Recently in staff meetings and training and development sessions, staff have been reviewing the school’s Curriculum Policy and the numerous documents that support this policy. The Montessori National Curriculum is one of many of the documents that is referred to by staff when planning and implementing the curriculum. We have been revisiting the Eight Principles of Montessori and the key strategies and examples of practice that demonstrate these principles in each of the cycles. Through research, Angeline Lillard (2005: 29) summarised the ideas that underpin the learning outcomes, teaching and learning practices, assessment and evaluation found in Montessori learning environments in the following Eight Principles of Montessori Education:
• Movement and cognition are closely entwined, and movement can enhance thinking and learning.
• Learning and well-being are improved when people have a sense of control over their lives.
• People learn better when they are interested in what they are learning.
• Tying extrinsic rewards to an activity negatively impacts motivation to engage in that activity when the reward is withdrawn.
• Collaborative arrangements can be very conducive to learning.
• Learning situated in meaningful contexts is often deeper and richer than learning in abstract contexts.
• Particular forms of adult interaction are associated with more optimal child outcomes.
• Order in the environment is beneficial to children.
It is important that we, as a staff, revisit these principles from time to time to ensure we are all on the “same page” and being true to the philosophy and methodology that unites us and drives us.

Cathy France

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