The Elementary Curriculum

Please View our Elementary Programme Video


Standard Education Curriculum
In most formal learning situations, teachers are given curriculum which the children follow at the same time. In most extremely controlled situations, the teacher is even told which lessons she should be giving on a particular day, how much time to allow for each lesson and how much should be covered in each semester.

White Oaks’ Montessori Curriculum is Different!
General curriculum direction is given and specific areas of the general direction are outlined. The use of individual classroom materials permits a varied pace that accommodates many levels of ability in the classroom. A younger or slower child may work for many days or weeks on the same piece of equipment without retarding the other members of the class. Advanced children in the same room can move from one piece of equipment or another very quickly, thus avoiding the boredom of waiting for other members of the class to catch up.

Children with a high level of ability are constantly challenged by the wide variety of materials and their many uses. Key presentations (lessons) or typical presentations which show possible use of the material are given in detail. The adult giving the presentation uses that which is developmentally appropriate for the individual child or children involved. Suggestions for extensions of the exercises and related activities are given, but not elaborated upon because the ensuing activities are a result of the response and interest of the children … and that cannot be spelled out in a curriculum in advance. Giving too much in a curriculum may be just as detrimental as giving too little. Therefore, a Montessori curriculum gives a basic framework that is open-minded.

The Teacher
The Montessori Programme is dynamic so that the adults in a Montessori environment are creative people…always ready to respond to the interest of the children and to capitalize on those interests in order to help the child find meaningful involvement. The function of the teacher becomes one which conceives of the relationships between subjects and organizes them around the child’s vital interests according to his age. These include the understanding of the nature of the physical environment and the understanding of the workings of human society. All intellectual subjects are introduced to the child during this developmental period…between six and twelve.

Each child has an opportunity to follow the direction of the general curriculum as a self-directed explorer traveling in his own time and at his own pace, in his learning experience with personal assistance and guidance available from the adult. He learns as much as he is able in a given period of involved activity.

Montessori Materials
The Montessori classroom offers a vast number of educational, didactic (self-teaching) materials which are manipulated by the children in the classroom. They accommodate many levels of ability. They are not “teaching aids” in the traditional sense, because their goal is not the external one of teaching children skills or imparting knowledge through “correct usage”. Rather, the goal is an internal one of aiding the child’s growth by providing stimuli that capture the child’s attention and initiate a process of concentration. The child, then, uses the apparatus to develop his co-ordination, attention to details and good work habits.

When the child’s environment offers materials that polarize his attention…the directress is then able to give him the freedom he needs for healthy development.