Parkway Montessori and Community Middle School, part of Saint Paul Public Schools, is a 6-8 grade Montessori school.
The Dr. Maria Montessori philosophy of child development can be explained in a number of ways. One simple but helpful explanation is that this method allows for and facilitates a child's learning by making use of his or her natural curiosity about the world and by providing an environment that will encourage and guide the natural drive to learn.
Students at Parkway experience independent learning, where students are given a parameter for a lesson and are responsible for learning the lesson on their own as much as possible. Students also participate in multi-age learning environments. When older and younger students mix, opportunities to provide leadership are created for older students, and opportunities for guidance and direction from their peers are provided by younger students.
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Montessori students learn to think critically, work collaboratively, and act boldly—a skill set for the 21st century. Key features of a Montessori education include the following:
Students enjoy freedom within limits. Working within parameters set by their teachers, students are active participants in deciding what their focus of learning will be. Montessorians understand that internal satisfaction drives the child’s curiosity and interest and results in joyous learning that is sustainable over a lifetime.
Students are supported in becoming active seekers of knowledge. Teachers provide environments wherein students have the freedom and the tools to pursue answers to their own questions.
Self-correction and self-assessment are an integral part of the Montessori classroom approach. As they mature, students learn to look critically at their work and become adept at recognizing, correcting, and learning from their errors.