Why Montessori has multi-age classrooms (and why siblings often learn best from each other).

“Our schools have shown how children of different ages help one another. The younger ones watch what the older ones are doing and ask all kinds of questions, and the older ones explain. This is really useful teaching, for the way that a five year old interprets and explains things is so much nearer than ours to the mind of a child of three that the little ones learns easily, whereas we would scarcely be able to get through to him. There is harmony and communication between them that is not possible between an adult and such a young child. There is a natural mental osmosis between them. A child of three is also quite capable of taking an interest in the work of a five year old, because in fact the difference in their abilities is not that great.

People are concerned about whether a child of five who is always helping other children will make sufficient progress himself. But, firstly, he doesn’t spend his whole time teaching, but has his own freedom and knows how to use it. Secondly, teaching really allows him to consolidate and strengthen his own knowledge, which he must analyse and use anew each time, so that he comes to see everything with greater clarity. The older child also gains from this exchange.” – Maria Montessori.

Why Montessori Has Multi-Age Classrooms

One of the first things you will notice when you walk into a Montessori school is the classrooms are multi-age. The classrooms are generally divided into three year groupings; 3-6 years, 6-9 years, 9-12 years. The multi-age classroom is fundamental to the Montessori method. It’s not only Montessori, other schools are adopting this approach.

Why do multi-age classrooms work and what are the benefits?

  1. Observation

  2. Leadership

  3. Confidence

  4. Diversity

  5. Sense of Community

  6. Competition is Removed

  7. Connected Learning Experiences

  8. Respectful of How Children Learn

  9. Child Centered

  10. Stable and Consistent Environment

Read the entire article from How We Montessori.

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