Every parent has big dreams and ambitions for their children. You may dream of seeing your son or daughter excel in school and go on to receive higher education. The education that your child receives now will lay the foundation for future learning and, ultimately, success in life and career. In the Montessori philosophy of education, one of the overarching beliefs is that children learn best when they can explore topics of interest to them. When a child is allowed to follow his or her natural curiosity, learning comes quickly and without resistance. Montessori school is designed to help children explore their passions through self-directed learning, individualized learning plans, and an emphasis on life-long learning.
When it comes to exploring their passions, children do not need to be pushed or forced to learn. They will learn by following their passion where it leads. One of the most valuable elements of learning through exploration is letting it happen naturally. It is important to note that self-directed learning does not mean that students have absolute freedom in the Montessori classroom to do whatever they want. In the Montessori classroom, self-directed learning means allowing students to explore ideas and information provided to them at their own pace and in the medium they prefer. For example, a child with a passion for dinosaurs can follow that passion to learn about math (counting with dinosaurs), biology (learning about dinosaur bodies), history (what happened to the dinosaurs), and geography (where did the dinosaurs live). As you can see, one passion can provide ample opportunities for a child to learn a wide range of concepts.
Individualized learning plans
The teacher in the Montessori classroom helps students explore their passions by creating individualized learning plans. The Montessori classroom is intentionally kept small, so the teacher can get to know each child. As the teacher learns about the passions that drive each child, she creates individualized learning plans to ensure that each student has access to activities that align with those passions.
Emphasis on life-long learning
One of the defining precepts of the Montessori philosophy is the belief that learning is a life-long process. It is with this belief in mind that teachers design the classroom, develop curriculum, and interact with students. When students are allowed to have a say in their learning by exploring passions, it helps them to create a sense of personal responsibility. Learning is not something that happens only in the classroom or from the teacher. Learning can happen anywhere and anytime.
At Fountainhead Montessori School, we are devoted to helping each student explore his or her passions and become a life-long learner. The way we approach education is vastly different from what you will find in the traditional classroom. If you want to see what it is like at a school where students are encouraged to explore their passions, schedule a time to observe a class at FMS.