Education in the 21st Century
Rising Sun Montessori School believes a well-educated person and community leader in the 21st century will be:
- Proficient in all subject areas: Rising Sun students will be proficient readers and writers of the English language, in mathematical skills and content, science concepts and scientific thinking, and social studies practices and content.
- Technologically literate. Rising Sun students will have knowledge and use of digital tools to collaboratively design and research projects and experiments and make the final presentations that are the natural culmination of their studies.
- Culturally and globally aware. In a world that is rapidly becoming connected via information technology, the resulting globalization of communications and business has increased the importance of global cultural literacy. Our students need to be aware of, understand, and have tolerance for other cultures and beliefs.
- Able to demonstrate “the 16 Habits of Mind” These Habits are derived from studies of what successful “intelligent” people do when confronted with problems to solve, decisions to make, creative ideas to generate, and ambiguities to clarify. The Habits include: persisting, managing impulsivity, listening with understanding and empathy, thinking flexibly, metacognition (thinking about thinking), striving for accuracy, questioning and posing problems, applying past knowledge to new situations, thinking and communicating with clarity and precision, gathering data through all senses, creating, imagining, innovating, responding with wonderment and awe, taking responsible risks, finding humor, thinking interdependently, and remaining open to continuous learning.
Montessori students learn to learn for themselves. They are encouraged to do their own research, analyze what they have found, and come to their own conclusions. Montessori teaches students to think, not simply to memorize, repeat, and forget. Rather than present students with all the “right answers,” Montessori teachers ask the “right questions,” and challenge students to find new solutions or discover the answers on their own. This is another element of the Montessori program that prepares students to succeed in the real world of ideas, enterprise, and challenging perspectives.
Students come to realize that, while learning the right answers may get them through school, learning how to learn will get them through life!
How Learning Best Occurs
Rising Sun Montessori School will honor the individual potential of each student by providing them a method of education that has been shown in research to give students the optimal conditions for meaningful learning to take place. The Montessori Method of Education provides a model of best teaching practices; providing students with a curriculum that is hands-on, in an environment that is conducive to a student’s needs. Rising Sun believes learning best occurs when students are given the opportunity for:
Movement: Students learn best when they are allowed to move, manipulate, and do things, rather than simply watch and listen to lessons. In Montessori classrooms, students have access to hands-on learning materials for their exploration and discovery.
Freedom: Students learn more and become more emotionally mature and well-balanced when they have a sense of freedom, choice, and control over their daily lives. Freedom of movement and choice of activity are basic concepts of Montessori education.
Student interest: Students learn best when they are interested in what is being taught. Montessori teachers follow their students’ interests, nurturing their curiosity and imagination while ensuring essential skills are mastered.
Intrinsic reward: Montessori education cultivates a student’s intrinsic motivation; our assessment approaches are holistic, and student competition and/or comparison is unnecessary.
Collaborative learning: When students have the opportunity to work with each other, it tends to facilitate the learning process. In the mixed-age Montessori classroom, students are faced with the real-world scenario of collaborating with peers in different age groups, working and learning from, and with, each other.
Meaningful curriculum: Learning situated in meaningful contexts is often deeper and richer than learning in abstract contexts. Students learn by delving into a subject hands-on, exploring all angles of the subject until a sense of self-mastery and/or satisfaction with the subject is achieved. From the materials used in the classroom to class discussions, learning is situated in real-world applications and contexts.
Caring adult guides: Montessori’s authoritative approach is highly structured and consistent while being warm and empathic. Kind, courteous, responsible behavior is constantly modeled to the students by the adults.
Prepared environment: Order and consistency in the environment is beneficial to students. Montessori classrooms are carefully prepared and organized to aid students in their long-term development.