The Montessori curriculum is linked to the preparation of the environment. The child who helps care for the environment is encouraged to explore and learn by undertaking activities which interest him/her. Such exploration is not limited to the classroom, but includes the home and outdoors. Emphasis is given to the development of personal skills and social sensitivities, the development of coordination, the ability to concentrate and perserverance to complete tasks.
Such development can occur only in an atmosphere which respects the child and gives precedence to nurturing self-esteem and encouraging self-discipline.
The classroom contains numerous learning areas within which each child is free to choose work and be given individual guidance and encouragement by the teacher as needed. The children learn to equate the terms “work” and “play” and enjoy working individually, in small and in large groups.
Learning areas include: practical life, sensorial activities, language, math, art, manipulative material, such as blocks and puzzles, music, sciences, especially botany and zoology, geography and cultural studies. Emphasis is given to the development of motor skills and the importance of harmony of mind and body for early learning.
The Montessori teacher acts as a catalyst and a guide to help children learn by their own activity. The teacher demonstrates the material and then invites the child to try. From her observation of the child, the teacher provides learning opportunities and equipment which give the possibility of experiences in tune with each child’s “sensitive periods.” Each child is shown new activities which relate to his/her interests and level of development, so that with each opportunity to succeed, the child will be heartened to progress to the next level of difficulty.
Upper Elementary Curriculum