Sir Ken Robinson champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence. In this recent TED presentation titled "How to Escape Education’s Death Valley", he talks mainly about the US approaches, however we can easily apply the ideas to our Australian system. He cites Individuality, Curiosity and Creativity as being essential and fundamental principles to the human mind, but that our current education culture actually works against these. Many leading educators from around the world would recognise the need for change however the biggest challenge is actually changing the entire system - and that's difficult.
For a Montessori school like ours, we have a full and rich curriculum that was built with the individuality of the child at its heart. Such values as individuality, curiosity and creativity were written into the fabric of the curriculum 100 years ago by Maria Montessori. We would add to that the values of independence, choice and self-directed learning. The mixed age classrooms, for example, compel the curriculum to be adaptable and applicable to each child of a different age and stage. Simply allowing children the possibility to work on different things all at the same time in itself fosters curiosity and creativity.
Montessori is drawing increasing attention from educators and parents as they come to realise a philosophy and pedagogy already exists, already delivering much of what is recognised as needed in mainstream education reform. Montessori schools, as a result, are growing worldwide.