Alumni: Do children learn science in Montessori?

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Do children learn science in Montessori?

DSC_0669cropped Well, Emily Brecher, a Medical Doctorate and OMS alumna student sure did.

Looking back, Emily says after graduating from the Upper Elementary program at OMS, there was never an indication that she was behind her peers in science.

In fact, the opposite seemed to be true.

“My teachers continually commented on how quickly I was grasping material in all domains. As early as grades 7 and 8,   I was winning awards for being at the top of my class in multiple subjects, including science,” said Emily. “I was also invited to present at local and regional science fair competitions for projects voted among the best at my school.”

Emily received her Medical Doctorate from The University of Toronto in 2011 and subsequently successfully passed the Canadian Certification Exam in Family Medicine. She is currently enrolled in one year of extra medical training in Women’s Health. Upon completion in June, Emily will work as a Family Physician with a special focus on women, young families, and sexual health.

Emily developed an interest in human biology and science in her early teens, and at the suggestion of those around her, began researching medicine as a career path, even before attending university.

When asked how her experience in a Montessori school contributed to her success, Emily said teachers at OMS encouraged her to develop self-confidence, self-awareness, and healthy learning habits.

“I think my ability to manage multiple professional and academic demands without feeling overwhelmed stems from the enjoyable and well-rounded curriculum at OMS.”

For Emily, the most rewarding part of her career today is the trust and confidence her patients have in her. “As a Physician I am invited to share in some of the most private and important details of a person’s life.  I am sought out as a constant source of support and direction in challenging and difficult times,” said Emily.

“Although it may appear that the biggest challenge in Medicine is general knowledge acquisition, success in the field depends more on effective interpersonal interactions, self-directed learning skills, and the ability to synthesize and solve problems. OMS fosters these qualities in its’ students as part of its core philosophy.”

A quick glance at her impressive CV, filled with awards and honours, proves that Emily is successful in her professional life. However, as a newly wed and fitness enthusiast, Emily manages to maintain a balanced lifestyle. Emily currently lives with her husband, Brian, in a condo in Ottawa. Her husband is in the final stages of his Respirology (Internal Medicine) training at the University of Ottawa and Ottawa Hospital. When they are not practicing medicine, the power-couple enjoy trying different restaurants together. Emily is also an avid Goodlife Fitness attendee, and plays Ultimate Frisbee, the violin and enjoys international travel.

Although Emily gives OMS credit for many vital skills that enabled her to be successful, there is one lesson that holds substantial value to her: “At OMS, students ‘learn how to learn’.”

This “fundamental skill” allowed Emily to excel in “basic science (throughout high school and university), and subsequently in medicine” but can also apply to any avenue a student may pursue.

Emily believes that OMS graduates have the skills and confidence to succeed personally and professionally. And why wouldn’t she? She’s living proof!