5 Principles Acton Academy Shares with Montessori

Have you ever been inside a Montessori classroom?

In a Montessori classroom, the environment tends to be quieter and less stressful than what we expect in a day-care setting where the surrounding can be so loud with high-energy children running in every direction.

Others think, “Well, that’s just the way it happens.” But when I walked into a Montessori classroom, I immediately felt the serenity that filled the whole room. I found that it was packed with little children who are being purposeful and respectful of each other.

Due to these amazing observations, it hit me why one of our founding principles at Acton Academy is Montessori. I can see all the ideas and belief systems we share with Montessori. Here are some of them:

1. MOVEMENT
In Acton Academy, a child isn’t stuck behind a desk listening to a lecture all day. Instead, they can go into the library if they want to, play outside if they want to, and do their core skills wherever they want. Since the whole afternoon is project-based, there’s a lot of movement. But more than the actual movement, Acton Academy also embraces movement in learning.

2. CHOICE
At Acton Academy, we believe that life is based on choice. For this reason, children should learn to make choices throughout the day instead of being told what to do and how to do it. The freedom to choose allows children to grow into creative individuals.

3. INTEREST
Being interested in what they are learning makes children better learners. It also allows them to hold on to what they learned. The retention of knowledge will stay in their brain when they are engaged and interested.

4. LEARNING WITH AND FROM PEERS
This is a huge thing for Acton Academy because we’re a one-room schoolhouse. Children ages 5 to 11 are all in the same room. What’s amazing is how younger students learn from older ones.  At the same time, it’s great how the younger ones don’t have a filter in their own creativity and ideas when doing projects, which inspires the older students. It’s awesome to see them working together and learning with and from each other.

5. LEARNING IN CONTEXT
We believe that education should not be separated from life. Since we are preparing students for life, shouldn’t they be learning tangible, day to day activities? At Acton Academy, students learn about what’s happening in the small world around them and learn daily habits that help them get through life. After all, that’s the reason why we are here. We are preparing them for life.

Let me end with one of my favorite quotes from Louis Pasteur, “When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become.”

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