From 6 to 12 years, the child builds his self and his intellectual thinking. The work of the Montessori elementary school is based on what Maria Montessori called “cosmic education”. This “universal” education aims at including the child in society in the history of the planet, country, language, numbers he uses, animals and the plants that surround him. Thus, he becomes aware of what he owes to those who have proceeded. More generally, cosmic education seeks to provide a global perspective to the child before going into detail.
The child from 6 to 12 years old
The child from 6 to 12 years has a great sense of justice and gradually builds a moral conscience necessary for social and community life. The child of this age can show compassion and empathy and, is attentive to the needs of others (especially the younger and weaker). He develops a particular interest in “heroes”. He wants to distinguish “good” from “evil” by its own means and to know what is acceptable or not. He questions and develops his moral judgment and his own ideas. For this, justice must be seen and be heard. The class is a miniature society that organizes and develops its own rules of life.
This is also the age at which the imagination is developing. It allows for them to understand and access what is not visible and cannot be directly perceived with the senses. This is the creative ability which enables the child to transition to abstraction. The child from 6 to 12 years is curious, interested in everything. He wants to understand everything, the world, the universe, there is no limit … It is a time of acquisition of culture, an extremely receptive period for learning. Children are interested in the relationships between the elements and Montessori pedagogy provides them a complete vision, coherent and unified. The child from 6 to 12 years questions incessantly: why? how? when? His reasoning mind needs to be practicing at a wider intellectual level (cosmic education) and physical (the class and the outside world) environment.
The prepared environment
The child aged 6-12 years is becoming a member of society and seeks the company of his peers more than the one of an adult. The children want to stay together, looking, talking incessantly, share their knowledge, experiences, discoveries. They need to work and act as a group to develop socially. The advice of a friend is sometimes more important than that of the adults and children can be very affected by relationships with others. This is the period of great friendships. For this reason, the lessons are taught in small groups. It serves the interests of children, who are then more dynamic. The development of knowledge occurs in the discussion, exchange and argument.
The class is a miniature society that develops its laws and rituals. Prepared by the adult to encourage small group work, the organization of the life of the class should help the child to exercise his freedom. The child of the elementary school has the freedom to choose their work and can work spontaneously and “with passion” for long stretches of uninterrupted time. But this freedom goes hand in hand with responsibility. The two thus help the child move towards more independence.
The Montessori materials in the class responds to the interest of the child and cultivates his inquisitive and researcher mind. It also helps the child to memorize, develop his mind and reasoning capabilities of abstraction.
Operation of the Montessori Elementary school
Maria Montessori sought to capture the imagination of children aged 6 to 12 years. Thus, it is the story of the universe that launches all the work of the elementary school. The main objective is to stimulate curiosity, interest and wonder of the child. The teacher gives a starting point for children and arouses the desire to know more, which will lead to other issues and research. The Montessori program is built around five major lessons given at the beginning of 6-12 cycle: the creation of the earth, the life of plants and animals, human life, language, mathematics and science. Each year, new students gather for these five lessons. Older children may attend the lesson if they wish, experiencing each story differently every year depending on their maturity and level of understanding. The teacher builds each “lesson” using stories, music, and visual patterns, experiments and games. These five “great stories” will open every time a new field: Geography, History, Language, Mathematics, Geometry, Biology. The teacher ensures that every child covers all items.
From 9 years old, students are strongly encouraged to suggest and organize themselves exploration and visits of an intellectual or cultural interest. this totally autonomous experience allows them: to develop their will, freedom, perseverance, autonomy, independence, responsibility, the capacity to choose, negotiate, resolve conflicts, the respect of the rules, social development, group work, confidence, self esteem, auto discipline and most evidently, the enlargement of their knowledge on the subject for which the visit has been organized.
ECLI Montessori offers a group “6-12” to complete the Montessori 2d and 3d cycle which corresponds to the French National Education Office preconisation to complete the 3d cycle.
Our students will be able to join a Montessori middle school 12-15 the 4th cycle or join the middle school of the public system in “5ème”.
The pre-inscription form can be found here.