The future of Montessori education
At present, the trend towards internationalization is fast in Japan, and it is expected that society will continue to change at an accelerated pace due to unstoppable technological innovation. In such a changing society, I believe that many of you are familiar with the International Baccalaureate educational program that the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is rapidly adopting. Both the national and metropolitan schools that my daughters have been indebted to are said to be new forms of international schools that have adopted that kind of education. It was a school where we were educated and learned together. The purpose of the International Baccalaureate education is to "develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who will contribute to building a better and more peaceful world through a spirit of understanding and respect for diverse cultures." Yes, the daily school life and learning of my daughters was completely different from the school education I had known so far, and it was a series of surprises and learning. I also realized that the holistic education that we aim for there is exactly the same as Montessori education.
Amid the wave of globalization, the number of children learning English from an early age in English classrooms and bilingual classrooms in Japan is rapidly increasing, and interest in English education from an early age and international education is increasing. Parents who are raising children are interested in various forms of education and are very active in ensuring that their children receive the best possible education so that they can adapt to the changes in society as they grow up. am.
It is said that by 2030, the evolution of artificial intelligence will make it possible to replace half of the current occupations in Japan, and the need to develop skills such as sensibility, creativity, and leadership that cannot be replaced by robots is being questioned. . These skills are said to be insufficient in Japanese education, but they have been emphasized in Montessori education since the "Children's House" was established in Rome about 100 years ago. . In addition to the International Baccalaureate education, Montessori education overlaps with the key competencies listed by the OECD, and is a holistic education that is exactly what is needed in today's rapidly changing world.
In recent years, Montessori education has attracted attention, and one of the reasons why the number of educational institutions that have adopted Montessori education has increased significantly around the world is that many of the world's celebrities have received this education. World-famous innovators such as the founders of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Wikipedia, as well as former President Obama, the Clintons, and Anne Frank, are known to have received a Montessori education. , you can find a lot of information on the internet. Through Montessori education, children acquire the ability to learn on their own. I think that it has a lot to do with nurturing, and I am once again reminded that these are the qualities that will be sought after in the coming era.
Montessori education is not something special in Europe and the United States, and in the United States, the number of elementary schools that use Montessori education has increased significantly. In recent years, even in Japan, Montessori education has been picked up by the media, and books about Montessori education that can be done at home have been serialized in magazines and illustrated in bookstores and libraries.
On the other hand, in Japan, Montessori education is sometimes regarded as early education or intellectual education. However, as I mentioned earlier, Montessori education is originally aimed at the growth of the whole personality. In the field of education, the tendency that the purpose of education tends to be ambiguous is a problem that has always been faced since the time when Montessori education was introduced in Japan. It seems to me that we as adults need to look back on a daily basis and be conscious of slowly watching over our children's growth in the true sense of the word from a long-term perspective, rather than getting caught up in immediate results.
It is important for children to learn what they touch, what they feel, and how to face themselves, others, and things in early childhood, when they are laying the foundation for their personality development. The environment prepared by adults and the way of working with them is important in order for them to spend their days with peace of mind, have an unwavering sense of self-affirmation, and learn the joy of proactively and autonomously learning. . In addition, through diverse relationships with friends of different ages, children help each other, respect and learn from each other, and acquire cooperativeness and leadership.
Currently, there are only a few schools in Japan that offer Montessori education beyond elementary school, and in Australia, the number of elementary and junior high schools that offer Montessori education is extremely limited. However, the qualities cultivated in Montessori education in early childhood do not end there. It greatly influences the attitude and motivation to learn on one's own after elementary school, warm and secure relationships with people and things around them, and the establishment of identity. .
In his later years, Montessori himself also went beyond the boundaries of his educational methods and sought universal peace for mankind. While learning many things from that educational philosophy, we also look at the children who live in this world in front of us, and carefully support their spiritual growth as a sure step toward building a better world every day. I would like to walk while