“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment”
~ Dr. Maria Montessori
Upper elementary is a time when children move from concrete reasoning to abstract thinking as they seek to bring order to the various disconnected facts and ideas they encounter in the world. Dr. Montessori found that children of this age were going through a key stage of moral development. No longer focused on just good vs bad, and right vs. wrong, upper elementary children begin to look for people's motivations for their behaviour. Children are now able to use their imagination to analyze moral situations and come up with multiple possible solutions.
Research has shown that children at this age also start to prefer to work with other students of the same gender as they move towards being more independent from the adults in their lives. They start to choose work that interests both themselves and their peers, as they mostly prefer to work together with other children instead of alone. The Montessori elementary Junior School Learning Community (JSLC) at Odyssey Heights allows girls a great opportunity to find other girls with similar interests as the 25+ days of OE3 overnight trips gives girls the opportunity to really get to know their peers.
Many of the Montessori lessons and materials are developed to be used both independently and in small groups. Our elementary teachers are trained to observe both our students' academic progress and social development, and to be conscious of both when planning lessons.