Montessori in the 21st Century
On January 7th, 1907, Dr. Maria Montessori founded the first Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House, at a tenement on the outskirts of Rome. Since then, thousands of Montessori schools for children from birth through high school have opened in at least 110 countries worldwide. This begs the question, How can an educational method founded over 100 years ago still be relevant in the 21st century?
In 2002, The Partnership for 21st Century Learning, or P21, was formed to take a closer look at K-12 education in the United States. Made up of business people, educational leaders and policy makers, the coalition sought to identify the skills necessary for today’s students to be ready for college, career and life in the 21st century. An important outcome of their work was identifying what is referred to as the 4Cs: collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication. These skills are crucial to the future success of today’s learners.
The 4Cs are part of everyday life at Springmont – and they have been for the last 55 years. Our children are growing up in a world where teamwork, innovative thinking, interpersonal relationships and flexibility are key indicators of personal and professional success. Collaboration is at the core of the Montessori classroom; children and adults work together, learning to cooperate and problem solve. Hands-on, experiential learning and student-initiated projects hone critical thinking skills. Communication skills are strengthened through active listening, flexible thinking and honoring cultural and social differences. Creativity, one of Springmont’s core values, is seen throughout the school - from our commitment to the fine arts to children’s independent work in classrooms.
The 4Cs are not just now becoming important in a Montessori education; they always have been. These skills are well integrated into the very fiber of Springmont, and we are proud to know our graduates will be well prepared for their lives in this century and into the next.