October 23, 2021
The Social Curriculum at Clanmore Montessori School
At Clanmore Montessori School we role model and give lessons in Grace and Courtesy from Toddler through to Middle School. These lessons vary at different ages and are repeated throughout a child’s time here. Grace and Courtesy is part of the Montessori curriculum, as is taking care of oneself, the environment and communicating with others in a respectful way.
It’s learning how to blow your nose in the Toddler and Casa classrooms, it’s holding a door open to let another pass through; in a nutshell, it’s clear consistent social values that we help the children with so that they know what to expect and what they can expect from each other. The older children then role model appropriate behaviour for the younger children.
In 1998 Diane Gossen gave a workshop on Restitution at a CAMT (Canadian Association of Montessori Teachers) conference, and in the early days of Clanmore her theories and strategies were implemented right away. For Grace Kidney, one of the founders of Clanmore, the Theory of Restitution addressed exactly what the children needed for wholesome social development!
Restitution is a belief system – it sets the tone for the culture at Clanmore, fostering a spirit of generosity, of helping one another and connecting with one another; a sense of community.
It’s helping a Casa child solve a problem with the ‘peace’ rock, which serves as a concrete reminder of who’s turn it is to talk, for at this stage of development a child is unable to abstract and may need help to wait until someone is finished or until it is his or her turn to speak. It’s conflict resolution, it’s respect and cooperation.
It is during the second plane of development, the elementary years (ages 6-12), when the children are able to reason and are in a sensitive period for moral and social justice, that they also display a deep need to belong.
All the developmental work the children do prior to this second plane of development will assist them in their need and desire to be a part of the group. As parents and teachers we must visualize the child and meet their current needs, so that they can help direct themselves in the future.
‘The process of making restitution strengthens people. One of the most important skills in life is to repair our own mistakes.” Restitution, Facilitator’s Guide by Diane Chelsom Gossen