Montessori is a child-centered approach to education that encourages children to be actively involved in making decisions with respect to their own learning. Classrooms are mixed age, and teachers guide students individually and in small groups. Montessori lessons inspire children to experience learning as a process of discovery, while promoting concentration, self-direction, and independence.
Why Mixed Age Classrooms?
Montessori classrooms are mixed age for several reasons. Student learning is tailored to each child’s individual needs, so the available curriculum in each class spans several grade levels. Older children assist younger children, which enhances their communication and leadership skills. Children have the same teacher for several years, so a deep connection forms between teachers, children, and families. Montessori mixed age classrooms create a family-like atmosphere of community support and social awareness.
Does Montessori Follow A Curriculum?
Montessori children study the same subjects that other children do, including math, language, history, science, geography, art, and music. However, subjects are presented in an integrated way and children are able to immerse themselves in special topics of interest. Primary children (ages 3-6) learn skills that result in self direction and independence. Elementary children engage in research using original source materials instead of textbooks, and young adults in the adolescent program have opportunities for creative expression and engage in community outreach.