WILLEMSTAD – Last Sunday, Curaçao’s first authentic Montessori environment was celebrated by staff, pupils, dignitaries and community stakeholders at the campus in Damacor.
The Montessori School will start with a primary classroom serving children between 2.5 years and 6 years this month and will expand its early childhood education program to cover birth through 6 years in a tri-lingual environment by next school year.
The official opening of the first authentic Montessori environment on the island took place at sunset on January 6th, 2019. The celebration included speeches by the head of school, Danielle Palm, the school’s Montessori consultant, Jeanne-Marie Paynel and lead primary teacher Atenea Fossas Lozano, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a reception. The opening ceremony also served as the launch of the pilot program offering authentic Montessori education to children between the ages of 2.5 and 6 years, the so-called primary environment.
The launch of the pilot program is the first step within a much bigger plan. According to Palm, the school will be fully operational by mid- August 2019. “We will be offering an authentic Montessori early childhood program to children from 3 months to 6 years in a tri-lingual environment. We will be open full days and all year long, with a short break twice a year for maintenance and staff training.” And within the next five years The Montessori School will add an elementary program (6 to 12-year-olds) and an adolescent program (12 to 18-year-olds) to its services. “I’m especially excited about the adolescent program that we are currently setting-up with the assistance of a very experienced Montessori consultant. Imagine a village with workshops and stores where children learn about economics and entrepreneurship by actually running a business. Or learn a craft or trade through hands-on experience. Mathematics, chemistry, literature, biology and other subjects traditionally taught in school will no longer be abstract concepts, but useful information the child can apply in his or her daily life at school,” says Palm.
Born in Ancona, Italy in 1870, Maria Montessori became the first woman to graduate as a doctor from the University of Rome. She studied paediatrics, psychiatry, psychology and specialized in the intellectual and cognitive development of children. Her progressive view of children was very much ahead of her time and her educational philosophy is still relevant to date. In fact, modern scientific research confirms her observations.
The Montessori School
At The Montessori School we will provide an environment as Maria Montessori intended. We will serve families from birth through eighteen years of age. The children are given the right environment and materials designed by Maria Montessori herself to lead themselves through a pathway of development, which is precisely in tune with their individual pace. This holistic curriculum shapes devoted and caring individuals, who naturally love to learn. Montessori is a widely taught pedagogy, with a growing number of successful graduates doing very well in their chosen vocation; often leaders and entrepreneurs in their field. Through the Friends of Montessori Foundation (i.o.) scholarships will be awarded to deserving children whose families are in need of financial assistance, making The Montessori School accessible to a broad range of families on the island.
Bron: Curacao Chronicle