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Mountain West Montessori Academy will implement the Montessori philosophy of education to provide an inclusive and individualized program of instruction to a wide range of diverse learners. In doing so, we hope to create a school culture of respect and success in both academic endeavors and social interactions. Our aspiration is for our students to have curiosity about the world around them, the literacy and reasoning skills to satisfy that curiosity, and a love for school and for learning.
Our vision is to bring the benefits of Montessori education to a wider group of children in Utah, producing graduates who possess the confidence, clarity, and compassion to improve our world.
What Makes Montessori Different?
The Montessori philosophy emphasizes a guided-discovery approach to learning in which students’ interactions with the environment build cognitively upon their prior knowledge to facilitate the acquisition of new information. MWMA’s classrooms will contain an extensive sequence of manipulative materials, lessons, and hands-on activities progressing from concrete explorations to more abstract projects and research materials as students advance through the program.
Our students will have the opportunity to develop autonomy and increase their engagement in the learning process by exercising choices within this framework of carefully chosen options in the prepared classroom environment. Furthermore, elementary students will have the opportunity to focus and persevere in their core studies during an uninterrupted, literacy-based three-hour work time each morning. This block of time is a central tenet of the Montessori philosophy.
Differentiated Curriculum to Meet Individual Needs
The Montessori curriculum provides an individualized education for each student, addressing a diverse community of learners. Individual and small group lessons are presented and students can progress through the material to mastery level through practice. The Montessori curriculum encompasses Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and peace education, inclusive of interpersonal skills such as conflict resolution.
MWMA’s program will employ extensive use of manipulatives, student-created materials, and authentic experiences. For example, students will use manipulatives to model mathematical problems and concepts in concrete ways to build good number sense, geometric, and computational skills, laying the framework for problem solving ability. Science lessons contain multiple elements of hands-on activity and experimentation. In addition, field trips are an important part of the curriculum, allowing children to adapt their classroom learning to real world situations and broaden the context of their knowledge.
MWMA recognizes the importance of personal and social growth as well as academic achievement. Our program will reflect Dr. Montessori’s Peace Education curriculum, for which she received a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Students will practice conflict resolution skills in the classroom. Grace and courtesy, coupled with respect toward others, will be modeled and expected.
Students will additionally have the opportunity to expand their involvement to the local community through field trips and service projects. MWMA’s middle school program will include a field trip rotation, which cycles through nature-based, service learning based, and academically based excursions, both local and further afield.