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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Going Beyond Education

Traditional methods of education have naturally produced some of the brightest minds in the history of man. However, just as every field needs to be upgraded and modernized to suit the demands of future generations, so too does our technique of instruction. The challenge of tomorrow’s students calls for invention, innovation, imagination, and decision. The pioneers of this new frontier will certainly rely less and less on rote memorization and the mere storage of facts and information.

From the 1800s until today, countless hours are still spent on silent (book-based) learning and repetitive drills. While it certainly served its purpose at a time when standardization was the goal, numerous international experts on child psychology, education, human development, and sociology agree that it has become quite outdated.

One of the leading “evangelists” of progressive, experienced-based, and student-centered education in the Philippines is Ms. Sandy Arellano, who runs the Montessori De San Juan School. Her school recognizes that each student, as an individual, is different from all others. As such, a thorough analysis of the different factors that affect their education (e.g. age, learning style, inclinations, background, personality, etc.) is a critical element to how they teach the child. This allows Montessori de San Juan to help kids unlock their true potential without rigid and standardized structures.

“We recognize that good academic performance is merely the natural result of a happy, motivated, and well-adjusted student. Our practice focuses on the cause, rather than the effect,” Sandy explained, when asked how their students regularly perform better than their peers from so-called “bigger schools”. Indeed, it is this track record of excellence that has put them squarely on the country’s academic map.

Observing visitors are likewise surprised to see how seamlessly one subject is integrated into another, thus allowing for a richer, more cohesive understanding by the students. Whereas subjects are typically tackled one after another in traditional schools (e.g. math first, then english, then science, all taken in isolation), areas of study are interwoven in Montessori De San Juan, with the subjects purposely linked to one another. It’s not unexpected, therefore, to see a grade-schooler write a fictional narrative about a trip to Mars, complete with accurate scientific facts about the planet, and a computation of how long it took to get them there based on their average speed.

Moreover, Montessori de San Juan believes in formation beyond education. “We understand that the time our students spend with us is limited, therefore we endeavor to build a strong and lasting foundation for lifelong learning,” she emphasized. “Apart from developing their intellectual capabilities, building their character is equally important. Our students are not only provided with an exemplary set of academic tools, but the wisdom, integrity, and compassion to use it for the benefit of others,” Sandy concluded.

Montessori De San Juan now accepts applicants up to Senior High School. To learn more about Montessori de San Juan and discover why it is fast-becoming the most talked-about school in Metro Manila, call 239-1102/725-6306 or visit their Facebook page at De San Juan

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