MONTESSORI CULTURAL SUBJECTS
An analysis of the Montessori Curriculum on Culture
The Montessori culture curriculum is one of the most unique aspects of the Montessori philosophy, giving the children a cutting edge above their contemporaries in the traditional schools. Montessori children are exposed to some aspects of botany, zoology, and geography that other children will only come to know about later in primary school.
Cultural activities are a specific extension of the language curriculum where children begin to acquire a sense of historical fact, correct naming of physical geography, and an appreciation of physical science and cultural differences.
Comprised of the study of history, science and geography, the Montessori Cultural Curriculum was designed to inspire a sense of awe in our children. It was created to help them answer such questions as, “Who am I?”, “Where did I come from?” and “Why am I here?” Impressionistic lessons lay the groundwork for future learning, by capturing the children’s imaginations. The cross-curricular nature of the topics reaches them in a manner that capitalizes on their interests and learning styles. The broad scope of the curriculum develops children who are culturally aware and have a true appreciation for the diversity and wonder of the world around them.
History is taught using story telling and timelines. Timelines are the concrete representation of the abstract concept of history. Using storytelling and timelines, the directress helps children to trace the evolution of our planet and its many life forms, as well as an overview of human history.
Libra House pupils learn early to become good stewards of the earth. Teachers work hard to incorporate the study of nature into their lessons, both inside and outside the classroom. At every level, children are given responsibility for the care of classroom
plants and animals. Three to six year olds anxiously watch as seedlings develop under natural lights each day. The pupils have many opportunities to “go on nature walks,” to study first hand, the characteristics of the plants there. Observation of nature is encouraged at every level.
Children’s House pupils are introduced to the classification of the visible parts of plants and animals, using puzzles and nature card sets which lay the groundwork for further study in Lower and Upper Elementary. Students learn about the families of the animal kingdom, including vertebrates and invertebrates, their
classification, their basic characteristics, and the way they function and survive. They also learn about different plant groups, from trees to flowering plants.
The study of physical geography begins in Children’s House, with the use of materials that have been specially prepared for use by that age group. Brightly coloured globes and puzzle maps help children to learn the continents of the world, the countries of North and South America and Europe and the other continents, as well as the states of the U.S.A.
The children gain knowledge about basic land and water formations, such as an island, isthmus, peninsula, strait, lake, cape, bay and archipelago by working with three dimensional models of each and finding examples of them on maps.
Cultural studies begin in Children’s House and continue through Primary School. Using age appropriate activities, pupils learn about the geography, climate, flora and fauna of different regions and the effect of these on the people who live there. In addition, children benefit from the experiences of our multicultural community, as they explore regional foods, dress, music, art, religion and traditions.
Once these ‘seeds of culture’ have being sown in the child, the child’s enquiring mind is further attuned to this wonderful world around; this planet-Earth.