Last week the following picture of President Obama had the Montessori community buzzing.
|President Obama visiting the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center in Decatur, Georgia|
I shared the picture with the children at our school during circle time. I began by asking the children if they knew who President Obama is. Many children said yes. One of our five year olds needed further clarification.
J: Excuse me Mrs. P. Do you mean Barack Obama?
Mrs. P.: Yes. President Barack Obama.
J: Oh I know him. Barack Obama is the boss of the
The rest of the children seemed to understand this. Now that we all knew exactly who we were talking about, I went around the circle showing each child the picture. I asked them to pay special attention to what President Obama was doing but not to say anything until everyone had had a chance to see the picture. Their expressions changed as they looked at the picture and saw something they recognized. Once everyone had seen the picture I asked, "What is President Obama doing?" They enthusiastically responded in unison "The Pink Tower and the Brown Stair!".
When the President and the children finished their work, their collective joy at a job well done was clearly evident.
Note: President Obama and his administration are currently in the process of expanding the USA's Early Childhood Education programs as mentioned in his State of the Union address earlier in February. Although the actual program and curriculum have not been finalized, it may draw from many different philosophies of education. In 2010, President Obama nominated Dr. Margaret McLeod to join the National Board of Education. Dr. McLeod is a former Montessori teacher. The preschool shown in the pictures does not identify itself as Montessori, yet there are Montessori materials throughout the classroom.