Tag: montessori

From Passion To Active Compassion To Vocation

Here’s a personal post I published as a guest blogger on Lynn Sheurell’s who is a creative catalyst and business consultant….Enjoy!

From Passion To Active Compassion To Vocation


Whenever you feel deeply touched by an injustice you hear about, you may be a step closer to your calling. Take a newspaper and read the headlines and notice which ones make you crunch inside the most. Is it environmental abuse? Injustice done to the weaker ones, children, prisoners, patients, animals? Or is it economic disparity?

Pick your battle! But instead of or in addition to battling what is, consider putting all your passion and efforts into finding and supporting solutions. There is a reason why you feel affected by specific issues. It ruffles your feathers so you can get active and become part of the solution.

You can become part of the solution in many ways, and if you decide to commit fully to one of our problems that needs to be solved, be sure the magic support of the universe is on your side. That may sounds too fantastic, but it is true. Once you commit your strength to alleviating suffering in any way, the infinite force of evolution is on your side.

Now let me share my story with you. I was around twenty-five years old, and the issue that started touching me deeply was the abuse children experience at school. Having been at public school in Europe my whole life, I knew the issue by heart. I noticed I lost my joy of learning early on but luckily functioned well in the school system. Only during my Montessori teacher training that I concluded (after becoming a university-trained high school teacher) did I realize how much more joyful I could have been in my learning if I had been given a chance to be more self-directed. In addition, I realized that through all these school years, I didn’t learn any of the skills I now desperately needed: team work, non-violent communication, mediation, emotional processing, healthy nutrition, being connected to my inner guidance and the list goes on.

So I had found my “battle”. I researched more child-friendly education methods and discovered that a whole lot had already been tried. Through my years in some of the child-centered Wild-inspired schools in Europe, I developed the New Learning Culture approach – an approach that takes the most child-friendly elements from alternative education approaches and synthesizes them for teachers to learn how to provide child-directed learning environments.

On my path to becoming a consultant for child-directed learning, I was surprised with countless blessings. All my needs have always been met even during the times when my young business did not bring in enough to pay the rent. My family and friends reached out to support me during the times when I set up my course programs. I miraculously found a house with affordable rent. People were open to trading with me for my services when I did not have enough money to pay for their services. And this was validation for me to pursue my new passion.

By following my vocation, I experienced the help of many many people and each time I received a miraculous blessing, I knew it was the force of evolution itself that supported me. And it is still happening.

Obviously I don’t know if it will be the same way for you. But I do think the power of the pure heart devoted to finding a solution to the immense unnecessary suffering that is happening is irresistible! The additional intelligence you develop when stopping emotional drama and survival fear while dedicating your time and effort to a cause is going to help you manifest a livelihood. All surroundings are spontaneously compelled to support you because they know it’s reciprocal and they also support themselves and their own children by helping you.

Your passionate compassion turned vocation can change the world. If you’ve let anything stop you up until now, and don’t do something starting now, you’ll never know what might have been – and it is the people you could have helped that will suffer the most.

Lynn Scheurell – the wonderful owner of this blog can help with business questions. I met her over 5 years ago, when she offered me and a few inspired friends a special connection in order to give our business wings. We haven’t looked back since – thank you Lynn!!!

About the Author
Carmen Gamper is founder of New Learning Culture Consulting and passionately serves as an international advocate and consultant for innovative child-centered education. She combines elements from Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia education, as well as the new sciences of epigenetics and neuro-cardiology. Carmen is part of a new European wave of “enhanced” Montessori teachers who are inspired by Rebeca Wild, Claus-Dieter Kaul, and Joseph Chilton Pearce. She co-created two K-8 private schools in Europe based on child-directed learning within healthy boundaries. www.NewLearningCulture.com

Non-Invasive Teaching

by Carmen Gamper)

“Non-Invasive Teaching” describes a variety of teaching modalities which avoid giving direct orders such as “Come to the blackboard and show me…”, and group orders, such as “Now we are all opening up our books…”. Carmen Gamper developed the guidelines for “Non-Invasive Teaching” based on Maria Montessori, Klaus Dieter-Caul, Reggio Emilia, and Rebeca and Mauricio Wild’s approaches.

