Xarifa Gabales, Director 6-9 Environment
Social environments, in general, are complex places to manage. There are countless unspoken rules to navigate as we learn how to socialise in a meaningful manner. The ways in which we interact with each other as adults is governed by how we learnt these rules as children and this is where the beauty of the Montessori social environment truly shines through. In our classrooms, we foster the development of social skills through group lessons and work.
Group lessons are key in our social environment. Group lessons may include children from different age groups, which means working together at different stages of development. Group lessons are designed to help children bounce ideas of each other, as well as learn important social rules such as turn taking and listening to whomever is speaking. When children learn as a collaborative group they are practising the skills that they need to function in society in a controlled and safe environment.
As the children continue to develop, they gravitate towards group work. Children enjoy the social nature of group work and they continue to build on their understanding of social rules through collaborative tasks. They come to understand the value of each member of the group and ensure that each member is doing their part.
Because of the multi-age groups, we have children forming their own little society that focuses on work. While it may not always be obvious, a society is built upon the ways in which we work together. And it is through the Montessori Method that the collaborative effort of the children leads to the development of the socially aware adult who is a functioning member of society.
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