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The Power of Project-Based Learning in Upper Elementary

Project-based learning is a student-centered pedagogy where students learn and apply knowledge and skills through self-discovered experience and study, guided by teachers. While this essential methodology has always been an innate and key component of Montessori education, it has gained significant popularity  in mainstream education over the last several years, and its many merits warrant such attention and acceptance. Through this method, not only do students exercise academic independence, but they also gain a deeper understanding through long-term engagement, and can investigate avenues where individual interests lie. 

Over the last four weeks, our students have been actively engaging in an Ancient Civilization group project. This project linked numerous areas of our curriculum, where students enhanced researching and writing skills as well as oral presentation. It included various writing pieces, including a recount journal entry and a formal, written assignment on the fundamental needs of their civilization, and engaged their creative and visual talents through the design of dioramas. The project also encouraged teamwork and collaboration, both being skills we aim to nourish at Montessori by the Sea.

Project-based learning is not a passing educational “fad” at MBTS: in a Montessori Upper Elementary environment, project-based learning is a way of life for students, whose keen desire to learn is vitally supported by an environment that provides cross-curricular stimulation and that feeds independent inquiry, and is deftly facilitated by responsive and observant adult guides.  

 

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