News and Tribune

January 21, 2014

NEWS FLASH: 26,000 strong and growing as Montessori video gains popularity

Flash mob video viewed on YouTube, Facebook

By JEROD CLAPP
jerod.clapp@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — A few people at the mall got the message, but more than 26,000 worldwide saw the whole thing on YouTube.

Students, parents and teachers at Community Montessori staged a flash mob at Green Tree Mall on Dec. 12 to encourage courage in education. Last week, they put the video on the Internet and made something of a hit out of it.

Heather Brown, a teacher at the school, helped orchestrate the flash mob. She said though it was fun to see the kids dance and sign the lyrics to “Brave” by Sara Bareilles, she hopes the bigger message gets through.

“From the beginning, our goal was to create lifelong learners and we fell sometimes the education system is moving in a direction that does not support that, especially with the emphasis on standardized testing,” Brown said. “And so when we heard this song, we knew we wanted to use that to share our message.”

Since then, they’ve heard requests from around town and the world for more information about their school, the video and how they taught children the lyrics in American Sign Language.

The video was also posted by Bareilles on her Facebook page, which brought another 500 shares.

To help explain some of the ideas they have as a school and hoped to disperse, the school launched a website to not only encourage schools and teachers to break from the status quo, but also to help others learn how they can do it.

She said with the emphasis on standardized testing across the country, she hopes they can effect some change in America’s education system.

“The kids I see here in this school every day are lifelong learners,” Brown said. “The tests don’t always assess what they know, but they’ll continue to seek knowledge and be passionate about their interests for the rest of their lives, which is what’s going to make them successful adults. We just think nationwide, that’s what needs to be reflected.”

She said they’ll keep watching the number of views they’re going to have on YouTube, but she’s glad she can share how her students learn with the rest of the world.

“The kids I see here in this school every day are lifelong learners,” Brown said. “The tests don’t always assess what they know, but they’ll continue to seek knowledge and be passionate about their interests for the rest of their lives, which is what’s going to make them successful adults. We just think nationwide, that’s what needs to be reflected.”