Making connections between the classroom and the real world is at the heart of a Montessori education. In the words of Dr. Montessori, ‘..to establish the relationship between things is to bring knowledge.’
For the past two months the Middle School students have been studying Lois Lowry’s The Giver, a novel about a dystopian future, through the lens of moral reasoning and ethical judgements. They have explored essential questions such as: How do rules impact choices? How do communities handle social issues? And what makes an ideal world? In a timely example of art imitating life, the students have also been living through the impacts of COVID-19 and how it has changed the rules and choices in their own lives. This week, they consolidated their understanding by engaging in a Socratic Circle to make connections between The Giver and three pandemic-related articles geared to their age group that they accessed through education website Actively Learn.
Socratic Circles are student-led dialogues that require preparation, the ability to maintain the conversation around a specific topic, utilize active listening, and include others. Although the students have participated in several Socratic dialogues throughout the year, this time around they had the additional challenge of collaborating via Zoom. It was energizing and reassuring to watch them transfer their communication skills to a new medium, and to listen as they skillfully connected ideas from literature and current events. It was a beautiful example of the adaptability and resilience of the Middle School students and the Princeton Montessori School curriculum!”