Thursday, September 20, 2012

Montessori Compass and Current Issues in Montessori Education

As some of my readers may know, I am currently working on a Master of Arts degree through the AM2 program at St. Catherine University.  In my course, Analysis of Contemporary Issues in Montessori Education, an interesting topic surfaced during one of our discussions.  We had been talking about challenges in Montessori education, specifically educating the public about our programs as well as our struggle to constantly debunk common misconceptions of the method.  One of my cohorts brought up another important issue - record keeping.  Imagine my delight to be able share with the group my experience with Montessori Compass and how it has addressed the very issues being discussed:

This is the second year I have been using Montessori Compass as my main record keeping system. Interestingly, I have found that using this online resource has addressed the other two issues being discussed: public education of Montessori and common misconceptions. I have seen firsthand the effect such an information sharing tool has had in my school community. Firstly, parents of my students have a direct link to the activities in which their children are participating at school including detailed information of the direct and indirect aims of a given lesson. This is a brilliant way to educate parents - and it takes no extra time (other than the time to customize the curriculum, input information, observations, etc.) This "window" into their child's day is much appreciated and met with enthusiasm. Overtime, trends can be seen and parents come to the realization of all that happens in a Montessori setting which paves the way for fewer misconceptions of the method.

Thank you, Montessori Compass for providing Montessori educators a platform to raise awareness and promote the philosophy in such an easily accessible manner.


  1. I've only been a part of your school for a short time bit I was immediately impressed with the Montessori Compass and have shared with others how wonderful it is to feel so much more connected with the classroom and my child's progress than with other methods. I don't know why all schools don't use something similar.

  2. I'm so glad to hear this, Julie! It is so critical that parents know and understand what is happening in the classroom and Montessori Compass makes it that much easier. Thanks so much for your comment!

  3. This is brilliant! Hope my son's school would adapt a system like this. Maybe we can suggest?

  4. Hi Sasha,
    As Montessori parents ourselves, we agree that it is critical that parents have a better understanding of what is happening in the classroom. There's definitely a learning curve for parents, especially new parents, when it comes to understanding the unique aspects of the Montessori Method. Increased awareness of the many wonderful learning opportunities occurring in your classroom each day will lead to an overall increased appreciation of the Montessori Method. Ultimately, this can turn Montessori "parents" into Montessori "advocates". Over the long term, this can really have a positive effect on both your school (i.e. referrals, enrollment) as well as the entire Montessori community.

  5. Hi Sasha,
    It's been awhile since you posted about Montessori COmpass. Would you be willing to give us an update on the pros and cons? It seems to be the only pre-packaged planning tool out there for Montessori classrooms. Did you find the initial set up time consuming? Are there parts of the program you use everyday? Some you don't find useful? Planning and record keeping are deeply helpful, I find, and I enjoy how I am able to feel I am 'guiding' children thru the curriculum. In turn, children grow to respect that I DO have a plan for them, that there is always more to do and learn in the classroom, and I think they begin to internalize that the work they do prepares them for further more challenging work. Your thoughts?