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EPISODE 7 -- Teacher and Parent Perspectives of Montessori

In this episode, Dr. Laura Flores Shaw talks with two Montessorians, Bonnie Deigh - a former Montessori teacher - and Aki Koh - a Montessori parent - who met in college at MIT. We discuss Montessori math, the importance of the third year of the primary, the myth of the Montessori utopia, and testing, among other things. Listeners get to hear the perspectives of a teacher and parent in one conversation.



EPISODE 6 -- A Conversation with Margaret Whitley

A conversation with Margaret Whitley, executive director of Montessori Academy of London in Ontario. Having been a Montessorian for 50 years, Margaret has had lots of opportunities to experience Montessori in a wide variety of roles. In this episode she shares her insights from these various roles -- insights from which Montessori parents, teachers, and administrators can benefit.



Some (approximate) time markers:

  • Experience as a Montessori child (4:00)
  • Transition to conventional education (8:00)
  • Leading a school (13:00)
  • Succession planning (17:00)
  • The Montessori bubble (28:00)
  • Recognizing what Montessori gives us (34:00)
  • Some messages for parents (39:00)


EPISODE 5 -- Trauma


Pediatric neuropsychologist Dr. Jayme Jones discusses children and trauma.





EPISODE 4 -- The Science of Sleep


Clinical psychologist and behavioral sleep medicine specialist Dr. Jennifer L. Martin discusses the science of sleep. She provides concrete ways parents can foster healthy sleep not just for their children, but the whole family.



Time markers for this episode:

  • Why is sleep so important (2:00)
  • Sleep and postpartum depression (6:30)
  • Moral vs. scientific view of sleep and sleep training (8:30)
  • Shifting the conversation to healthy sleep habits for families (18:00)
  • Older children and sleep (25:30)
  • Morally judging adolescents and recommendations for school start time (35:00)
  • Cortisol (37:00)

Resources for further information:



EPISODE 3 -- The Vertical Brain Model in Action

Neurologic music therapist Peggy Schaefer discusses the vertical brain model in action and provides concrete strategies parents and teachers can use to help children with transitions, classroom wandering, and emotion regulation. This is a must-listen for those who have or work with children with neurodiversity issues (but the information is relevant to all children).



Some time markers for this episode:

  • Empathy (18:29)
  • Female versus male presentation of ASD (20:30)
  • Presume competence (23:45)
    • Transitions (also talked about here)
  • Recommendations for teachers (31:14)
    • Look at how children move (32:00)
    • The adult as part of the prepared environment (38:53)
    • Observation (43:45)
    • Wandering (51:34)
    • Flooding and gating issues (55:05)
    • Overshoot / Undershoot (although this is discussed throughout) (57:36)

Relevant articles:



EPISODE 2 -- Montessori and The Vertical Brain Model


In this episode of the SMP Podcast, I talk with neuropsychologist Dr. Deborah Budding about the vertical model of the brain – a model that provides THE reason all children should have access to Montessori education. Dr. Budding also addresses how this model can help educators work with children who are not neurotypical.

You can find out more about Dr. Deborah Budding's books and other publications here.




EPISODE 1 -- Transitioning from Montessori to "Real" School


Listen to one child discuss her experience transitioning from an independent Montessori school to a conventional public middle school.





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