“Indeed, when with intellectual culture we believe ourselves to have completed education, we have but made thinkers, whose tendency will be to live without the world. We have not made practical men.” – Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method
As children with special needs progress through school, it is not uncommon for them to be placed into one of two educational strands – academics or life skills. The life skills track is often understood to be for children who have reached a point at which are unable to access the general curriculum. The term life skills therefore carries – for some within the education community – the connotation of failure. Of course that is false. And yet, how interesting that in most traditional schools only those children with the most significant learning impairments have the good fortune to receive instruction that deliberately addresses practical skills. Is a broader conceptualization of a good education in order?