that the METCO students far out perform their peers at the schools in their own districts. This is drastically different than the schools they had come from, which were environments where college preparation was not heavily emphasized due to a variety of more pressing issues like staying away from gang violence and drugs.
It is noted, however, that the evidence for academic success in METCO may not be caused by the program itself but is because of the fact that it is a self selecting program, so the families that make the effort to enroll their children in this program are more likely to encourage students to do well in school. It is incredible that these students have managed to do as well as they have in school, considering the unique array of problems they are met with, like early morning wake ups one of the things adults remember most about the program , long bus rides, discrimination, and a general uneasiness in an environment so different from that of their own Eaton Chirichigno, As a white girl having grown up in a suburban town, I found it compelling as well as accurate to read of the educational benefits to integration for all races.
However, some of the sixty-five METCO students interviewed by Eaton would not say the program had a positive affect on them. The complaints by these students, as troubling as it is, seem like they could hold true today. In an ideal world, the Boston and Somerville public schools would improve so that students in these districts do not need to leave in order to get opportunities. However, this would detract from the benefits of the learning in a racially diverse environment. As a student who considers herself to be very lucky to have been taught alongside METCO students, I have to admit that I find my own thesis troubling and surprising, that students are not having the wonderful experiences in the program that I would have hoped.
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Since I grew up in an extremely liberal, welcoming town, perhaps I was sheltered to the discrimination that students could potentially face. Though I offer no solution to the problems METCO students face aside from everyone to be perfectly welcoming and accepting , I think that it is important at the very least to acknowledge the hardships students face, and the extent to which they persevere.
Eaton, Susan, and Gina Chirichigno. Issue brief. Eaton, Susan E. New Haven: Yale UP, Logan, John R. University of Albany, 1 Sept. Harvard University, 25 Sept. Nelson, Laura J. The New York Times, 16 June Parker, Brock. The Boston Globe, 24 Jan. Students in moved together as a class and followed the prescribed daily routine, whereas now students choose their own courses and have individualized schedules. As of , Trinity College curriculum for undergraduates is composed of distribution requirements, majors, and minors.
By comparing these distinct curricula, this essay explores when and how Trinity College shifted from a highly unified to a more individualized model with distribution requirements, focusing on why these changes happened.
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Since Trinity College was established, there have been three important curriculum changes in , , and In , the college tried to keep the essence of liberal arts education despite the rise of specialism and the returns of veterans after WWII by solidifying the general education. In , accompanied by the coeducation, Trinity College established the open curriculum, which enabled students to choose courses besides major requirements.
In , Trinity got rid of the open curriculum and reorganized the distribution requirements.