After 9 months of online learning, Age of Montessori students from around the world gathered together in beautiful Bozeman, Montana to begin the one-month intensive component of the training program. During this first-time meeting with one another and master teachers Mary Ellen Maunz and Randall Klein, students shared their experiences of the online portion of the course.
Age of Montessori’s most recent Webinar (click here to see the replay) is a live broadcast of this dynamic meeting. While viewing this webinar, I was struck by the students’ collective opinion that Age of Montessori’s Teacher Training is “in the spirit of Montessori.” In other words, the adult students are experiencing a learning process that is the very essence of the Montessori Method.
Like Montessori for children, AOM online students are allowed the time they need to delve more deeply into areas that interest them and work at their own pace. Many remarked that they had discovered topics within the course which “became a calling,” just as their future pupils will be encouraged to do. Students expressed appreciation for the broadness of the online learning material, as well as feelings of personal growth through engaging subjects.
During the webinar, Randall Klein playfully called his students’ learning process “Normalization of the Adult.” He went on to explain that “normalization is the way that you become who you are.” Maria Montessori originally discovered the process she called “normalization”:
What is to be particularly noted in these child conversions is a psychic cure, a return to what is normal. Actually the normal child is one who is precociously intelligent, who has learned to overcome himself and to live in peace, and who prefers a disciplined task to futile idleness. When we see a child in this light, we would more properly call his “conversion” a “normalization.”
~Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood
Many of the adult students in the AOM intensive shared their own experiences of inner-growth through periods of intense concentration and peaceful work.
Internationally recognized Montessori Method expert, Mary Ellen Maunz, calls her message “authentic and original Montessori.” Judging from the reflections of her students, her message has truly captured the spirit of Montessori.