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Sunday, February 8, 2015

MONTESSORI DE SAN JUAN: 40 YEARS OF TEACHING THE TRUE MONTESSORI WAY


Is your child studying in Montessori?
How sure are you that it is a true Montessori school in principle and not just by name?
It was only recently, when I attended the foundation day of Montessori de San Juan that I learned what it was like to be a “real” Montessori school.


Developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori, this unique educational system is characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development.
Among the essential elements recognized by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and the American Montessori Society (AMS) are:
Mixed age classrooms, with classrooms for children ages 2½ or 3 to 6 years old
Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options
Uninterrupted blocks of work time, ideally three hours
A constructivist or "discovery" model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction
Specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators
Freedom of movement within the classroom
A trained Montessori teacher



According to Sandy Arellano, Montessori de San Juan Vice Principal, real Montessoris adhere to the teaching modules developed by their founder. The school directors or principal should also get a certification either from the US or Europe.Their teachers she said are also trained in the Montessori method and have to undergo a special in house training in order to teach in their school.

Montessori's education is driven by an aspiring aim that is to aid the child's development into a complete adult human being, comfortable with one's self and society and with his humanity as a whole. Each individual is recognized for his or her own abilities, interests, ideas, needs, and cultural identity.

While other schools continually adding classrooms to accommodate more students, Arellano said they prefer to keep their classrooms small. “We only have 15 to 20 students per class because a smaller class size is paramount to knowing each child as an individual with his own needs, characteristics, capabilities and potential. A small class lets teachers could focus more on the individual learning needs of each student rather than just follow a lesson plan and hope that they will catch up and understand.

Montessoris emphasize learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading and our students here learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities.


I was also surprised to learn that Montessori schools avoid giving out homework, believing that learning should be done in the classroom and that time spent at school is already too much.
“We, at Montessori de San Juan, are committed to exposing the students to a learning environment that will assist them in adapting and adjusting to a diverse and ever changing society. We are dedicated to teach our students that the differences in gender, physical or mental ability, culture, and background are strengths to be respected,”she emphasized.



In celebration of its 40th foundation day last January  30, 2015 the school held a Science and Math fair along with a field demo that put together different grade levels in one group to foster camaraderie and boost their confidence.

Montessori de San Juan is located at #3 Montessori Lane St. (between Araullo  and P. Guevarra Sts.)
Landline numbers 239-1102/725-6306, or visit their Facebook page Montessori de San Juan.





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