Multi-age Environments

helping-ben_Fotor.jpg

MULTI-AGE ENVIRONMENTS
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
A Beautiful Atmosphere of Cooperation Where Children Learn to Help and Be Helped by Other Children

“The main thing is that the groups should contain different ages, because it has great influence on the cultural development of the child. This is obtained by the relations of the children among themselves. You cannot imagine how well a young child learns from an older child; how patient the older child is with the difficulties of the younger.” – Maria Montessori

Multi-Age Learning Environment

One of the hallmarks of the Montessori philosophy is multi-age groupings.  The classroom is typically composed of students in a 3-year age grouping.  By design, the students remain with the class and the teacher for the entire three years.  A community full of meaningful bonds between students and the teachers are formed.

It is common to see students of different ages working together.  It is a joy to watch the children as they go through their day being helpful and kind to one another. The older children in the classroom take pride in being leaders in the class.  They reinforce their own lessons by teaching academic concepts they have already mastered, serving as mentors in the classroom, and become role models for the younger children.  The younger children receive cues on how to behave, how to choose work, and how to interact with the others from their older mentors.  This arrangement, while it may seem foreign in a traditional sense, is actually more like the real world where individuals of all ages and personalities work and socialize together.