From the desk of President Education

Mrs. Chanda Raisinghani

Mrs. Chanda Raisinghani
Trustee & President Education & Training

Insightful article in The Hindu , Friday July 29, 2016- seven qualities in your parenting style

Hello Parents,

As we move into the special month, for us Indians “August”, I share with you an insightful article I read in the Hindu on Friday July 29, 2016. It re emphasizes the aims of Montessori education.

Sharing it, with all of you so that you can include the seven qualities in your parenting style.

Jai hind

The seven qualities worth developing.

Writer Paul Tough delves on a different set of skills which matter as much as the IQ.

The manner of imparting knowledge has always been a conundrum. Every now and then we get new ideas, new insights while the major section of our education system continues, unaware! Which is right, who can tell?

However in the strain of thought that uncovers new possibilities come the books from Paul Tough. A Canadian-American writer Paul Tough says, “We have been emphasising the wrong skills and abilities in our children and we have been using the wrong strategies to help develop those skills. The name I give to this in my book is ‘The Cognitive Hypothesis’.” Tough’s book is titled “How Children Succeed”. A sequel to it, “Helping Children Succeed; What Works and Why”, has just been released.

Demolishing the global obsession over test scores, Tough says that we believe a high IQ assessed on standardized tests is the indicator of success, but, “The educators and scientists that I wrote about have identified a different set of skills which they say matter at least as much as IQ if not more so. The list includes, persistence, creativity, curiosity, conscientiousness, self control, optimism and grit. ..If you talk to economists, they call it non-cognitive skills, psychologists use the term personality traits, neuroscientists call it executive functions and educationists think of it as character.”

“Research suggests,” says Tough, “that if we want to intervene to help children develop these skills there are two particular times in a child’s life that are specially fruitful. One is early childhood when the brain is malleable, so plastic…and the other is in adolescence that is because of a phenomenon which scientists call meta cognition which means thinking about thinking. It is in adolescence when young people are really able to reflect on their own thought processes…they are able to think deeply about themselves. Interventions try to take advantage of this natural habit to change their habits, their thinking.”

Tough now identifies two types of minds: the growth mindset and the fixed mindset. He says those with the growth mindset are more malleable in their brains, they think and believe they can grow while those with the fixed mindset believe what is, is. Tough further says the seven qualities that he mentioned earlier belong to the first category in the sense that they are not born with you, but can be developed as skills. He quotes the attempts of two schools, one in a not-so-well-to-do neighbourhood and the other in the very prosperous neighbourhood of New York, to implement and study these seven qualities in children.

A telling comment from him comes when he describes how the schools went about their task at hand. The less affluent school started issuing report cards for the seven qualities in an attempt to improve them. The affluent school however did not, for the principal feared that being highly competitive and stressed, parents may engage tutors to help their children pass the curiosity and persistence tests!

And this would defeat the purpose for character strengths like grit and self control are born out of failure and in most high achieving academic environments no one ever fails. Tough says these qualities come from the right feedback from teachers and an ability to manage failure and bounce back. And invariably, says Tough that if you look back, sports coaches or a music teacher were the kind of people who helped you develop these qualities. You always face failure of some sort in these fields and learn to learn from them. This rarely happens in a math or history class.

He closes his talk with another important truth which is that creativity has two sides to it. The first is to have a free mind which can come up with new ideas, which can roam the world with a sparkle. But equally important it is to train the mind so that the creative thought can be turned into a complete creative project. It may be a book, a symphony…just anything…and these take long years to complete. The grit to stay on and complete is when the creativity manifests for all to see, enjoy.

Web link:

Self waste management center

Dear Parents,

With the vacations having started I thought I would share with you a no small achievement accomplished by us at school. We have finally succeeded in making The Ardee school a "Self waste management center".

Dry waste: Our dry waste is collected, sorted into different recycled categories by our staff. These bags are then picked up by the waste company

They weigh the waste and actually pay us for then taking it away in their recycled bags. Their staff carries identity cards and electronic weighing scale.

Wet waste: Our kitchen wet waste is collected daily in the compost bin which is available with daily dumps

Coconut peat is strewn over the collected waste. If required we spread a sheet of newspaper over it to hasten drying. Within 3 weeks this becomes manure which is used for the plants in the garden.

I first tried this experiment at home and once I discovered how simple and satisfying the outcome was, I began it at school.

The staff is motivated to do the collection and the sorting as the money given by the dry waste pick up organization is shared by them. Maybe this is an incentive or to be fair maybe it is their desire to be educated in waste management.

Our cleaner Mahipal Bhaiya now enjoys dignity of labor as there is no “Kachra" in school which he needs to carry to the local dump.

Our students are absorbing this process to soon become the change.

