Inclusivity in the Montessori Classroom
Montessori is a method of education as well as a general philosophy on human development. If we could summarize it into one sentence it might be something like this: A deep understanding of typical human development, coupled with careful observations of the individual and a meticulously prepared environment, can allow each human being the freedom to explore their world to the best of their ability.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could do that for everyone?
At OakHaven we do our very best to make this goal a reality for all who become a part of our community. Below are just a few of the variables we take into consideration.
As you already know, our classrooms are multi-age. This may not be typical when compared to most conventional educational settings, but it’s very intentional and an integral part of what we do. We believe children of varied ages have much to offer one another, and having a span of a few years in one classroom allows for the blending and blurring of different abilities, so everyone always has a buddy to work with. Multi-age classrooms give children opportunities they wouldn’t have elsewhere, such as older models for the young children, and a chance for older kids to explore leadership roles.
Beyond the typical three year age span, we like to take every opportunity for children to interact between the levels. In the same way we see within the walls of a single classroom, the younger children at our school are able to look to the older children as models, and the oldest children have chances to lead in new ways.
Did you know that Montessori can be for adults as well? Some adults read about Montessori and learn to incorporate the principles into their own lives. Others go on to obtain Montessori teaching credentials or explore Montessori higher education. There have even been studies regarding the benefits of applying the Montessori approach to dementia care.
OakHaven aims to honor children as they are. We acknowledge that society places certain expectations on children according to their gender, and that it can be a challenge for children whose identity does not conform according to these expectations. This can take form across a wide spectrum; whether a child prefers certain toys and colors that our society has attached gender to, to being transgendered, and everything in between.