Indian Montessori Centre –TN Chapter
2/1, Habib Complex, 5, Durgabai Deshmukh Road
R A Puram, Chennai – 600 028.

Ph: 044 24951077

Email: imc_tn@indianmontessoricentre.org

Reflections Feb 2014,Vol: II

Workshop at Theosophical Society, Chennai

The sylvan surroundings within Besant Scout Camping Centre, a unit of Theosophical Society, Adyar provided us with a serene atmosphere for the two-day workshop that occurred in the last week of January.

Attended by students and faculty of CMT-C (Centre for Montessori Training-Chennai) undergoing training for Primary Montessori Education as well as Elementary, the workshop was facilitated by an affable couple from Bangalore - Viswanath (Vishy) and Gayathri.

After a round of introductions, we got into groups of 9 to discuss on 'What does Montessori mean to each of us?' where personal stories as regards this system of education were shared and at the end of the 20 minutes session we gathered to share with the larger group the summary of our small group discussions.

The quality of this space was emphasized as being very open where one could express oneself freely. While the next round of discussions in groups were happening on 'What is a movement? What does a Montessori movement mean?’ we saw our facilitators moving about this 'open space' with charts in their hands and small twines.

The community gathered once more to be introduced to the 'Law of 2 feet’. The charts, each bearing the name of a flower, put up at various points were to serve as spots of congregation for the various topics chosen for discussion by all. The initiator of the discussion would hold the place and those interested could stay on and participate as long as they are inclined to and use their '2 feet' to move to the next discussion point to contribute or to a quiet place to retreat.

The broad dictums were 'whoever' is part of a discussion is the best person for it and 'whatever' is being spoken is the best, 'whenever' we start and finish are the best times. Armed with this we glided towards the discussion spots, deciding our attendance after a peek at the time-table drawn up, indicating the timings for the various topics at the different venues.The day ended with a feedback session.

The morning discussions of the next day yielded some important developments such as few of the trainees deciding to join the compilation team of the IMC Tamil Nadu Chapter's newsletter, decision to create a face book id for CMTC, decision to conduct parenting programs in schools vis-à-vis Montessori education, to have a Montessori board of education, monthly meetings to be conducted by CMTC in schools and corporates as an awareness drive. The means of implementing them were to be dealt with on a later date.

The community was joined by committee members of the IMC TN Chapter who also participated in the discussions. Post the wonderful lunch, replete with Vegetable pulao and 'shahi thukda', the logistics and quality of an exhibition showcasing Primary and Elementary Montessori environments along with seminars, to be conducted at Guru Nanak college in Velachery were dealt with as a group. The kind of expected questions and their responses were discussed.
Once again we re-distributed ourselves into smaller groups and posing ourselves as parents and Montessori teachers, we enacted likely conversations to occur on the day of the exhibition.

When we gathered again before we wrapped up,’ I’ve never been to a college. These two days felt like being a part of one',' it was the first time the primary and elementary interacted with each
other and brought us closer', 'It seems almost historic that we should talk about the Montessori movement when in these very grounds Dr.Montessori developed the elementary course decades ago' were some of the responses from the participants.

In the evening, the community held hands amidst the woods, in silence, before parting ways and thanking everyone for this refreshing break.

Maya Seshagiri
(Undergoing Elementary Training)

Maitri 2014 – Learning Together, a continuous path

Maitri 2014 – Learning Together, a continuous path, the exhibition and seminar on Montessori education was a two day event organized by Indian Montessori Centre (IMC) – Tamil Nadu Chapter, in collaboration with Guru Nanak Mat. Hr. Sec. School.

The event, inaugurated by Ms. Bhuvana Venkatraman a direct student of Dr. Montessori and Dr. B.V.A. Rao, Chairman, Indian Montessori Centre, was held on February 15th and 16th, 2014, and its endeavour was to help one and all understand that education starts from birth and is a continuous process.

It was a diverse group of people, ranging from managements of schools, teachers, educationists and parents and their interest levels and queries were different.

For some, it was just like any other exhibition with materials for sale, but for some it was an eye opener as they caught a glimpse of the enriching Montessori philosophy and the depth in this method of education.

The activities under “Exercises of Practical Life” such as the 'buttermilk churning' and 'chandan paste making' amused some parents, but when they realized that each and every one of those activities led to the preparation of the child's hands for later activities in his life, especially writing, they were visibly amazed.

Some were amazed to see the materialization of the many complex abstract concepts eg. Binomial Cube, which the child actually relates to much later, but internalizes now.

The Moveable Alphabet displayed both in English and Tamil, was yet another attraction, and received some approving comments from teachers, who were amazed at the simple yet effective methods of introduction of grammar at this tender age. We heard quite a bit of them whisper under their breath that they wished they had studied grammar this way.

Think of Arithmetic and most children develop a phobia for it, but at the exhibition, we saw many sit down to learn all the four basic arithmetic operations spontaneously.

The materials arranged in succession opening up the “pathway to writing" created quite a stir among most visitors as they realized how unprepared children are for writing at 3 ½ years.

