Nature of the Child
The work of the elementary
age child, as in earlier stages, is development of the intellect and
personality through exploration and discovery of the environment. The
child builds abstraction through action on the concrete. Throughout the
years from 6 to 12 the child will grow in the ability to reason. The
growing powers of reason, with its ability to recognize possibilities,
fuels the imaginative and enthusiastic queries that are a marker of this
developmental stage. Less egocentric now, and possessing a developing
social and moral sense, the child is becoming a contributing member of
the social order.
The work of the child at an
earlier stage of development was the formation of the individual. The
work of the elementary age child is the formation of a responsible
social being. This personal responsibility is grounded in an
understanding of the individuals place in the natural order and is
achieved through freedom of choice and concentration on meaningful work.
The Montessori elementary
curriculum, often entitled "Cosmic Education," is designed to
give the child a view of the interdependency of the Natural Order.
Through self-motivated inquiry, the child is encouraged to discover
natural laws. Students work in the areas of physical and life sciences,
the study of geography and culture. Mathematics and language curriculums
provide for the development of skills necessary to exploration,
discovery and communication. The emphasis on internal and external order
leads to logical thinking as a base for creativity.
The practical life
curriculum gives the child responsibility for the care of the indoor and
outdoor environments. It provides for individual and group planning and
problem solving. A sense of social responsibility, pride and high self
esteem are the results of the child's participation in classroom
maintenance and management.
The Montessori class is a
working community of children and adults. The ages of the students
usually encompass a three year span to encourage peer learning and
provide for individual differences.
The classroom's layout
allows for a view of the curriculum at a glance. Earth history,
political geography and culture are grouped together with the life
sciences adjoining. Language is given its own area as are mathematics
The outdoor environment is
an extension of the elementary classroom. The larger
community is part
of the "going out" experience. Through curriculum related
field trips the 6-12 year old child views the world as his classroom.
Throughout the years from 6
to 12 the child will build abstraction through use of concrete
manipulatives. These manipulatives or materials are embodiments of
concepts to be discovered through active manipulation by the child. The
materials are either manufactured traditional Montessori materials, or
are created by teachers according to general guidelines to meet the
needs of a science based curriculum. Use of the materials engages the
child visually, auditorally and kinesthetically.
The Montessori teacher is a
facilitator or guide. Versed in child development and the curriculum,
the teacher observes to determine individual interests and learning
styles. The teacher prepares the environment to meet the needs of the
individual and the group. The teacher gives individual and group
lessons, oversees group planning and problem solving, develops materials
and confers with parents. Our teachers' enthusiasm and interest in every
class member encourages every child to make the best effort.
Golden Bead Division
Parts of the Flower