A source of inspiration for our “learning by doing” approach remains the Montessori Method; adapted for adults who attend our workshops. (Note: We are not affiliated with the Montessori movement or any particular teaching organization).
- Here is the most common example of participative learning: Our CEO Ardan Michael Blum will present a topic and then at once, as a group we will work on editing a copy of the client’s website so as to apply what was just learnt. As more is taught, the group will discuss variations in SEO techniques to reach a similar end result.
[Changes underway! This section is being edited till the end of September].
The key to SEO is not following a set of checklist items, it is about knowing how, when and where to apply and/or adapt a process. The result has to cover as much as possible THREE AREAS:
- Another example of group interactivity: We want the client and their staff to understand how important it will be over the long term to provide each and every social media post, or blog, post with a new, fresh, original form. This is important in every aspect, with the items which should have dedicated content listed now:
As a group, the matter of writing text for a Tweet and/or writing the content for another Social M Media account becomes a challenge we work on collectively.
New ways of presenting an apple are needed. Maybe the focus goes to the tree in one post, to the color of the apple in another, to the soil used in a third, to the need for water and pruning. How one works a Social Media post or a blog update has to differ from all other content you put online. It must be (as well as unique), interesting, and informative.
As a group, we write the sample (off-line) texts for Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and other Social Media accounts. Together we work to make unique images (using Canva). This is important for indexing your brand in Google Images Search.
Note: Currently, Twitter is the most effective Social Media platform for SEO. Focus on content of high quality in Tweets can give your account live feed view in Google results. (See this article from 2015 from cnet.com).
In terms of group participation, what we are working on is to avoid there being “one person in the office” who does SEO. Instead, by working in real time to edit texts, to edit source code, to review the work done, everyone can contribute and understand a process which will be refined by the end of the workshop into the following KEY DOCUMENTS:
By working as a team in our training seminars we create a clear lasting definition of varied roles and tasks (with full understanding how each small task fits in like a puzzle piece to a larger process and success in organic ranking). We are as a group aiming for multiple top ten results!
When it comes to a comparison of our teaching approach with the amazing teaching Method created by Maria Montessori, you may see the following similarities:
[Changes underway! This section is being edited till the end of September].
- A student is part of a class, not a “viewer”: To use some metaphors, take the example of a long table where sit on one end a King and on the other his Queen. Here the rest of those gathered are spectators. Now, take another table, that of Knights of Arthur which unites all. It is a round table where those gathered are not just (as on a long table) passing the bread and salt.
Here, on the Arthurian model, the Knights will share plans, discussing paths to take, and when they venture into action, they will take different paths in a forest to seek the Grail.
So too everything about Maria’s teaching is about building an individual’s ability to walk both as a group and alone on the winding roads of life, our case, to be a piece on the chessboard of SEO. (It is more than just walking or moving - it is about believing, trusting, and understanding that when a sundial’s shadow moves this results from millions of factors, of which small or larger roles will be - like stars and galaxies moving a sun - achieved with personalized steps.
Maria Montessori - Educator, Scientist, and Feminist
Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori was born on August 31, 1870, in Chiaravalle, Italy (13 miles from the Adriatic and Ancona). Her father, Alessandro Montessori, was an official of the Ministry of Finance working in the local state-run tobacco factory. Her mother, Renilde Stoppani was well-educated and had a passion for reading.
The Montessori family moved to Rome in 1870 and in 1871 the young Montessori girl enrolled in the local state school. In her early studies Montessori worked towards an engineering degree, which she obtained in 1884.
We read: (...) In so doing, she honed her mathematical skills, developing into an outstanding mathematician. While taking her engineering classes, she also availed herself of some classes in biology. Her studies in biology persuaded her that medical school was the right path for her. Despite the lack of approval of her father, and most professors in the medical school, Montessori was accepted to the University of Rome - La Sapienza, becoming the first woman to be admitted. In 1896, she also became the first Italian woman to receive a medical degree. (...) She graduated as an expert in bronchial asthma. In the same year, Montessori started her private practice as a physician, and also took a position at San Giovanni Hospital in Rome. As if these positions were not daunting enough, she took on another role as the Chair in Hygiene at the Women's College in Rome. (...) During this productive year after graduation, Montessori was asked to represent the women of Italy [at a feminist conference in Berlin. At the conference she spoke about working women. Her talk was so well delivered, and the media was so impressed by her presence, that she became an instant feminist spokesperson in Italy. Needless to say, she was asked to speak again in 1900 at the same conference in London. This time Montessori addressed the need to stop exploiting children as a means of labor. (...)" - Source. | Related: 19th Century Feminism in Italy.
