The Montessori philosophy of education has withstood the test of time. For 100 years, it is an educational method that has been used to teach thousands of children from many socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. The educational philosophy meets the needs of all students whether gifted and talented or average. Montessori believes all children are born intelligent; they simply learn in different ways and progress at their own pace. Montessori inspires children toward academic excellence and nurtures the curiosity, creativity, and imagination hidden within every human being. While nurturing the child’s natural talents and intellect, Montessori educators give great consideration to a child’s emotional development and character. At the elementary level, Montessori School of Florence students learn to think for themselves. They are encouraged to do their own research, analyze what they have found and come to their own conclusions. Montessori students are taught to think, not simply to memorize. They discover that the process of learning is natural, exciting, and lifelong.
Providing Structure -- setting high, but individually tailored expectations
Montessori education supports individually paced academic progress that meets or surpasses state curriculum standards. Montessori children work within a written study plan for the day or week. Each plan lists the basic tasks the student needs to complete, while allowing them the time he or she needs for the task and the freedom to choose the order in which he or she will complete the work. Students are then free to explore topics that capture their interest and imagination and share them with their classmates. To assess their students, teachers give oral exams or have students demonstrate their understanding of a topic by teaching a lesson to another student or by giving a formal presentation. Concepts and skills not understood are taught again. Detailed Progress Reports are provided to parents at regular intervals. Our students’ outstanding scores on the Stanford Test, given annually to grades 1-6, are a tangible indicator of the academic strength of our program. For an education to profoundly touch a child’s heart and mind, he must be learning because he is curious and interested, not simply to earn the highest grades in the class.
Curriculum Materials and Instructional Methods
Studies come alive through a host of hands-on projects and activities. Individually chosen research plays an important role in tying together the areas of study. Students gather information through independent reading and library research, assemble reports and portfolios and give oral and written presentations which grow in sophistication and complexity over the years. Math materials are designed to be appealing and clear. They follow a series of sequential steps that enable a child to move from concrete to abstract. In language arts, great emphasis is placed on the development of strong skills in composition and creative writing. Language also includes the study of grammar (the function of words) and sentence analysis. The Montessori Science curriculum is focused on the study of life and the laws and structure of the universe. The Social Studies curriculum includes history, geography, and the cultures of the peoples and places of all countries.