Thursday, March 25, 2010

The death of MCI in Singapore

My colleague wants to take up Montessori International Diploma in Singapore and I encourage her to sign up with Montessori Centre International (MCI, U.K.) since it has been acclaimed to have one of the highest rating in the Montessori Pedagogy internationally.

However, she found out the MCI pedagogy course is no longer available in Singapore because the new policy disregards Montessori Teaching Diploma certificate. Pre-school teachers are to take up the Early Childhood course accredited by MCYS and MOE. So now those who already have an International Diploma in Montessori need to take the Early Childhood Edcucation course "again" before being able to teach in pre-schools. Many of the curriculums are overlapped with Montessori Diploma course. Will this be a waste of time? This is a question that many Montessorians have been discussing with one another.

So now, MCI has vanished in Singapore. But Modern Montessori International (MMI) is still standing strong, because they have opened many Montessori enrichment centres. This means Montessori Diploma holders can still teach in these centres. However, enrichment centres enroll students by subjects. Who will want to enroll their child just to Practical Life or Sensorial course? Hence, these two important child development subjects are totally absent in enrichment centres.

Now, has Montessori really become a Teaching Method without a soul? A school that uses Montessori materials to teach does not mean that it will achieve the results of a real Montessori school. The Montessori Philosophy is the SOUL of Montessori methods. This Philosophy is so powerful that both children and teachers are transformed by it.

There are 5 areas/subjects in Montessori (i.e., Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Literacy, Cultural). These 5 areas are intertwined. I have talked more about why Practical Life activites are so important in an Early Childhood setting in my other blog entry.

Related blogs:

1. What is Montessori?

2. Montessori Philosophy - The Soul of Early Childhood Teaching

3. Are Practical Life activities so important?

4. Peaceful Learning Environment

Related link:

1. Pre-school Teacher Training & Qualifications (Ministry of Education, Singapore)

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