In carrying out our ambitious mission AES Montessori section takes special interest in Islamic orientation of students by offering programs like Nazra Quran-e-Kareem, Love Islam and Islamic culture. In addition to special consideration for the philosophy of Montessori system, we are a progressive Montessori school since we incorporate activities that can play active role in the development and grooming of our Montessori students like new self-correcting materials, hands-on approaches and practice aids for elementary children.
Salient features of Montessori at AES:
Multiage Grouping–Montessori classrooms are multiaged. In the Primary Program (which includes junior, senior Montessori and prep level), 3-6 year olds work alongside one another. This allows children to work at a level higher than, lower than, or equivalent to their same age peers, and have others at their own ability level in the room. The Lower Elementary Program groups 6-9 year olds together (grades 1-3) the Upper Elementary Program is for 9-12 year olds (grades 4-6), and the Middle School Program is for 12-14 year olds (grades 7 and 8). We cannot stress enough the advantages, over time, of multiaged grouping. The youngest learn to try new things as they watch older children, and the older children become leaders and practice skills. In the elementary programs the group stays together for many years, and children learn how to solve problems and include one another rather than move onto a new set of peers.
Choice of Activity and Uninterrupted Work Time–A good portion of the school day is devoted to individual choice time to work with the materials. Because there is generally one set of each material in our classrooms, students naturally select a range of activities. This approach allows them to experience the excitement of learning. Children develop better concentration skills since they are given opportunities to complete work without trappings of a strictly rigid schedule. The teacher observes what choices the children make and do not make. Children feel in control of learning, building a love of learning over time.
Matching Instruction to the Sensitive Period–Each child has particular times when he or she can most easily learn new skills. Our classrooms take advantage of these times by allowing the teachers to match new skills and concepts to each child’s “sensitive periods,” preventing both the frustration and boredom that can occur with whole group instruction alone.
Controls of Error–The Montessori materials in the classrooms have built-in controls for error that make the correct skill or information evident. This feature enables the teachers to be facilitators, working with individuals or small groups during most of the day.
Uniqueness of Each Child and Individualized Instruction–Our daily imperative is to help each child take the next step each day in his or her own learning. We use individualized instruction to achieve this goal. The uninterrupted work period, choice of activities and materials, and multiaged setting allow us to maximize instruction with attention to each child’s unique learning style.
We consider the value of large or whole group instruction to be somewhat limited. It is more difficult, especially before grade 3, to increase children’s skills by delivering lessons to a whole group. Most instruction should be geared toward individuals/small groups who are ready for the skill. We do use whole group instruction to present background information for work, appreciation of literature, and discussion of classroom behaviors and routines. As children mature and become abstract learners, they are increasingly able to learn skills in a group.
Encouragement of Independence–The physical arrangement of the Montessori classroom is set up so that children may be independent in the room, free to access materials and go about their work with little help from teachers. They are encouraged to be independent in care-of-self activities (such as zipping and tying), care-of-environment activities (such as putting away materials), and in their work.
Freedom within Limits–Some wonder if the less restrictive schedule of Montessori and the honoring of children’s choices make for an unstructured classroom. To the contrary, Montessori environments carry appropriate expectations and allow a child to develop an internal structure over time. The children are allowed freedom in their work time choices, but it is a freedom within appropriate limits.
Ideological Grooming–Discipline make the character enriched with the qualities of a well-schooled person. The central motto of AES is to introduce thoroughly a modern education system, inwardly woven to a form of discipline, based on Islamic values and concepts of patriotism. It would enable a student to develop the best form of personal behavior combined with Islamic etiquettes. Thus character foundation will be made for the child to become in future, a good citizen in general and an ideal Muslim in particular so that the individual may respresent the Millat-e-Islamia to the rest of the world with all the inherent dignity and glory of Islam. Our academic curriculum and teaching methodology has been designed with a view to garnering moral values, self-discipline, commitment, integrity and other essential life skills to face the dynamic challenges and opportunities of life with wisdom , as the children grow into their adulthood.
Religious Education –The ultimate aim of the Institution is to produce true Muslims and good Pakistanis. Though Islamiat is taught as a compulsory subject in all classes, the services of a qualified Qari have been obtained to give Quranic lessons and teach Qiraat. The morning assembly opens with the recitation of Holy Quran followed by English/Urdu translation. Topics pertaining to Islamic values with reference to character/personality development are addressed and discussed with children frequently. .In this issue, this particular department makes drastic efforts to expound the love of Islam in our kids, so they feel proud to be a Muslim. Its curriculum is entirely based upon Islamic beliefs, Ibadaat, ethics, and Moamlaat.
Activity-based learning– Its a range of pedagogical approaches to teaching. Its core premises include the requirement that learning should be based on doing some hands-on experiments and activities. The idea of activity-based learning in AES is rooted in the common notion that children are active learners rather than passive recipients of information. If children are provided the opportunity to explore by their own and provided an optimum learning environment then the learning becomes joyful and long-lasting.