- In more detail: In 1897, Dr. Montessori joined (as a volunteer) a research program at the psychiatric clinic of the University of Rome. This work initiated a deep interest in the needs of children with learning disabilities.
In particular, she focused on the work of two early 19th century Frenchmen, Jean-Marc Itard (who had made his name working with Victor of Aveyron who was a French feral/wild child who was found at the age of around 9.) and Itard's student Edouard Séguin.
According to Britannica online: "(...) Séguin’s published works influenced Maria Montessori, an Italian pediatrician who became an educator and the innovator of a unique method of training young mentally retarded and culturally deprived children in Rome in the 1890s and early 1900s. Her approach emphasized self-education through specially designed “didactic materials” for sensorimotor training; development of the senses was the keynote of the system. (...)" - Source
Montessori was appointed as co-director of a new institution called the Orthophrenic School.
At the age of 28, Montessori began advocating the belief that the lack of support for mentally and developmentally disabled children was the cause of their delinquency. The notion of social reform became a strong theme throughout Maria’s life, whether it was for gender roles or advocacy for children.
Dr. Montessori opened a "Casa dei Bambini" (The House of Children) in 1907 at 58 Via dei Marsi in Rome. By 1909, Dr. Montessori gave the first training course in her new approach to about 100 students. Her notes from this period provided the material for her first book published that same year in Italy, appearing in translation in the United States in 1912 as The Montessori Method and later translated into 20 languages.
Montessori societies, training programs, and schools sprang to life all over the world and a period of travel with public speaking and lecturing occupied Dr. Montessori, much of it in America, but also in the UK and throughout Europe.
Montessori long held the ambition of creating her own permanent, long-standing center for research and development but she was held back by the rise of fascism in Europe. Montessori schools were closed by Nazis and both books and effigies were burned.
In 1939, Maria and her son Mario went to India to lecture. Initially only intending to stay there for three months, the trip lasted seven years as, because they were Italian, the outbreak of war saw Mario interned and Maria put under house arrest. In India, Maria trained over a thousand Indian Teachers.
Upon her return to Europe, Maria addressed UNESCO in 1947 with the theme of Education and Peace and ultimately received three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Maria died on May 6th, 1952 (at the age of 81).
She is held in great admiration today as an educator, scientist, physician, philosopher, and Feminist.
- The Montessori Classroom: Montessori female teachers are called 'directresses'. Typically have a traditional teacher qualification as well as an additional one-year full-time Montessori teacher education diploma.
The directress is a guide or facilitator whose task it is to support the young child in his or her process of self-development. On a broader level, the directress provides a link between the classroom and the parent, meeting with each child’s parents to discuss progress. She needs to be an example; calm, consistent, courteous and caring. The most important attribute of a directress is the love and respect that she holds for each child’s total being.
The Montessori classroom is not merely a place for individual learning, it is a vibrant community of children in which the child learns to interact socially in a variety of ways.
The three-year age range enables older children to teach the younger ones and to learn much themselves from the experience while the younger children are inspired to more advanced work through observing the older ones.
With such a variety of levels in the classroom, each child can work at his or her own pace, unhindered by competition and encouraged by co-operation. Children attend daily for a three-year cycle.
Today, a Casa dei Bambini is a multicultural, international Montessori Preschool that provides the highest quality of Montessori education in a beautiful and enriching environment for ages 2 through Kindergarten.
Maria observed that the child moves to adulthood through a series of developmental periods which she called the "Planes of Development":
Maria Montessori believed that if education followed the natural development of the child, then society would gradually move to a higher level of cooperation, peace, and harmony.