Education without gender or number: when diversity is a value and not a determining factor

If we want to position ourselves on the issue of attention to diversity in schools, it implies already proposing a reflective process and institutional transformation that requires multiple variables to be taken into account. The subject is in the debate scenario of the main educational transformations that are carried out in different countries of the world and probably one of the biggest challenges is to find approach strategies that allow placing the student as the center and updating the role of the adult and of the teacher to the current needs.

Promoting learning spaces that offer autonomy and opportunities for personal development lead us increasingly to think of a more open, flexible, critical and pluralistic school, a space where each child and young person can develop, empower and train in various ways for what which is relevant to move towards a school model in which students do not need to learn in the same way, know the same thing, much less do it at the same time. Somehow, the main challenge is to overcome the pretense of homogenizing educational proposals and practices and taking the risks involved in going towards a school that integrates cultures and trains from diversity and with diversity.

Based on her observations, Dr. Maria Montessori proposed that the child have a pattern for his own development, contemplating him as a biopsychosocial being. In this way, it fully develops when this internal pattern is allowed to direct her own growth, thus building her personality and her own knowledge of the world from that inner potential. It is, as a result of this proposition, that the method proposes an integral perspective that accompanies the child in this task, respecting each and every one of her qualities, interests and interactions with her context.

Framed in the method, Montessori proposes prepared, orderly, aesthetic environments where each element promotes the interaction between the members of the environment. The children work in grouped ages thus promoting socialization, respect and solidarity. Each member receives daily opportunities to exchange knowledge and with their peers without limitations or conditions, only motivated by the interest in developing and exchanging experiences in a context that does not recognize individuality as an impediment but rather as an added value.

When children feel loved, respected and valued for their personal characteristics, they also understand in the process that learning and their own well-being improve when they have control over each stage of their development.

In a Montessori space there are no gender distinctions or family formats, much less limitations regarding personal interests, desires and way of doing things.

Each one is free to perform according to their personality and it is so, in a framework of heterogeneity, where the diverse complement each other and form a learning community that develops the potential of each one and respectfully accompanies opportunities for improvement.

We could summarize that the method proposes an education without gender or number, since it is centered on the person and the leading role they occupy in their own development, taking advantage of personal strengths and motivations as an engine of constant evolution within a framework of respect, values, self-management and a deep recognition of emotions as a fundamental pillar of each process.

In a Montessori environment, pink and light blue are not distinctive colors, they are two more alternatives to the full range of colors that children can choose to paint their routes. Although it seems like a metaphor, it is a reality that reflects the tolerance with which each member of the group develops. Undoubtedly, the role of the adult is key since she has the responsibility of observing each child without subjectivity or prejudice, only using her contemplation as a key tool to take individual choices into account as a bridge towards a group invitation. Adults are a model and it is key not to lose this premise in each of our actions beyond the teaching role.

Addressing diversity in the school environment today does not only involve issues that may be linked to academic performance or learning styles. The scope of this objective inherently includes the need to receive each child and each family with the conviction that each and every one of us can unfold our potential when we are in a context that harmoniously and lovingly accompanies each stage of development.

At our institution we believe that education should not have a gender, it should have a vocation to provide our children with an environment full of stimuli that helps them build themselves as a person.

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