Educators can respect the unique physical, emotional, and intellectual state of an individual child by using a variety of teaching skills and tools.

a. Prepare Self-Directed Learning Environments and Provide Hands-on Learning Materials.
Environments can inspire the natural acquisition of academic, practical and social skills. The classroom becomes a ‘third teacher’.

b. Let Children Play.
Prepare environments for pretend play, dramatic play, imaginary play, block play, and movement play. Don’t interrupt children’s free play unless it is necessary – learning and emotional processing is occurring during play. ASSIST free play with clear boundaries and guidelines, e.g. A child plays the director: “You are the king, you are the cook and I will be the princess.” Ask all children involved, if they would like to play the assigned roles, or if they prefer to do something else. Often the weaker, more quiet children can get overwhelmed by the louder children who are ‘playing out’ TV-experiences.

c. Nourish Genuine Curiosity and Willingness to Learn.
 Offer group and individual lessons by asking each child if he/she would like to participate. Only the children who are genuinely interested join the lesson. This way disciplinary issues are minimized, and the teaching remains non-invasive.

d. Let Children Imitate You.
Collaborate with the children’s natural instinct of imitation. Show the new concept or skill as often as needed. Narrate your activity step by step, and give instructions in simple terms. By narrating simultaneously, terminology becomes clear and can be correctly absorbed.

e. Have Time and Patience for Learning Processes.
Steps in the learning process are not seen as mistakes that need to be corrected immediately, but as precious steps in the process of acquiring a new skill. When the child is shown the correct way again, he/she receives a chance to self-correct.

f. Use Non-invasive, Non-manipulative Language.
E.g. Instead of “Look at this house!”, you can say “What do you see?” . Asking friendly questions, accepting a different point of view, and also allowing a child to say “No” to specific things, are inherent parts of respect.

g. Compassion, Empathy and Authentic Communication Instead of Punishments and Rewards.
Punishments can create deep, unforgettable wounds and can condition a child for life. Of course, educators need to state boundaries and expectations. However this can happen in kind ways by informing a child as often as needed, and help re-directing a child’s behavior. Kathryn Kvols developed simple and efficient guidelines for developing healthy relationships with children. Her website “Redirecting Children’s Behavior”


Montessori and Waldorf: the Yang and Yin of education

Montessori and Waldorf education are both founded in deep respect for the child, and they can complement each other when applying Inspired Self-Directed Learning. They are an example of the Yin and Yang-energy in education. Montessori education supports the practical, academic and intellectual development of the child extraordinarily well. Whereas Waldorf schools lay emphasis on the creative and spiritual development. Both approaches are needed to assist children in reaching their full potential joyfully.

Here’s an example: Montessori called the child’s activity ‘work’, because she saw that the children she worked with enjoyed ‘real-life’ activities, such as cooking, cleaning and planting and they lost interest in pretend play. Children today however, are often ‘pretend-play-deprived’! They need prepared environments where they can ‘play out’ their real-life and TV-experiences as a way to process tension and emotions.
I am currently assisting a Montessori-school in the East San Francisco Bay, to create a play therapy space as an offer for specific children. This is a step towards acknowledging that pretend play is a way of healing, and needs to be part of a complete elementary curriculum.

Another example: I am currently tutoring a 13-year-old girl from the Marin/North Bay who is going to Waldorf school. I am assisting her academic and intellectual development with Montessori materials, mostly in math and grammar. Within a few weeks, the girl made extraordinary progress because she could see and touch basic concepts such as addition, division, fractions etc. She also regained joy and self-esteem by finally ‘grasping’ what had been a confusing thought construct. At Waldorf schools academic subjects are taught in a very traditional way, the teacher talking, the children at desks being taught in a group. Children are divided by age and sometimes by skills, so they don’t have the opportunity to learn from each other. Additionally, Waldorf-schools don’t offer the hands-on learning materials they have in Montessori-schools.

In “Inspired Self-Directed Learning” children can have the full spectrum of educational tools available, depending on the willingness of the teachers to educate themselves and provide them. Feeding the genuine curiosity of a child, and keeping the joy of learning alive through an inspiring environment and intentional lessons to choose from, supports the natural development of children towards their full potential as compassionate self-directed beings.

New Learning Culture can assist any school in including additional learning opportunities. Please get in touch. No budget is too small. info@newlearningculture.com

With joy,
Carmen Gamper