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Ronald Knox Montessori School

2031 Elmwood Ave
Wilmette, IL 60091-1431

(847) 256-2922


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"The education philosophy at Ronald Knox Montessori School (RKMS) is based upon the research and work of Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian born educator and the first woman physician in Italy. Basic to her approach is the idea that children must have freedom, achieved through order and self-discipline, in order to develop to their full potential. Therefore, the goals of a Montessori education are to:
Stimulate the child's innate love of learning
Provide a nurturing, cooperative social learning environment
Incorporate all the senses in the learning experience
Consider the whole child
Encourage respect for self, others, the environment, and all life.
With these goals, RKMS provides a program in which children can develop self-confidence, acquire basic skills to serve as a base for later learning, and develop a positive attitude towards learning.

The following characteristics of the Montessori education foster the above objectives:

Integrated Curriculum
Sometimes referred to as the "whole child" approach, Montessori's holistic curriculum features activities and materials that promote the development of social skills, emotional growth, and physical coordination, as well as cognitive preparation.

Mixed Age Groupings
The three-year age span in each Early Childhood classroom (ages 3-6) creates a cooperative learning environment that fosters multi-age friendships and conversations. Older children increase their self-esteem and attain a sense of responsibility for the younger children, while the younger children benefit from modeling the older children.

Process over Product
The Montessori classroom is process oriented, not product oriented. Materials and activities are carefully prepared to allow children to follow a complete work cycle, enabling them to develop self-confidence as they master basic developmental and academic skills.

Development of Discipline and Independence
Children are encouraged to work independently, becoming self-directed learners. Large blocks of uninterrupted time allow children to explore their environment, while making decisions and managing their time well. This fosters self-confidence, self-discipline, and independence in later life.

Respect for all Children/Social Development
There is a great deal of socialization in our classrooms, through which the children learn to be aware of others' feelings, how to help each other, how to cooperate, and how to care for things in the environment for the benefit of all.

Spontaneous Activity in the Educational Process
Since each child is at a different point developmentally, the children are given the freedom to learn at their own pace and in their own style. There are no set academic goals for age levels; instead, the directress observes each child and provides materials specific to their skill-level and interests.

These qualities result in active, self-directed learning that strikes a balance between individual mastery and small group collaboration.

Excerpted from the preschool's website