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The Torch of Progress

The Torch of Progress – Ep. 1 with Dr. Matt Bateman

Ashley Yates

In the first episode of The Torch of Progress, Dr. Matt Bateman with Higher Ground Education joins us to discuss the Montessori method of education, its history, and its impact on human progress.

In This Episode We Discuss:

  • (0:15) Introduction of Progress Studies for Young Scholars and The Torch of Progress Speaker Series
  • (3:10) Introductions of host, Jason Crawford and guest speaker, Dr. Matt Bateman
  • (4:15) What is Montessori?
    •  (7:10) What is the prepared environment and the role of scaffolding in the Montessori approach?
  • (9:35) How is Montessori different from other educational models (traditional/classical model, progressive education model)?
  • (14:30) How does Montessori extend up through the high school level for adolescents?
  • (17:50) The life and career of Maria Montessori
  • (22:00) Education as a solution for peace
  • (24:16) What did Montessori think about human progress?
  • (32:05) Why did Higher Ground Education want to create a Progress Studies course?
    • (33:50) How does it fit into history education and/or general education?
  • (35:50) What common wisdom or advice for teens is wrong?
  • (38:28) Q&A from the audience:
    • (38:45) What has been learned about education since Montessori that has either validated or augmented her approach? Have we learned anything since her studies that could better her original method?
    • (43:00) What are the differences between Montessori and Unschooling?
    • (46:43) How have we/can we measure the impact of different educational pedagogies on societal progress? Where are we going with impact research on education
    •  (51:30) How does Montessori respond to Caplan style critiques of education (in response to Bryan Caplan’s book, The Case Against Education)
    • (55:01) – How are induction and hierarchy handled by the Montessori method? If the child follows their interests, do they have to learn all the prerequisites before following a particular interest (i.e. does a child have to learn physics and chemistry before learning about rockets)?
    • (56:50) What is the best funding mechanism you have seen to make this method of education more affordable and accessible to a broader set of students, including ones who can’t afford the fees?
  • (58:50) Connect with Dr. Matt Bateman – @mbateman on Twitter
  • (59:15) Upcoming speakers, Tyler Cowen, Patrick Collison, and Dr. Max Roser

About Dr. Matt Bateman

Dr. Bateman earned his bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 2004. While there, he worked in their Child Development Center researching the nature of early personality development in children. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Philosophy in 2012 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied the history of thought in philosophy and psychology, as well as conducting research in cognitive science.

He taught and continued his research at Franklin and Marshall College in the Department of Psychology, on topics ranging from neuroscience to evolutionary theory to philosophy.

Dr. Bateman left his academic position in 2014 to join LePort Schools as its Director of Curriculum and Pedagogy. There, he oversaw the research and development of the school’s approach to education.

In 2016, Dr. Bateman became a founding member of Higher Ground as the Director of Content, where he is responsible for intellectual and pedagogical oversight across the organization.

Dr. Bateman works closely with people across the organization, ensuring depth, quality, and consistency across curricular development projects, training, educational technology partnerships, and even strategic growth and messaging. He is closely involved with the development of new programming, such as language immersion and high school. And he acts as a key representative of Higher Ground’s educational philosophy, writing position papers, engaging with researchers, giving lectures, and engaging with the larger educational community.

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