Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Disrupting Class to Improve Education

While reading Clayton Christensen's Disrupting Class, I could not help but draw a number of similarities to what he writes about innovation and education today to the Eight Principles of Montessori Education.

Several Christensen points:
  • schools may be able to switch to a student-centric learning mode
  • teachers must help individual students progress by being a guide on the side, not a sage on the stage
  • project-based learning is a highly motivating way for many students to synthesize what they are learning
Here are the eight Montessori principles:
  1. Movement and cognition are closely intertwined; movement can enhance thinking and learning.
  2. Learning and well-being are improved when people have a sense of control over their lives.
  3. People learn better when they are interested in what they are learning.
  4. Tying extrinsic rewards to an activity negatively impacts motivation to engage in that activity when the reward is withdrawn.
  5. Collaborative arrangements can be very conducive to learning.
  6. Learning situated in meaningful contexts is often deeper and richer than learning in abstract contexts.
  7. Particular forms of adult interaction are associated with more optimal child outcomes.
  8. Order in the environment is beneficial to children.
Here is a clip of brief comments from Christensen.