Assessment and Outcomes
Across all levels, Oak Hill Montessori provides a curriculum that is challenging, encourages exploration and promotes the development of leadership. Our educational philosophy and curriculum are based on Dr. Maria Montessori's vision of education, in which students are motivated by their innate desire to learn and their yearning for knowledge. The children engage in purposeful, intellectual and independent work. They are challenged through working with the Montessori materials, having concrete experiences and progressing at their own developmental pace to a level of abstract understanding. Their progression is student-driven and adult-guided, thus allowing for the steady development of self-motivated life-long learners.
Achievement at Oak HIll Montessori is based on the social, emotional and intellectual progress of each student. Therefore, assessment is not solely based upon test scores and grades, which reflect a limited aspect of intellectual ability and progress. Evaluation of student progress relies heavily on observation and verbal interaction as well as on work completed or achieved. The entire staff establishes a school culture of high expectations for themselves and for the students.
Montessori teachers assess the academic, physical, social, emotional and developmental progress of the child. Specially designed classroom materials, presentation sequences, teacher observations, student record keeping and student work are part of the daily assessment of progress that is woven into the fabric of the Montessori classroom.
Assessment Methods Include:
Dr. Montessori was a scientist who spent countless hours observing her students. She watched carefully how children responded to the environment, assessing what support was necessary to give each child the optimum learning situation. Following her example, each Montessori teacher is meticulously trained to observe the class as a whole and the individuals with in it. She keeps records and makes notes on the following things:
1b. Three-Period Lesson
In Toddler through Elementary levels, concepts are presented to the children through concrete, manipulative materials. Names of objects, concepts and processes are given to the children through three-period lessons after the child has had a sensorial experience with the materials.
The three-period lesson involves three stages, using two or three objects, qualities or concepts to start.
First Period: Giving Information. This is an introduction. The adult supplies the name, which allows the child to associate the name with what is being presented.
Second Period: Familiarization. The second period consists of recognition of the object corresponding to the name. The child becomes familiar with what is being presented through repetition. The child comes to associate the name with the object or quality. This is the longest and most important period, as the subconscious is relating and recognizing the names with what is presented.
Third Period: Verification (Test of Knowledge). This is the period of mastery and a test. This is a rapid verification of the name or concept given in the first period. The guide elicits the information from the child.
1c. Student Self-Reporting
Older students in the Elementary and Junior High levels become directly accountable for their work. Progress is assessed through the use of work diaries, frequent meetings with their teachers, peer editing and group discussions.
Testing is accomplished in the classrooms in different ways depending on the age of the child. The goal is mastery of a concept or material before the child moves to the next sequence of lesson presentations.
1e. Mastery & Transference
With mastery and transference, students demonstrate mastery of one material before moving onto the next. The skills they learned with the first are transferred to and enlarged by the next.
2. Learning Results
The expected learning results at Oak Hill Montessori are defined within the context of Montessori curriculum, yet meet MN standards. They form the basis of the educational program for every student at OHM. The Oak Hill Montessori curriculum has been aligned with the MN State standards.
Practical Life: OHM students will have the ability and desire to care for themselves, others and their environments. They will do this by developing:
Sensorial: OHM students will have the ability to use their senses to understand their abstract and concrete experiences in the world around them. They will do this by developing their:
Language: OHM students will be competent in expressing themselves in written and spoken language and competent in their understanding of the written and spoken word of others. They will do this by developing:
Mathematics and Science: OHM students will be skillful in abstraction and reasoning. They will possess the ability to use deductive and inductive methods to solve symbolic and practical problems. They will have a conscious awareness and understanding of the natural world and order. Students will have the ability to recognize and use the basic methods of scientific inquiry. They will do this by developing:
Cultural Subjects: OHM students will create a foundation for the appreciation of the humanities and the arts. They will have a sense of historical perspective, an understanding of one's place in the world and gratitude for the accomplishments of those who came before. They will do this by developing:
Moral and Character Development: Students at OHM will be secure in themselves, possessing a strong sense of self. They will be capable, responsible and accountable to themselves and to others. They will do this by developing:
The outcome of an authentic Montessori education is a self-confident, life long learner with a sense of responsibility to himself, humanity and the natural world. Montessori graduates have the skills to work, collaborate, think critically, problem solve and adapt. Oak Hill Montessori students graduate with strong academic skills. They are strong communicators, fluent readers and eloquent writers. They have a strong foundation in math including arithmetic, geometry and algebra. They are experienced scientific researchers, with hands on laboratory skills.
OHM graduates are well-prepared for high school and colleges as most of their learning is humanities and the sciences has been project-and-seminar based. The goal of a Montessori education is to help students learn how to learn. In an age where information becomes obsolete quickly, the focus of education must shift from facts to process. Montessori students have been doing this for over a century.
Academic learning intertwined with personal growth and community building results in prepared citizens of the world. Visit the NAMTA website for a study entitled Optimal Developmental Outcomes - The Social, Moral, Cognitive and Emotional Dimension of Montessori Educations. For additional research into Montessori education methods, visit North American Montessori Teachers Association (NAMTA) Montessori Research website.