- Montessori Philosphy
Making Classroom Theory Relevant
Discovery and experimentation are apparent at every turn in our classrooms. Process is on display, not product or answers, and in vivid, sublime terms. The goal is to cultivate in children the capacity to problem-solve in more strategic ways: moving away from purely transaction thinking and towards identifying insights and trends that could lead to innovation.
Improving Strategic Thinking Skills
Children, just like adults, learn more when they are personally invested in their work. At each stage of grasping a concept, a child is more apt to be invested in learning when he or she sees purpose in pursuing knowledge. The idea of “awareness,” or active participation, is a critical component of the Montessori methods applied at The Montessori Schools, and it is central to a strategy of making early experiences with school both positive and meaningful.
We want our students to be active participants in their own education.
This is how you nurture a thoughtful student who later becomes an adult
capable of strategic problem-solving and planning.
In our classrooms, children advance from the manipulation of tangible materials to the ability to imagine and eventually generalize (apply to new situations) abstract ideas. They move purposefully through a process of understanding where they are now to what they want to do and how to achieve defined objectives.
Ours is a systematic approach to learning that in many ways reinforces basic tenets of strategic thinking and planning. Children are intrinsically motivated to use analytical tools, mastered over time through repetition, to realize their goals. Strategies are purposeful, actions are planned, and goals are attainable.
Montessori Classroom Mechanics Explained
Early childhood educators at The Montessori Schools are charged with the important task of designing an educational setting that improves a child’s chances of learning through interacting with it. The learning environment must indirectly prepare a child to learn something else, while directly teaching another skillset.
Addressing both indirect and direct needs simultaneously is a masterful way to systematically offer a child a series of many steps leading to a concept, without fear of rendering learning tedious or arduous. The journey toward understanding becomes one of joyful discovery.
The Adult’s Role in Encouraging Strategic Thinking
When a child is absorbed in work, an important role for the adult is to prevent that child from being interrupted. A child will naturally stop working when he or she has completed the work to his or her own satisfaction. This inner drive may manifest itself as seemingly needless repetition, but for the child it is pleasurable and serves the need to reinforce and, therefore, internalize a concept. It is our responsibility as adults to respect and protect this process.
A Child’s Important Work
Children’s “work” in our classrooms involves learning how to use systems for identifying and categorizing information, as well as the assessment and expression of ideas. The capacity to think critically is a crucial skillset, whether the work is about formulating mathematical concepts in the mind or conceiving a new direction for discovery and experimentation. Strategic thinking skills involve competence in all of these areas, beginning with acquiring a command of context, trends, and drivers. Strategic thinkers are proactive about connecting, sharing, and ultimately synthesizing information.
At The Montessori Schools, we encourage a conscious and methodical journey toward understanding.