SIENNA MONTESSORI SCHOOL CURRICULUM
In planning and implementing our Montessori based curriculum, we include three proven theories that we know best work for all children. One of these three is the theory of Multiple Intelligences. The basic principle behind this theory is that we are all smart or intelligent in at least eight (8) different ways. These ways are
- Verbal Linguistics Intelligence (the use of written and/or spoken language and words)
- Logical Mathematical (the use of numbers, sequencing, and patterns to create and/or solve problems
- Visual/Spatial Intelligence (the use of shape, color, and form, and the relationships among subjects)
- Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence (skillful use of the body for self-expression)
- Musical/Rhythmic Intelligence (communicating through and enjoying listening to music)
- Interpersonal Intelligence (ability to perceive what other people are thinking or feeling through observation or body language and gestures or voice moods);
- Intrapersonal Intelligence (being able to identify one’s own feelings and moods)
- Naturalistic Intelligence (ability to work with nature, plants, etc.)
Children and the Subject Areas
The second theory is the Constructionist Theory. Application of this theory implies that given an optimal learning environment, all children construct their own knowledge as they interact with the social and physical environment in a given setting. Lastly, the Montessori Theory sees education as much more than the passing of knowledge from adults and materials to children. Dr. Maria Montessori saw education as facilitating the full development and release of human potentialities. In setting up the prepared learning environment, she strongly believed and has been supported by today’s research that children’s development occurs in stages, with each stage building on the previous one. Additionally, development of a child is both interactive and integrated.
Through a fusion of the three theories, we are able to plan and implement a program that meets all the children’s needs depending on their developmental levels. These theories are apparent as we teach or enrich the major subject areas (i.e., mathematics, science, language arts, social studies, art, music, physical education, geography, technology) using an integrated approach across these subject areas. The foundation of our curriculum would be left unfinished if we did not pay attention to the works of:
- John Dewey (with his experiential learning)
- Marian Diamond (with her concept of stimulus-rich-environments as they affect learning)
- Reuve Feuerstein whose work on “Mediated Learning Experiences” has lead to intense debate on how the classroom affects students’ metacognition.
- Jean Piaget who theorized that the learners’ interactions with the social and physical environments lead to structure in how they think about things as they assimilate data and
- Lev Vygotsky who theorized that we learn first through person-to-person interactions and then individually through an internalization process that leads to deep understanding.