Students experience the Catholic faith on a daily basis and participate in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a unique religious formation program based upon Maria Montessori’s spiritual teachings and the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church using Sacred Scripture and Liturgy .
The ultimate goal of a Montessori school is to foster a child’s natural inclination to learn. Montessori teachers “guide” rather than “instruct” by linking a child’s interests, needs, and developmental level. At Cardinal Hickey Academy, we will offer children opportunities to develop their potential as they step out into the world as engaged, competent, responsible, and respectful citizens with an understanding and appreciation that learning is for life. Foreign language is also introduced in the Montessori setting.
Sometimes very small children in a proper environment develop a skill and exactness in their work that may surprise us.
Characteristics of Montessori Education
Each child is valued as a unique individual.
Montessori education recognizes that children learn in different ways, and accommodates all learning styles.
Beginning at an early age, Montessori students develop order, coordination, concentration, and independence.
Classroom design, materials, and daily routines support the individual’s emerging “self-regulation” (ability to educate one’s self, and to think about what one is learning), Teachers model respect, loving kindness, and a belief in peaceful conflict resolution. Students show grace and courtesy, and an interest in the welfare of others. “Let me help!” is a common classroom refrain.
Montessori students enjoy freedom within limits.
Working within parameters set by their teachers, students are active participants in deciding what their focus of learning will be. Montessorians understand that internal satisfaction drives the child’s curiosity and interest and results in joyous learning that is sustainable over a lifetime.
Students are supported in becoming active seekers of knowledge.
Teachers provide environments where students have the freedom and the tools to pursue answers to their own questions. Students work together as stewards of their environment. They take turns caring for classroom pets and plants; do their part to maintain order, such as by returning materials to the shelves after use.
Self-correction and self-assessment are an integral part of the Montessori classroom approach.
As they mature, students learn to look critically at their work and become adept at recognizing, correcting, and learning from their errors.
Students are part of a close, caring community.
The multi-age classroom re-creates a family structure. Older students enjoy stature as mentors and role models; younger children feel supported and gain confidence.
Given the freedom and support to question, to probe deeply, and to make connections, children learn how to live in community, to learn independently, to think constructively and creatively: Montessori students become confident, enthusiastic, self-directed learners. They are able to think critically, work collaboratively, and act boldly – a skill set for the 21st century.