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A Visit from Marta Donahoe

A Visit from Marta Donahoe By Heather Gray   Teacher preparation, training, accreditation and continued professional development for the educator are at the foundation of

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On January 25, the Walnut Farm Montessori teachers and staff hosted a Parent Education Meeting on The Learning Outcomes in a Montessori Classroom. We also shared a slide show of children working in our own Montessori classroom environments, evidencing the ways in which these outcomes are visible each day at Walnut Farm Montessori. Thank you to the parents who were able to make it to the Parent Education Meeting; we shared a wonderful evening together. We are happy to share the learning outcomes and slide show here with those of you who were unable to attend.



The following is a list of Learning Outcomes in a Montessori Classroom as shared by the American Montessori Society.

1. Independence: The child is able to choose his or her own work, apply energy to that work, complete it to a personal criterion of completion, and return the work to the place it is customarily kept, ready for the next child. The child is able to locate resources to continue the self-chosen task or solve social issues without necessarily involving the teacher. They are able to seek help when needed.

2. Confidence and Competence: The child’s self-perceived successes are far more numerous than his or her self-perceived failures. They are capable of self-correcting work, upon observation, reflection, or discussion. The child manages the available array of available resources with a clear sense of purpose.

3. Autonomy: The child accepts or rejects inclusion in another child’s work or work group with equanimity. They understand and implement their needs and wants.

4. Intrinsic Motivation: The child is drawn to continue working for the apparent pure pleasure of so doing. The child, once having achieved a particular competence, moves on to revel in mastery by showing others.

5. Social Responsibility: Independent and autonomous persons are always a part of a group and must attain independence and autonomy through participation in group activity. They begin to understand that what they do has an impact on others. The loss of these qualities by one of a group is a loss for all.

6. Academic Preparation: In Montessori education, children learn how to think critically and find answers for themselves. They learn by doing. Academic skills are essential to learning and knowing, not the aim of learning and knowing.

7. Spiritual Awareness: Montessori views the child as a spiritual embryo. Implications are conveyed by the metaphor. All humans are spiritual beings as well as physical beings. They have spiritual health as well as physical health. Montessori sees no need to establish whether or not the source of spirit is theological and does not offer theological explanation. The spiritual embryo simply thrives on spiritual investment. The investment can be theological, humane, or a combination of the two.

8. Global Citizen: All children are part of both a world political system and a world ecological system. Both systems have their constitutions and all must learn to live by the letter and spirit of their laws. As a naturalist, Montessori knew about the laws of mind and of nature and understood the consequences of disobeying either of them.