The Elementary Student
The elementary Montessori program and curriculum is structured around the very specific needs and characteristics of students between the ages of six and twelve years.
- Reason & Imagination - The inquisitive nature of the elementary student provides the fuel for the research and exploration focus of elementary Montessori. The elementary student wants to know the “why?” and “how?” The six- to twelve-year-old is able to use both reason and imagination to explore and understand increasingly abstract concepts.
- Exploring Society – While the early childhood student was primarily focused on the construction of the individual, the elementary student begins to explore his place in society. Opportunities continuously present themselves for the student to observe or participate, moments in which to lead or follow.
- A Need for Togetherness – This is the age of clubs and groups. The elementary student explores friendship and cooperation; he learns how to be a leader, a partner and a follower. While collaboration is encouraged, individual contribution and strength is also valued.
- Exploring Right and Wrong – The six- to twelve-year-old student is actively developing his moral conscience; “That’s not fair!” is heard over and over again in the elementary classroom. Every student may know the rules but keeping them is another matter. Problem solving techniques are modeled and fostered in the Montessori program. Community brainstorming for solutions and rules helps form the elementary Montessori classroom’s code of conduct.
- Freedom & Discipline – Independence and inner discipline continue to develop in the elementary years. The six- to twelve-year-old student is capable of increasingly complex and numerous responsibilities and needs opportunities to exercise judgment and demonstrate self-conduct. Everything from classroom management to the student’s work stems from the student’s freedom to choose and think. Mistakes and failures are viewed as learning opportunities.