The Montessori Demonstration Track
Montessori I Pre-Primary Classroom for age three through kindergarten
Our teaching practices and many of our extraordinary materials were developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, physician and educator, and one of the most highly original thinkers of the twentieth century. Her philosophy of education, and our demonstration of it, emphasize respect for young children, independence of spirit, freedom of choice, community feeling, beauty and order in the environment, and the joy of learning.
Montessori was one of the first theorists to assert that children learn experientially, through movement and sense perception; accordingly, our curriculum depends on children's independent, "hands-on" exploration of the classroom areas: Practical Life, Art, Sensorial, Math, Language and Geography & Culture, which includes Science. Our Montessori demonstration track is founded upon Montessori's discovery that human beings progress through stages of development characterized by special sensitivities for learning. Children ages three to six are therefore grouped together in the "prepared environment" of the pre-primary classroom, which is configured to suit the specific needs of their stage of development. Since this multi-age grouping is an essential feature of Montessori education, the Montessori demonstration must be considered a three-year-long program.
The Reggio Emilia Inspired (RI) Demonstration Track
The Reggio Emilia inspired (RI) collaboration includes Preschool I, Preschool II, Preschool III and Kindergarten. Each classroom demonstrates developmentally appropriate practices within the constructivist educational tradition. The demonstration is a learning approach within a social context. Curriculum emerges based on children's observation and experiences of their world.
The teacher guides the children's interests into a project where outcomes are determined by the children. Many learning abilities can be satisfied by the collaboration process. With the product becomes part of the process rather than the ending of a project. This upholds the mission of our laboratory demonstration early childhood school for the University of Memphis.