6.08.10 Mystic Montessori


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6.08.10 Mystic Montessori

  1. 1. SCHOOL REPORTS | MYSTIC MONTESSORI 06.08.2010 (Photography was not permitted by the Principal. I have substituted my documentation with quick sketches and notes.) Mystic Montessori is a small preparatory school set in large bungalow in Yelahanka New Town. The students can join from 2 and half years and complete the course by the time they are 6 when they have to join a regular school in the 1st standard. There are probably a maximum of 30 students in total at the school with around 6 teachers including the Principal who also teaches full time. In a Montessori, the atmosphere is a lot more informal and personal than a regular school. There were 4 teachers including the principal working with around 20-25 children. Everyone sits on the floor and children are encouraged to sit cross legged and each child has their own working space with a mat and small table. A lot of attention is paid to what each child is doing and yet they are allowed to take their own time to do their activities. As everyone is not doing the same activity they are allowed to choose what they want to do in compliance with the teachers. The Students The students come from a variety of backgrounds. They aren’t forced to speak in English in school and if a child speaks and understands better in his or her mother tongue then the teachers also converse with that child in the language they are comfortable with. I spent a few hours with the younger children who were of a mixed age group, and sat together in small clusters in one large room. The children were curious and friendly even though I couldn’t talk to quite a few of them as I don’t speak any south Indian languages. They were enthusiastic to show me around their classroom and explain the different activities that they were doing. The students aren’t reprimanded for any sort of misbehaviour (messing about with their tools, hitting each other, etc) but spoken to in calm but strict voice. Neither are they mollycoddled if they cry or ask for extra attention from the teachers.
  2. 2. Mrs Alzira | School Principal Maria Montessori observed, after years of study that children have more of an appeal for hands on activities and understand better through sensorial learning. Also younger children (2 to 5 years) learn better indoors as they need a secure environment, which is why we have a very intimate indoor setting and each child gets individual attention. Older children (6-9 years) prefer outdoor activities and learn better through them. We do make them do quite a few activities with food, we make them cut and grate firm vegetables like carrots, cucumber, beetroot and beans. The children usually always eat what they cut or grate- even beans even though we try to tell them they aren’t eaten raw. It makes them really curious and excited. We also teach them to mash boiled potatoes and peel hardboiled eggs. The younger kids also learn to spread butter or jam on toast. Insights: • If I have to make my narrative appealing to a much younger audience (3-5 year olds), it will have to have sensorial, physical activities that they can easily follow through the illustrations; and therefore enjoy and like the character who (mainly by imagery as the prose might be difficult to follow) showcases fun activities that they can be a part of along with older children. • For the older audience (6+) the main character will have to be adventurous and do things outdoors as well so that the narrative is exciting for them. The character will also probably have to have an offbeat personality that they find entertaining (as seen in a lot of children’s books- Roald Dahl’s characters), so that they don’t get bored by the prose and feel inspired by the character. The character and narrative should make older children feel compelled to imitate his activities, but also understand their value.