Our innovative, bilingual curriculum is merged from the teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori and those of Dr. Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. These two distinct methods of teaching are designed to meet all the developmental needs of young children and allow for an inclusive classroom setting which addresses the various areas of a child’s development.
Montessori is one of the fastest-growing and most popular forms of education used in North America today. It was founded in the early 1900’s in Italy by Maria Montessori, a physician and educator who achieved worldwide recognition for her educational program centered around the child’s inner desire to learn.
The basic idea of Montessori education is that unseen within every child is carrying the person the child will become. In order to develop his/her physical and intellectual powers and personality to the fullest, the child must have freedom…a freedom, with limits, achieved through order, which leads eventually to self-discipline. The world of the child is full of sights and sounds, which at first appear chaotic. From this chaos, the child gradually learns to create order and distinguish among the impressions that assail his senses, slowly but surely gaining mastery of himself and his environment.
Dr. Montessori developed teaching materials, each designed to give the child a new life experience and develop a specific educational concept. The method uses hands-on material that enables young children to develop attention span, concentration and hand and eye coordination while also learning language skills such as reading and writing along with math concepts, geography and science.
The Montessori Method aims to develop and refine the skills and the five senses of a child. The five areas of activity of the Montessori pedagogy are:
Dr. Montessori recognized that very young children go through periods of sensitivity in particular areas during which they learn more easily than at any other time in their lives. Between the ages of 2-6, children have an extraordinary capacity to learn from their surroundings. Dr. Montessori called this “the absorbent mind”. At Maison Kinder, we honor “the absorbent mind” by giving children the type of environment they need to flourish!
The most important periods of life is not the age of the university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six. For that is the time when man’s intelligence; the full totality of his physic powers is formed… at no other age has the child greater need of intelligent help, and any obstacle that impedes his creative work will lessen the chance he has of achieving perfection.Maria Montessori
Furthermore, our classrooms here at Maison Kinder are designed to target the different learning styles to cater to each and every child. These have been designed this way based on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, developed by Harvard’s very own Dr. Howard Gardner proposed the notion that human beings have not just one type of intelligence, but several. He originally identified seven components of intelligence. He argues that these intelligences are relatively distinct from each other and that each person has some level of each of these seven intelligences. More recently, he has added an eighth intelligence to his list (see table below)
The classrooms have been setup with a wide range of interactive and educational stations. This setup targets learning at multiple levels whilst amalgamating all the skills practiced in the classroom.
The Learning Centers allow the children to socialize and engage in creative activities so they can explore, experiment, imitate, ask questions and, in turn, be questioned in order to further their thinking and problem solving skills. All independent tasks mastered in the Montessori area literally come into play here.
The following table lists the eight intelligences identified by Howard Gardner. It provides some examples of the types of professionals who exhibit a high level of an intelligence.
|Bodily-kinesthetic||Dancers, athletes, surgeons, crafts people||The ability to use one’s physical body well.|
|Interpersonal||Sales people, teachers, clinicians, politicians, religious leaders||The ability to sense other’s feelings and be in tune with others.|
|Intrapersonal||People who have good insight into themselves and make effective use of their other intelligences||Self-awareness. The ability to know your own body and mind.|
|Linguistic||Poets, writers, orators, communicators||The ability to communicate well, perhaps both orally and in writing, perhaps in several languages.|
|Logical-mathematical||Mathematicians, logicians||The ability to learn higher mathematics. The ability to handle complex logical arguments.|
|Musical||Musicians, composers||The ability to learn, perform, and compose music.|
|Naturalistic||Biologists, naturalists||The ability to understand different species, recognize patterns in nature, classify natural objects.|
|Spatial||Sailors navigating without modern navigational aids, surgeons, sculptors, painters||The ability to know where you are relative to fixed locations. The ability to accomplish tasks requiring three-dimensional visualization and placement of your hands or other parts of your body.|