Standing at the kids’ school entrance during pick-up, caught up conversation with another parent, you see a very little boy climb alone off the bus for after-school care. He nervously looks around, seeming at a loss. Just as you are about to scoop him up and lead him into the building, your 11 year-old Middle Schooler gently intervenes with “It’s okay Momma. That’s Christopher. I’ll take care of him”.
Where exactly are you? You are in front of a Montessori school, that’s where.
Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P-21) cites unique learning skills and ability sets that students need to develop in order to succeed in today’s rapidly changing world. Otherwise known as “The Four C’s”, they are listed as:
- Critical Thinking
Collaboration and the Montessori Method is of particular note, not only because of scenes like the one described above, but the overall fact that collaborative learning models collaborative living. And in this day and age, we can all appreciate that.
Inside the Montessori community and beyond, multi-age classrooms are a hot topic for parents, teachers, and school administrators alike. Montessori facilitates collaborative learning from peers in part by using three-year age groupings. Infant-Toddler programming includes children from 8 weeks through 3 years-old. Primary classrooms consist of 3,4, and 5 year-olds. Lower Elementary groups 6, 7, and 8 year-olds together, and so on upwards.
Multi-age classrooms ensure that children moving through the group will be exposed to both older and younger peers; facilitating imitative learning, peer tutoring, and collaboration all around. A Montessori multi-tiered prepared environment offers children daily opportunities to teach a skill or share information with others. Further, because every child is particularly good at something, the opportunity exists for every child, every day.
Collaborative opportunity for every child, every day? Bring it on…
Want to learn more about the Four C’s? See how we promote creativity in toddlers.