I envision a debate between the late founders of two institutions that have impacted hundreds of thousands of children.
Steve Jobs is at his podium with a sleek tablet (downloading material from the Cloud, so to speak).
Maria Montessori is holding up a handful of sand-paper letters.
The debate begins, and Dr. Montessori, who doesn’t care to introduce herself, begins handing out rectangles of sand-paper, and pink blocks to anyone who cares to listen. Jobs is tap-tapping away on an iPad with retina display and fingerprint recognition.
But seriously, I have been fascinated to see how often modern educators, and people from all areas of student involvement invoke Maria Montessori today. I just came across an article by Dale Dougherty, the founder of MAKE magazine and creator of Maker Faire, among other things. He goes on to talk of her “education of the senses”
Montessori describes other exercises that encourage children to explore the sense of touch: setting out metal containers of water heated at six degree intervals; tablets made of three different woods that differ in weight by six grams; other tablets that have alternating strips of smooth paper and sandpaper.
Now you know why I was temped to compare the world’s best-known tablet promoter, and user of old-fashioned tablets!