Q. What is the advantage of having a three-year age span in the classroom?
A. Children have a wide range of experiences, skills, abilities, and interests. A three-year age span in the classroom allows children the opportunity to use a wide range of engaging materials that keep them challenged to learn. As the child’s interests change, the range of available materials allows the child to move from one level of complexity to another. Additionally, younger children learn from the older children through example and older children gain confidence and affirmation of their knowledge by helping the younger children. It is a win-win for all the children in a Montessori classroom.
Q. How is discipline handled in a Montessori classroom?
A. It is the development of self-discipline that is encouraged and valued. By maintaining a carefully prepared, structured environment that encourages exploration, creativity, and choice within clear boundaries, the child learns self-control and problem-solving skills that foster independence and responsibility. In this setting, discipline is viewed as a maturation process that evolves, supported by guidance from the teacher. With gentle, prudent assistance, children eventually become comfortable and equipped to accept the consequences of their own behavior. Skilled AMI-trained teachers use Montessori materials and activities to promote a classroom atmosphere that reinforces personal discipline and harmony by offering each child the opportunity to gain a sense of direction, confidence, cooperation, and self-control.
Q. How does the Montessori classroom balance individual freedom with community and cooperation?
A. In the Montessori classroom a microcosm of society is developed with the result that mutual acceptance and cooperation flourish within a context of individual freedom.
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