We are currently witnessing the rise of Montessori pedagogy in France, a development to which the Gennevilliers experience has probably contributed. But the work of Dr. Montessori was only a starting point in our work. It seems important to remind us.
We subtracted from the Montessori proposal what seemed not or more suitable, such as systematic daily ranges of 2 to 3 hours of individual work (morning and evening). We have also withdrawn activities and have proposed other, more traditional such as Kaplas, puzzles, building games, beads, board games, etc... What official Montessori pedagogy does not allow: it imposes a strict list of materials with which no other can coexist.
We reworked the entry into reading by refocusing it on the human relation, we focused our attention on the development of the executive skills of the children (via the autonomy, the oral language, the management of the conflicts), we proposed a teacher's posture more directive and more active; and most importantly, we focused on group activities and the connection between children. We added life, spontaneity, joy and its corollary: the noise caused by laughter and the many exchanges between young children!
All these changes were decisive for the success of the experiment.
We therefore invite parents and teachers to remain vigilant: applying the strict Montessori method - especially as promoted by the official training center - can not under any circumstances allow you to create or recover an environment such as that implemented in Gennevilliers, or to obtain the same results.
It should also be noted that while the Montessori pedagogical proposal is an excellent entry point for initiating a change in practice, the rigidity that can sometimes be shown in the overall system of this method is likely to put children and teachers in a great position. difficulty.
Let us study and consider the precious legacies of previous generations, but be careful to keep - always - our discernment.