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Monday, May 8, 2017

A Lifelong Education: Montessori de San Juan School

It is often said that apart from parental guidance and family life, a child’s education is the cornerstone in their upbringing. Indeed, a well-focused, reality-based, and engaging educational environment provides a superior toolkit for children to succeed and thrive in the world they will eventually inherit.

Examining this new world, however, will almost certainly lead to a common realization. Under present – and more so, future – conditions, success stems from being collaborative, multi-faceted, self-driven, highly adaptable, and innovative. It is a world where the traditional system of rote memorization, subject isolation, standardized tests, and enormous class sizes might not equip young minds with the necessary skills and mindset needed to stand out and flourish.

“Is traditional schooling a bad thing? Absolutely not. It was designed during a specific time period, under specific conditions, to serve a particular purpose,” explained Sandy Arellano, an education specialist who has done extensive research on learning theory, child development, and applied instruction. “During that time, the key to success was standardization and uniform quality – that was the prevailing movement in terms of production and employment. This was therefore reflected in the way students were taught,” she further noted.

As decades passed, however, more and more new information emerged, as well as a radical shift in the socio-economic landscape. Rather than evolve with the times, traditional schooling instead chose to cram as much data into students.

“This is why we have a big problem now, where children are over-scheduled, over-pressured, and over-worked by an educational system that is supposed to nurture a love for learning in them. The opposite usually happens,” Arellano pointed out.

The school that Arellano runs, Montessori de San Juan, has made it their mission to treat students as valued individuals, rather than simply a class number or a test score. As such, Montessori de San Juan employs small class sizes, multi-age settings, and subjects that are seamlessly integrated, mirroring how a working society functions.

Children learn through a variety of methods that are best suited for them, including interactive participation, tactile materials, sensory techniques, and mentorship. The application of concepts is given equal importance to the concepts themselves, thus imparting a real-world, practical dimension to the things that students learn.

“In the past couple of years, the educational system of Finland has received a lot of attention because of the way they do things differently, and how well their students do compared to their peers,” Arellano noted. “I think this is a great thing, but a lot of Filipinos may not be aware that we’ve been applying a very similar methodology right here in our country, with essentially the same results. Why read about it when you can have your kids experience it for themselves?” the educator emphasized.

For over 40 years, Montessori de San Juan has provided a successful learning environment for their students which includes an emphasis on love for learning, continuous development, and values formation. Educators at the school wholeheartedly believe and apply these philosophies in their K-12 program.

To learn more about the Montessori de San Juan School, contact 725-6306 or 239-1102 or  visit their website

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