New Book, “The Red Corolla, Montessori Cosmic Education”
What I like about this book is the possibility that it will give to teachers who have not learned in their training this way of presenting the various cultural areas — art, music, geography, biology and physics — to young children. That is, how to offer it in such a way that the child freely chooses to absorb the material. However, I don’t think this is a book to cozy up with and read straight through. Its value is in the excellent information about how adults can prepare themselves to inspire children in the first place. Secondly the information on how to pass on the inspiration gives a valuable pattern to follow within that section. I think it is a book to take section by section according to ones interest. Although it is scattered throughout the book, there is information on approaching various ages of children, not just young ones. The book will require the adult to put in some effort, but the author enthusiastically proclaims that it is well worth the effort for both the adult and for the child.
—Rita Zener, AMI Montessori Teacher Trainer
I love all of your books and “The Red Corolla” is no exception. Whenever I read one of your books I feel like I have both my mom and a teacher guiding me (I lost my mom long before becoming a parent, so this is a precious feeling). Your writing style is therapeutic for me. This is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to deeply understand the Montessori approach.
—Claudia Dumitrascu, Romania and Canada
Note: a few of the color pictures here are in the book, but in black and white.
The culture lessons taught in an AMI primary teacher-training course—physics, biology, history and geography, and the arts—are presented here in great detail to lay the foundation before age six for the older child’s search for his Cosmic Task. Also included are personal “filling in the gaps” assignments for the parent or n teacher, and two republished AMI and NAMTA articles, one on Cosmic Education and the second on music for all ages.
From the chapter “The Work of the Adult— Gaps, Leaf Collection”
Recently I gave a presentation of leaves similar to what you find in this chapter and then led a nature walk with the students in the AMI primary course in Casablanca, in a beautiful garden in the home of my hosts. The students were hesitant at first, but very quickly found themselves as excited as children as they discovered the ways that the leaves were attached to the stems—alternately, oppositely, or whorled or in a group of leaves all attached at the same point. As we prepared to leave the garden and headed down the path toward the vehicles, I noticed several of the students walking slowly, looking carefully, and taking pictures. This is just the kind of involvement we will see in our children when we share the desire to explore and learn more with them.
From the chapter “The Work of the Child— Culture, Physics”
The reason we give this work to the young child is to give experience with isolated examples of the natural principles of physics in everyday life. Physical laws apply everywhere and every time. This is an introduction to real life, to truth, rather than opinion and belief. The experiments introduce experiences with buoyancy (an object sinking or floating), the movement of water, surface tension of water, movement of air, heat, sound, magnetism, electricity, gravity, weight combined with movement, and weight affected by shape.
From the chapter “The Work of the Child— Culture, Art”
The main work in the art area of the classroom is to give the child the tools to express his feelings and his ever-expanding interest in and understanding of the whole world. Of course it follows that, just as all of the other work in the Montessori primary environment, this work will give opportunity for deeper and longer periods of concentration, improved visual discrimination and eye-hand control, and more concepts and a richer vocabulary for verbal communication, and skills in writing and reading.
From the chapter “The Music Environment” (AMI Journal article The Music Environment from the Beginning to the End)
The natural urge to sing, dance, make and listen to music wells up from the depths of each person, from birth to death. It can be stamped out at an early age or it can be fostered to enrich all of life. This article describes how important music is to us at every time in our life, from birth to death.
COSMIC EDUCATION (NAMTA article)
THE WORK OF THE ADULT
Mind the Gaps Introduction
General Knowledge Album
Formal Language Album
THE WORK OF THE CHILD
Culture Album Introduction
Culture, History and Geography
The Language of Culture
CULTURE FROM BIRTH TO AGE 12+
THE MUSIC ENVIRONMENT (AMI article)
A must read for anyone in education looking towards moving away from the compartmentalising of education into “subjects”. Literacy and numeracy skills are important but they are a toolkit to access so much more and this books helps to illustrate how to do that. —Esma Al-Samarrai, Cardiff, Wales
I first lectured on these topics in 1971 after returning from a year in London earning my AMI primary (age 2.5-6) diploma. The last lectures were given in summer 2019 at the first AMI primary course in Morocco. For years I have been promising a book.
Please feel free to share to anyone for whom it will be interesting and perhaps helpful.