El Pequeño Artista
Montessori-based Program in Spanish
El Pequeño Artista
Montessori-based Program in Spanish
Montessori is an educational approach based on the understanding of natural learning tendencies in children. This method was developed by doctor and educator Maria Montessori, in Italy about a century ago.
It promotes self-directed activities on the part of the child and clinical observation on the part of the teacher and it stresses the importance of adapting the child's learning environment to his or her developmental level.
The Montessori environment contains specially designed materials for development that invite children to engage in learning activities of their own individual choice. Under the guidance of a trained teacher, children in a Montessori classroom learn by making discoveries with the materials, cultivating concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning. Children are encouraged to teach and help each other.
A 2006 study published in the journal "Science" concluded that Montessori students performed better than control students in a variety of areas, including not only traditional academic areas such as language and math, but in social skills as well.
According to this study, the Montessori children:
• performed better on standardized tests of reading and math,
• engaged in positive interaction on the playground more and,
• showed advanced social cognition and executive control more.
• showed more concern for fairness and justice.
At the end of elementary school, Montessori children:
• wrote more creative essays with more complex sentence structures,
• selected more positive responses to social dilemmas, and
• reported feeling more of a sense of community at their school.
The authors of the study concluded that, "when strictly implemented, Montessori education fosters social and academic skills that are equal or superior to those fostered by a pool of other types of schools."
Other research has supplemented this study by showing superior math and science performance in high school by children who previously attended public Montessori (as compared to high school classmates, over half of whom were at the most selective city public high schools); and by showing a higher level of interest and motivation while doing school work as well as more positive social relations among Montessori middle-school students as opposed to matched controls.
El Pequeño Artista Program applies Montessori teaching methods and materials in Spanish. We have successfully worked for over four years with language immersion in combination with Montessori techniques and these workshops have proven to be fruitful.
Our alumni have acquired a strong foundation in the Spanish language and gone on to standard public schools and other institutions with positive attitude, interest and great social development. While we use Montessori methods and materials primarily, we also incorporate some extra activities such as dance, yoga, music, cooking, etc.
Carolina Conde is the Director and owner of El pequeño artista. Professionally, Carolina Conde is the founding editor of the Spanish-language Book Club Mosaico. In connection with this achievement, she received the "Outstanding Latina of the Year Award" in 2003 from El Diario, the #1 Spanish-language Newspaper in New York City.
Previous to her work with Mosaico, she ran Leo, Scholastic's Bilingual Children's Book Club. Carolina holds a Master's Degree in Bilingual Education, from Columbia University and is a NAMC certified Montessori teacher. She has three young children, to whom she dedicates this center.
I love this place. The classes are small, the teachers are terrific, as is Carolina, the director, and it's been just right for my kid. I was terrified of the whole Park Slope School Search thing - interviews, applications, blah blah. I wanted something that avoided that kind of ratrace for as long as possible, and I found it. This is the kind of school I remember going to: warm, but encouraging independence, structured but creative. It's definitely not a helicopter parent place that is predicated on the idea that one parent is at home (none of this "Mommy joins every day for a month" nonsense). And it's not as crazy expensive as some of the other places.
I love the independence my kid has gained (that's the Montessori influence, I think), and the skills (not just Spanish), and the confidence. It's small, and it might not be for you, but it's perfect for us. They just got a class turtle, for Pete's sake. How much more awesome could it be?
-Christine K., Brooklyn, NY
"This is the sweetest little school. Just a few weeks into the school year I can see the difference in my daughter - little things like knowing to stop and put her backpack away as soon as she comes in the door, or the right time to apologize for accidentally konking her brother on the head. Every day (weekends too) she wakes up and asks if she can go to school and see her "Guias".
I'm so grateful that her first experience with school is such a warm, safe, structured place - it has set a pro-school tone that I hope she carries with her the rest of her life."
-Deirdre, mom to Frances (returning student)
"This is the second year our son has attended the preschool at El Pequeno Artista and we are very satisfied with the program.
The Montessori method has helped him grow more independent and self-sufficient. He is always picking up after himself, dressing himself in the morning and eager to help me in the kitchen. In class, the children are very well-behaved and focused on their “work” in a calm environment with no running around and screaming, which is all too common in non-Montessori preschools.
At the end of the day, our son is very proud of what he worked on in school. The teachers at El Pequeno are warm and friendly and are always open to new suggestions. The extra plus is that the school is conducted entirely in Spanish! It has absolutely strengthened his Spanish language skills and has encouraged him to continue to speak Spanish at home. We highly recommend El Pequeno Artista! "
- Sorayya, mom to Khalil (returning student)
"Our experience with El Pequeno Artista has been amazing!
This is our second year at the school. Our 3- year-old has started using Spanish phrasing at home, without being prompted and is very self motivated and confident, in part because of the Montessori philosophy. He's also made his first "best-friend" at school and the family has become our friends too!"
- Jen, Albert and Cole
What is Montessori?
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