MULTIPLE AGE
CLASSES

MULTIPLE AGE CLASSES

Montessori education is structured around multiple year cycles:

At every stage of development, Montessori education uses multiple ages in one classroom, the number of years in one room increasing as children get older:

 

  • Toddlers – 18 months
  • Primary – 3 years
  • Elementary – 6 years.

 

 

There are many benefits to having several ages in one classroom. The younger children gain by having many teachers, not just the adults in the room but also the older children. The older children learn empathy as they become leaders in the classroom and take on more responsibility for the running of the classroom. When you have one age-group in each class, the same children tend to be the leaders every single year. Leadership, however, is a skill that most children can develop, if given the chance. In a Montessori classroom every child has the opportunity to discover and flex their leadership muscle.

Years
The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.
Maria Montessori
Years

MULTIPLE YEAR CURRICULUMS

One thing that sets Montessori schools apart from other forms of education are our concept-based curriculums. The aim in a Montessori classroom is the understanding and internalization of concepts, rather than the memorization of knowledge. Multiple-year curriculums help us acheive this goal. The primary classroom runs on a 3 year cycle. Ideas are introduced in the first two years, that come to fruition in that all important last, kindergarten year. The same is true in the Elementary classroom. Ideas are spun out, like threads, that continue to grow and build throughout the six year program. As in primary, it’s that all important last year that pulls all these threads together, and gives children the incredible advantage that they take with them through the rest of their academic careers and their lives.

Planes

PLANES of DEVELOPMENT

Why are Montessori classes split into specific age groups? Far from random, the split at age 6 from Primary to Elementary is because of what Maria Montessori termed the “Planes of Development”. Maria Montessori recognized that a fundamental change happens around age 6, and a second fundamental change happens around age 12. She calls the phase of life from birth to 6 the “First Plane”, from 6 to 12 the “Second Plane”, and from 12 to 18 the “Third Plane”. The first plane is characterized by the absorbent mind and concrete thinking. In the shift to the second plane children become abstract thinkers.

THE CLASSROOM
HIDDEN CURRICULUM
THE OUTCOME