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Highlawn Montessori School

3531 Somerset Drive
Shawnee Mission, KS 66208

(913) 649-6160


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"The philosophical foundation of the Montessori approach is based on the premise that education should cultivate the child’s natural desire to learn. In the Montessori classroom this objective is met by allowing the child the freedom to experience the excitement of learning by providing choices. Respect for the child’s personality and his ability to create himself is the basis for all our interactions in the classroom. This Montessori concept is a proven superior method to traditional education. Montessori teaching methods are practiced throughout the United States in these Montessori schools.

A special environment is prepared enabling the child to interact with the materials through hands-on exploration. Adults assume the role of facilitator and guide, allowing the child more freedom and choices as he assumes more responsibilities. The Montessori materials are designed to isolate specific skills or concepts and are self-correcting. After the child has been shown how to use the material (had a \"lesson\") he is free to explore and practice the lesson for as long as he wants. Young children do not do a task to complete it like adults, they repeat the task for the pure joy of the activity. Repetition of a task is an important part of learning for pre-school age children.

The environment provides experiences and materials that lead to physical independence, socialization, sensorial awareness, the development of concentration, language and mathematical exploration, cultural exposure and opportunities for creative expression. The multi-age grouping in the classroom community allows each child to act as an observer and a role model and promotes a cooperative atmosphere in the classroom.

Respect for and an appreciation of life in all its forms is a cornerstone of education at Highlawn. Discovery of the interconnectedness of all life, an awareness of the order and harmony in the universe, and respect for the value of work at all levels of society is nurtured.

Education at Highlawn should be viewed as a partnership where there is a mutual trust and a common educational philosophy between the family and the school. Maria Montessori believed strongly that parents play a critical role in their child’s education. The parent is the child’s first and most influential teacher. We strive to make the Montessori classroom a secure and comfortable extension of the home and encourage parents to be actively involved in the school community.

Excerpted from the preschool's website