Originally a full-time preschool teacher, Dr. Rene Hackney now holds a Master?s in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology from George Mason University. She trained at the Developmental Clinic at Children?s National Medical Center and for the public schools, teaching in parenting programs at each. She has also acted as a consultant to several area preschools.
For the last four years, Dr. Hackney has owned and lectured for Parenting Playgroups, Inc, a parenting resource center and preschool classroom in Alexandria Virginia. She has offered workshops to a wide
range of parent, teacher and social work groups during this time.
Workshop topics include eight hours on positive discipline techniques, five hours on early academic issues and common issues such as sibling rivalry and potty training. All workshops provide well researched lecture, in-class practice and open discussion time. Additionally she hosts a monthly parenting focused book club and fun play programs to introduce the preschool setting to young families.
Dr. Hackney is married and has two young children of her own.
Host: What is a Montessori school?
Rene Hackney: Montessori preschools are based on the Montessori philosophy and there they tend to build a real work ethic in children. There are materials that the children are taught to use in a real productive way, they tend to be very calm, quiet classrooms -- very productive classrooms, but they also tend to have slightly more children than other children than other preschools and they tend to have a wider age range.
Often times in Montessori classrooms there will be three to five year old housed in the same room. So, there is a lot of interaction and the idea is that the younger children will learn from the old. The older children will learn patience from being with the younger. So, it s often a very nice mix. You tend to see children working with the Montessori tools and the Montessori toys where they take them of the shelf and it s called their work and they work individually either on a matter at their table. It is a really interesting program and if you have not seen Montessori, it is a good idea to go visit that one of those classrooms before making the decision.