REVIEW by Trevor Eissler
Author of Montessori Madness! A Parent to Parent Argument for Montessori Education which has become a best seller. He has also created videos on Montessori education.
This clear-eyed, hard-hitting, trumpet-call of a book is a fantastic choice for a parent considering a Montessori school for his or her child. I was impressed by Cushman's extensive classroom experience, from which she draws concrete anecdotes and detailed lists of tips and suggestions for both parent and teacher. My favorite parts of the book were Cushman's unapologetic emphasis that, first and foremost, Montessori is about independence. So much of the discussion about education today deals with what we want children to become: Should we train them to be "college ready"? Should we train them to be able to "compete in a global economy"? Is Montessori about social justice? Inequality? Socialization? No! It is about providing an environment and an experience in which children can normally and naturally progress into independent beings, people competent to make their own decisions out in the world when we are no longer there to guide them as parents and teachers. As Montessori advocates, we know this process of learning independence starts at birth and continues on the first day of school and beyond, not after a child becomes an adult. Cushman shows, in great detail, how Montessori schools foster independence, from which all the other wonderful skills and attributes flow. I highly recommend this book.
My favorite parts of the book were Cushman's unapologetic emphasis that, first and foremost, Montessori is about independence.