The Indian Institute for Montessori Studies pays a lot of importance to conducting research and using the findings here to modify the guidelines for presentation-content we call the “Curriculum development”. More details can be found under the respective heads:
1. Research and Publications
2. Curriculum Development
Research and Publications
The Publications of IIMS can be split into two heads: Newsletters and Research. Newsletters were published mainly to keep the alumni of IIMS in touch with each other and with the work at the Institute or at the IMA. Having worked on some large projects earlier, we have accumulated data which is now being converted into research and published. This time, the publication was on websites, in Conference volumes and journals.
IIMS published the first newsletter in association with IMA in November 2004. The first edition was published to pass the discussions of the egroup to those who did not have access to computers. This was a trial that did not get converted into action till 2009.
The idea of a Newsletter from IIMS and IMA was resuscitated in 2009, this time with the intention of keeping the lines of communication open with the Montessorians in the field and the training institute. After some discussion on the number of issues per year, it was decided to bring out at least two issues per year to begin with. The publication would contain some news about these two institutions, as well as the happenings in the community. Classroom experiences and activities that could be used there were also part of the write – up. The magazine would be sent via email to most members, and as a print out to those who have no access to a computer.
After the success of a few issues, we have decided to make it a regular feature of IIMS Newsletter. This decision was initiated in June 2015. At present, we plan to publish an email version of the newsletter every month of the academic year. Each newsletter will contain a section for parents and for teachers, apart from news about the work of IIMS as well as IMA. These articles will be of general interest.
Though Montessori training and schools have existed in India since her arrival in India, there has not been much formal research on her work. IIMS, during its course of work has gathered some data and some of it is being published now. Apart from that, individuals from different fields have also worked in this area in the recent years. We are publishing some of the abstracts under this head.
The thought of a newsletter arose from the meetings of the first batch of students of Prof. Gupta in 1998. Prepared by Rama on her husband’s office computer, presenting activities organised with Nandini Prakash and Rekha Reddy, 4 – 5 issues of this informal creation of an informal group were published. Since the group was small, the work soon stopped when pressure of work at schools increased.
Details of IIMS newsletters published so far (Click on the link to download a sample pdf):
IIMS and IMA Newsletter sample Oct 2004
Working Montessorians belonging to the Indian Montessori Association had many minor doubts which came up during their work, which they wanted to discuss, and anecdotes and which they wanted to share with each other. As it was difficult to meet regularly, an email discussion group was started. The queries put out in this forum elicited a wide response from the subscribers. Sometimes, the contributions came in the form of conversations either in person or on the phone. These questions and answers are put together here in the form of a newsletter, particularly for the benefit of those who have no access to internet. Where there are two different suggestions, both are given. Questions from the preprimary precede those from the primary level…
IIMS and IMA Newsletter sample July 2009
In this issue, you will read an article about accountability by Deepa Kamat, taken from discussions on our e-group. We also bring you a report on the importance of Community Building from a session conducted by the NGO MAYA, at our Institute last year. We also have an anecdote, Making wholes in Botany, the IIMS News, and “Going Out” to Coorg. We look forward to your support and encouragement in our venture to bring Montessori a lot closer to you…
In this – our second issue of the Newsletter, we bring you a report of a discussion on our e-group on Extending Exercises of Practical Life into Activities of Practical Life . We also bring you an article of Punctuation in the Pre-primary, as well as an article – Self-Correction and Spelling by Shobha of Gurukul. We are happy to share with you a “low-cost” alternative to the Stick Material. We also have news from the Institute on the current course, programmes and future workshops…
This is the third issue of our Newsletter. We bring you a report on The Botany and History Workshop conducted at the Institute. We also share with you excerpts of the discussions we had over Language and Arithmetic during 2 separate sessions. As always we also have news from the Institute on the training course and other programmes…
We are happy to say that we are now working in 4 schools at both the Primary and Pre-primary environments. As always we also have news from the Institute, on the training course and other programmes that we have attended. We also share with you a presentation that has come about in the course of the many animated discussions that take place during our faculty meetings. This is on the recording numbers on Notation paper. After creating its format, we have successfully tried it out in the field…
IIMS Research Wing
Though Montessori training and schools have existed in India since the arrival of Dr. Maria Montessori, there has not been much formal research on the Montessori institutions or their work in this country. Most of the current research is from USA.
The work of our Director, Professor Gupta, has featured in several Research publications in the US. Noteworthy among them are:
There has been much work that is done at the grassroots level through the staff and alumni of IIMS over the last ten years. Consultation processes have helped us refine the curriculum framework and fill the gaps. With Hosa Chiguru and Me too for Montessori, we have applied the theory and principles of the Montessori Method along with the practical aspects, and studied its impact on the children, the teachers and the larger community. There has also been a strong element of self-study and introspection in these projects. The faculty and trustees of the Institute want to consolidate all this work and start sharing it publically. They have now decided to formalise the whole thing by creating a separate research wing with effect from January 2013.
The research wing with Nandini Prakash as the coordinator, supported by the IIMS Committee members – Aparna Desraj Urs, Gowthami Bhargav and Shahnaz Shakeer for the present, has been working on several research programs already. Some of these have already been published as presented as papers and published in the conference volumes. This is just the beginning. We hope to support many Montessori teachers to share their observations and records through this wing.
The faculty of IIMS are all raw practitioners with no theoretical, academic background or research knowhow. So there was a need for an advisor. IIMS has been working with some research projects under guidance of Dr. Tara Ratnam. She has agreed to be our Research Advisor for our research wing, and to collaborate on some of the projects as and when necessary.
