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  • Curriculum
Advantages of Montessori, Part 2 of 3: Responsive Teaching and Design

Classroom Design and Educational Approach

Montessori methods teach our teachers that we must “follow the child” through the many stages of growth, continuously modifying the classroom environment to adhere to the goals and direction associated with a specific plane of development.

During your time with us, we are responsive to your child at every twist and turn of becoming the adult that he or she will become.

Teaching Strategies Informed by Developmental Milestones

Our Montessori trained teachers are responsive to the specific sensitivities of each child at a particular stage in his or her growth. Because we are aware of these sensitivities, we can support a child in reaching each developmental milestone.

Consider that children typically focus inward during periods of exceptional growth. Consider your own child’s behavior prior to a big leap in understanding; he or she is not frenzied nor distracted but, rather, quiet and contemplative. Conversely and consistent with the Montessori methodology, we can expect behavioral challenges in a child when the environment is out of sync with his or her needs and inner drives—and respond accordingly.

 


 

So, you have to ask yourself, why would you design an environment non-responsive
to children’s needs, which is the case in a traditional learning setting?

 


 

What Does the Montessori Classroom Look Like?

The Montessori learning environment can be characterized by a number of consistent elements, including child-sized furniture and accessible materials, an overall sense of order, and, in general, a lack of hierarchy, both in terms of conveying centralized power and in the importance placed on one work over another.

Significantly, when preparing our classroom environments, we assume that there are no limitations to what a child is capable of learning. We recognize that through introducing new elements over time and, specifically, items that are meaningful to your child, it is possible to gradually increase aptitude for learning. Our teachers then steadily introduce increasingly more challenging work, removing or modifying now irrelevant or ineffective items or factors as your child progresses.

Diversity of Experiences in the Classroom

Our teachers present lessons based on the precise developmental stage of your child. Each lesson nurtures a specific set of skills and can be practiced independently or in small groups where more experienced children share their knowledge with their less experienced classmates. This practice reinforces concepts in the process. And, as a consequence, classroom interactions lead to strong community bonds established by learning together.

Keep in mind that children feel an immense sense of pride when contributing to the presentation of a lesson, and, in this cooperative spirit, they become role models of appropriate behavior and social skills. Some of our classrooms have older children visit their younger schoolmates in other classrooms. They read stories and serve as mentors. The communal aspect of learning together is a source of significant joy.

 

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