The Magic of a Multi-age Classroom | 混龄班级的魔法
It’s difficult to believe that we are coming towards the end of another term and the academic school year. As it gets hotter and hotter, it would be true to say that the last few weeks of May are not the best to expect long attention spans in the classroom. The children’s bodies usually grow faster in spring and summer after the winter when they rather may grow a little fat. They all need more movement and it is almost impossible to contain their energy inside. There is not much concentration in the air and the more outdoor activities we have the better for the children.
I would like to take this opportunity to discuss about how Dr. Maria Montessori understood the importance of social and emotional development of young children and created an amazing system to support their journey of self-discovery and exploration in the prepared environment, the MULTIAGE CLASSROOMS.
In the Montessori environment, Grace and courtesy are encouraged from the moment the child enters the school, and this means the children set the example from a very early age. Having three age-groups in the same room allows for younger children to look towards the elder children as the example. Similarly, it allows the older children to develop leadership skills and intervene naturally. As part of a child’s development in the third year, we often see them taking ownership of the classroom automatically. They develop a sense of responsibility in the room and respect from their younger peers.
Because the teacher is not set up as the oracle in the room, the younger children will not only look towards the teacher for guidance, but also towards the older children, who themselves have had good role models and the cycle continues. Leadership opportunities are not orchestrated by the teacher but also manifest themselves spontaneously.
Our older children had been practicing for the upcoming Arts Week performances and they took up the responsibility to share the learnt songs and movements with their younger peers. This wonderful opportunity allowed many children to display their growing confidence and proud and happy smiles. Hope the pictures say it all !!!