Though Montessori training and schools have existed in India since her arrival in India, there has not been much formal research on her work. IIMS, during its course of work has gathered some data and some of it is being published now. Apart from that, individuals from different fields have also worked in this area in the recent years. We are publishing some of the abstracts here. Those who are interested in getting the entire paper can write to the authors through our email address.
Click on the titles to download the .pdf files.
-Lavanya T.P and Dr.Tony Sam George, Dept of Psychology, Christ University
This is abstract of the thesis of Lavanya T P based on the study of her aunt’s school in Tumkur – Ankitha Montessori. This was the first independent research in Montessori that was conducted in India in the last few years. The paper itself was published in the Volume 11 of the magazine, ‘The Child and You’.
S Rekha Reddy
This is the abstract of our trustee, Rekha Reddy’s M Phil thesis from the Jain University, presented at the 5th International Pre-primary Principals Conference. She was placed first in the University for the same.
Nandini Prakash and Aparna Desraj Urs, Indian Institute for Montessori Studies (IIMS)
The following is the abstract of the paper published by Nandini Prakash and Aparna Desraj Urs at The Institute of Education Trust, Onkarmal Somani College of Education , Mysore. This two –day UGC sponsored National Conference on Enhancing the Quality of Teacher Education by empowering the teacher Education was held on 19th and 20th December 2011. The ISBN Number of the paper will be available shortly.
Nandini Prakash and Gowthami Bhargav, Indian Institute for Montessori Studies (IIMS)
This abstract is based on the paper presented by Nandini Prakash and Gowthami Bhargav at the National Conference on ‘Second Language Teacher Education – Issues and Challenges’ . This conference was held on 14th – 16th February 2012 at the Regional Institute for English, South India.
Nandini Prakash and Aparna Desraj Urs, Indian Institute for Montessori Studies (IIMS), Bangalore
This poster was presented at the International Montessori Congress, organised by AMS at Orlando, USA in 2013.
This poster provides a case study of the impact of ‘presentations’ in Kannada, (an Indian vernacular), English and Maths at early childhood level involving three teachers and 43 children of Upper Kinder Garten (Preprimary) in a traditional school over 8 months.
Nandini Prakash, Indian Institute for Montessori Studies (IIMS), Bangalore
We are presenting here a classroom practice developed by Albert Joosten and his assistants in India, involving one material, graded picture series, which are used with Moveable Alphabet. We are also showing how the use of a conversion chart developed by us, based on the principles of Montessori Method, helps in transferring skills gained in one language to another.
Towards excellence of teachers and teacher education
Tara Ratnam, Freelance Teacher Educator, India and Nandini Prakash, Indian. Institute of Montessori
This paper was presented by our Research Advisor – Tara Ratnam, and her mentee in Research, Nandini Prakash, based on the work of IIMS under project Hosa Chiguru at Mahila Mandali, Bangalore.
Nandini Prakash and Savitha Premachandra presented a workshop on the effect of using conversion chart for second language teaching at the International Teacher Education Conference 2014, conducted by British Council and English and Foreign Languages University at Hyderabad during February 2014. The workshop was based on the work done through consultation with the teachers of Vidyanjali Academy of Learning.
Abstract from the Brochure of the conference:
The workshop introduces the Montessori classroom practice of using graded words and a conversion chart to ease the transfer of skills of associating symbols with sounds and analysing words from the first language to a second or third one, whether from vernacular to English or vice versa. The presenters showcase their study of the impact this innovation has on the learning and self-confidence of children and the teachers in a lower primary school in Bangalore.
The video of the workshop can be seen at the following link.
Though most Montessori schools do have a list of presentations to offer to children based on the training given to them, there is no standard curriculum as understood in a traditional school. It is a curriculum-as-taught, as described by Michael Dorer in his thesis. Most Montessorians do not believe in having a standard curriculum, since it prevents the teacher from following the needs of the child.
While the faculty of IIMS believe it is not correct to create a structured syllabus and follow it rigorously, they believe there are two components to what can be called a ‘Montessori Curriculum’. One component is the thread following the development of the child, focusing on his interests, planning lessons according to his need. The other component is the actual content of the presentations. Both components should be integrated into a harmonious whole to create an ideal Montessori environment. IIMS is working on Curriculum development by involving experts in achieving this environment by creating the necessary content and exposing the teachers, alumni and trainees to it.
Prof. Gupta, the Director of IIMS, has been renowned for his work in developing content for the elementary education, particularly in the fields of Chemistry, Botany and Zoology. Our Co-Director,Radha Nagaraj, is equally noted for her attention to the theory underlying the classroom practices. Under the guidance of both these stalwarts, the faculty of IIMS has undertaken the project of developing content in different fields. Such work is even more necessary since lessons in areas like History, Geography, Botany and Zoology have to be adapted to Indian context.
This content is not specifically meant for the pre-primary or primary. Instead, it looks at the subject as a continuum linked to Cosmic Education. The practitioners are expected to choose the elements of this continuum which best serve the needs of their pupils for creating presentations. In this section, we present information on our work in different fields, as and when we have reached a certain level in our work.
Indian History at IIMS
The standard Montessori training for the elementary age group contains many presentations on the general history while there is not much work available for presenting Indian History. Faculty of IIMS are working on filling the gap with the help of two advisers, Dr.Vagishwari of Christ University and Dr. B. P. Indira of Mysore.
At present, the entire Indian History is being re-looked at to see it as a development of civilization. This is in accordance with the writings of Maria Montessori. The curriculum will be tried out in a few schools. Information will be made available once the children accept the presentations.