Finally we all are enjoying the status of “progressive citizens" who have taken baby steps towards “Swatch Bharat”

This project is close to my heart and profession. I urge you to begin this at home. The links are given above. Should you wish me to invite the organization to school to initiate you into the process I am ready to help? Have also attached photograph of our school premises-Recycling Unit.

Let’s get ready for Independence Day this year by actually feeling Proud as citizens who are taking active steps towards nation building.

I would like to write Jai Hind - instead of kind regards, Jai Hind!!

Discipline in Montessori

I was preparing for my philosophy class at our teacher training centre and I have edited some notes which I feel may appeal to some parents. "Discipline" is a problem all face and I share with you, why most of our children behave like mini adults, and so disciplined at school. You have seen that we do not exercise any scolding or strict discipline, instead give a lot of freedom. It is this more of freedom and no “talking to “that results in positive behaviour... read more

The debate and dependence of children on I pads and gadgets continues.
Sharing an interesting link with you.


Dear Ms Chanda,

I am writing to thank you and express our gratitude for the joy we experienced this morning. Thank you for creating the home away from home for our children, if only there were more such programmes and schools across India and the World. The bond which your teachers have created with our children was there for all of us to see, they are truly remarkable. Please communicate our satisfaction and gratefulness to them. We stand with you as proud and indebted parents of the Ardee Children, nothing which we say or do can ever compare to what you have done for them and us.
Thank You
A Vary Happy Parent.

Dear Parents,

There's something very special about meeting other mums and dads on one of our courses for parents. The benefits of sharing ideas and experiences with other parents can last a lifetime.

I had an insightful meeting in the " Parent -school- community " program me at our Delhi and Gurugram branch. It was interesting to see the awe and wonder of "secrets of childhood" felt by all parents.To continue self analysis of " Parenting styles" I am sharing with you an article which may interest you .

Happy reading. click here

Revisiting the Montessori appreciation letter sent to us at Ardee School by our late president Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. May his soul rest in peace. click here

“Do we believe and constantly insist that cooperation among the peoples of the world is necessary in order to bring about peace? If so, what is needed first of all is collaboration with children.... All our efforts will come to nothing until we remedy the great injustice done the child, and remedy it by cooperating with him. If we are among the men of good will who yearn for peace, we must lay the foundation for peace ourselves, by working for the social world of the child.”
-Dr. Maria Montessori, Int'l Montessori Congress, 1937 click here

Emotional health in childhood ‘is the key to future happiness’ click here

Is My Child’s Teacher a Good Teacher? click here


Sharing : Montessori’s definition of discipline

Dear Parents

I was preparing for my philosophy class at our teacher training center and I have edited some notes which I feel may appeal to some parents. "Discipline" is a problem all face and I share with you, why most of our children behave like mini adults, and so disciplined at school. You have seen that we do not exercise any scolding or strict discipline, instead give a lot of freedom. It is this more of freedom and no " talking to" that results in positive behavior. read more

Dear Parents,

For us at Ardee, education goes beyond mere academics. Montessori is “Education for life." We house a teacher training centre to ensure that more people can get involved as crusaders for the child. Similarly as mentioned often enough we consider parents as part of school (teachers) - child community. We have to be in synchronization with each other to promote a harmonious environment for our children. We have to go beyond the norm and break glass ceilings to create new education for the child in which teachers and parents are equal and happy stakeholders. read more


Dear Chanda Ma'am,

I'm glad that you have addressed this issue as it was quiet disturbing for me as a second time parent associated with Ardee to witness such irrelevant and accusing chats. 'Sensitization' of parents towards school management, is urgently called for. School is a second home to the children and its necessary for us parents to invest faith and respect towards the organization which caters in building our child's foundation of values and basic sensibilities. As parents we needed to be reminded to work in harmony and not against the school, so as to bring stability and sense of security within our child's immediate environment.

Thank You as always for addressing with love and understanding, the holistic issues relating to a parent-child-school community.

Warm Regards
Mamta Kukreja

Rohan Bindal

This further instates my confidence on having chosen aardee as the right school. I agree on the distructive role of internet/smart phones/social media 1000% and if the president of my child's school and I share a similar philosophy, i know she is in good hands!
Ms Raisinghani ,

Excellent choice and proposal.

I appreciate the approach that the school has taken on the general matter of discretion and specifically about the issue of “mobbing” using “new technologies” as you have indicated below. I myself am disappointed by this news and hope your efforts to bring some dignity and appropriate etiquette into the mix is successful. Maybe in this way not only our children but, as you have intimated, importantly the parents will grow and achieve an environment that is conducive to embarking our children with the tools, principles and values that lead to being successful in life.

Kind regards,
John Kennedy
Dear ma'am,