The seminar hall ran out of space on all six occasions, as most visitors were keen to attend every session convened by senior Montessorians and experts in the field of education, on topics ranging from psychology to parenting.

To most who thought Montessori was just for the toddlers and very young children, it was quite a surprise to see the Elementary section. Every aspect of human culture was exhibited and explained in simple ways, making some want to go back to school days.

While the photo displays lit up the auditorium in the middle, the manufacturers were busy selling their products at one end.

To sum it up, it was an entirely fascinating (and hectic!) experience for the 25th and 27th batches of CMTC (Centre for Montessori Training – Chennai), as it wouldn't have been possible to interact with so many people at once and leave behind a positive vibe. It was all because of our whole hearted faith in the Montessori philosophy.

Many who visited the exhibition, we are sure must have felt that they wish they had experienced this kind of education. Let’s not be merely wishful but try to give to the child what he deserves the best. Follow your heart and follow the child!

(Primary Montessori Students of the 25th batch)

Events/ Celebrations in various Montessori Schools across Tamil Nadu

Sprouts Montessori School

Exhibition: At Sprouts, every alternate year, a 2-day exhibition of all the Montessori materials is conducted to advance the public awareness of Montessori. This exhibition showcased an interesting and diverse selection of Montessori materials and children’s work in each field.  

Annual Day: Annual day is one such event, which every child aspires to take part in. Large number of students who give their dedicated efforts for many days and their continuous practice with teachers in areas like skits, dance & Graduation speeches is worth appreciating
 
Bodhana Montessori House of Children

Bodhana Montessori House of Children stepped into its second year on 4 Sep , 2013. So our team decided to celebrate that day as a school day. Our toddlers as always showed interest in gardening activity and sowed sprouted ragi grains. Our primary children made lot decorations for the classroom with minimal help from the adult; children prepared juice and popcorn for everyone. They were involved in rangoli as well. Offering flowers and snacks for all guests was completely taken over by the children. So the school day was finally organised by our children where the parents were their guests. It was a delightful surprise for all the parents.

 

 

Nurture – Montessori House of children

Indian Montessori Centre -IMC (TN Chapter) and Nurture - Montessori House of Children are presently running a program onDevelopment psychology (children aged 0-6) 
Development psychology is being explored from the following perspective:

  1. Is learning natural to children or do children need to be cajoled or coerced, bribed or rewarded in order to make them learn?
  2. What do we understand when we talk about development with regard to children and what bearing does it have to learning and education?
  3. What do we understand by the word PLAY and how does it relate to children?
  4. What is creativity – and how can we help our children be creative?
  5. Freedom and responsibility – how much of the former should we give children and how much of the latter may we expect from the children?
  6. How can we make our children more disciplined from within without external action or emphasis?
  7. What do we understand as obedience and how do we receive this from children?
  8. Do children who are respected grow to be very different from children who are not?
  9. Is there any element of emotional or physical unintentional abuse in our dealing with children? Is it possible to be completely non-authoritative in our dealing with children?
  10. How do we create a home environment that is best suited for the growth and development of our children?

Who is it for?

Parents, Teachers, Grandparents, NGO associates, Medical Practioners, Policy makers in the field of education and anyone who is interested in the development of the child
The aim of this program is to reach out to all the people especially parents and teachers  who are with children and are directly or indirectly responsible or in many ways facilitate the development of the child.

DATE & TIME:
Start Date: 18th JANUARY 2014(All Saturdays)
End Date: 22nd MARCH 2014.Time -  2:30pm to 4:00pm
Venue  - Nurture Montessori House of Children (
www.nurtureschool.com/ 9841415394)
Facilitator:
Ms. Chitra Mani has more than three decades of experience in the education field and has been a part of the faculty of CMTC – Centre for Montessori Training, Chennai (www.cmtcindia.org) for several years.

  R S Mother Kids

Srujana Montessori School
Annual Day 2013-14

The Annual Day for the Academic year 2013-14 of Srujana Montessori School was held on January 25, 2014. The main theme of the Annual Day was “Harmony in Diversity”.The Chief Guest for the programme was Mrs. Girija Raghavan, Journalist & Magazine Publisher and the Special Speaker was Mr. Vetri Vidiyal Srinivasan, Chartered Accountant.The programme started with a Prayer song dedicated to Lord Ganesh and the lamp for auspiciousness was lit by the Honourable Chief Guest. This was followed by a speech by the Principal Mrs Prabha Padmanabhan and the Correspondent Mr. A. Padmanabhan. Mrs. Girija Raghavan and Mr. Srinivasan rendered a very motivating and enriching speech to the audience assembled.
Children danced to the tunes of songs from various states in India. A play from the life- history of Chattrapathi Shivaji Maharaj (Signing of the Purandhar Treaty) was performed by the Senior Montessori children. The programme ended with a Fusion Dance, which exhibited the fusion of all the dances from different states, thereby demonstrating the theme of Harmony in Diversity.

Editorial Team

Shobana Vaidyanathan
Vijaya Durga Vinayaka Rao
Uma Shriraam

For any events/ celebrations in your school, please write to durgamoro@gmail.com, uma.shriraam@gmail.com
kalvitrust@gmail.com