The design of the foundational curriculum of the Montessori classroom sets this type of education apart from other options. As you explore Montessori education and compare it to other private school options, you will discover that the curriculum is intentionally designed and implemented to meet the needs of students. There is no standard or one-size-fits all curriculum in the Montessori classroom. Instead, the foundational curriculum of the Montessori classroom includes individualized learning plans, opportunities for self-directed learning, and a combination of group and individual learning.
Individualized learning plans
Montessori education is unique in the way that curriculum is developed. Teachers in the Montessori classroom do not create a lesson plan for the entire semester or school year before school begins. The Montessori Philosophy views each child as an individual with unique learning needs. In order to meet those unique needs, the curriculum is customized for each child. The teacher in the Montessori classroom observes and interacts with each child. With information from those observations and interactions, the teacher creates an individualized learn plan for the individual student. This design makes it possible for the teacher to meet the specific needs of each student and ensures that no one gets lost in the shuffle.
Another core element of Montessori curriculum is that it provides students with opportunities for self-directed learning. A core belief of the Montessori Philosophy is that children are naturally smart and have the capacity for focused learning. The self-directed learning model provides students with the space to practice focused learning. The teacher provides each student with choices when it comes to how and what he or she learns. All of these options fit within the learning plan for the student. Giving the child options within a learning plan helps the student develop a sense of personal responsibility for learning. This process helps set students up to become life-long learners.
Group and individual learning opportunities
The foundational curriculum of the Montessori classroom involves both individual and group learning opportunities. Students need time to engage in individual learning in order to learn how to focus and explore a topic on a deep level. Group learning is considered essential in the Montessori classroom as well because it helps teach students cooperation and provides unique learning opportunities. The teacher in the Montessori classroom designs each learning plan to include opportunities for both group and individual learning opportunities.
The unique approach to curriculum development and implementation makes Montessori curriculum an option worth exploring for your child. You can dig deeper into the philosophy behind the Montessori curriculum by looking through the resources in the Fountainhead Montessori School Parent Library. Then, you can schedule a time to observe a class and tour campus to see firsthand how the Montessori curriculum is implemented.