The Parent in Education
What is the relationship between parents and schools? This question is at the heart of debates about the social purpose of education, school choice, and education advocacy.
This initiative explores this relationship. Our thesis: the relationship between a child and her guardian is unique and privileged, and that perforce education is best thought of as an outflow from the more fundamental process of parenting.
The Parent in Education
What is the relationship between parenting and education? What are the proper goals of parenting? What are the proper goals of education? How do the two relate? Is education an expression and extension of parenting, or an entirely different kind of function? If the latter, what type of function is it?
Higher Ground Education CEO Ray Girn explores these questions and more, in this capstone essay for the Montessorium Initiative, The Parent in Education.
Why Have Children?
Parents partially delegate to us the upbringing of their child—an inherently serious, complicated, fragile decision that demands of us that we fully understand their reasons, reasons that have to do with their aspirations for their children, and even their reasons for having children in the first place.
Here, we explore that root question a bit: Why be a parent? Why have a child?
Montessori's Advice for Parents
To embark on the momentous task of growing up, the child needs a specific environment and the adult is the only one who can provide it for him. Accordingly, Montessori considered the role of parents in a child’s life to be paramount. While she didn’t believe they had the power to create the child’s abilities or virtues, she did believe they had the power to provide the proper mental nourishment or the obstructions that would hinder his progress.
Ray Girn received a BSc with honors from the University of Toronto, with a focus on philosophy and neuropsychology, as well an Association Montessori Internationale teaching diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego.
Prior to founding Higher Ground, Girn had a 13-year career with LePort Schools. Working at LePort’s K-8 lab school, he helped lead a team of educators in architecting LePort’s upper school curriculum and program. In 2010, he took over as CEO, expanded the team, and implemented an ambitious growth strategy. In five years, Girn and his team took the company from a small, local family business of three schools to the largest Montessori operator in the United States.
In March 2016, Girn founded Higher Ground Education with the vision of greatly accelerating the growth of Montessori education globally. Higher Ground aims to create a comprehensive international platform to deliver high-quality, high-fidelity Montessori programming everywhere, as well as to conduct the research and development necessary to extend Montessori principles to new, innovative models of secondary education.
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