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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I attended a meeting last night at my daughters montessori school and we were told that they are moving from 4 primary classes to 3 next year. They are changing to average class size to about 30. This year her class is 20. They say this larger class size is more in line with what AMI recomends. Can someone tell me how this larger class size is going to be benificial to my daughter? I am trusting that the school has the best intentions for my daughter but I am feeling concerned too.
Thanks
 

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I'm interested in responses as well.

Our son's 3-6 class is 36 students (1 head teacher, 2 assistants). I know this is the Montessori Way, but it is still somewhat shocking to me at times.
 

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This is directly from my theory album:
Forty children is the ideal number for psychological development in the Montessori casa. There must be a sufficient number of children present to form social groups, share knowledge, observe one another, give presentations and to model for younger children. If there are not enough children present, the experience is that the adults tend to get in the way too often.
From my experience, I have found this to be true. With a large enough group, there are many, many materials in use for the younger ones to observe and so for the 1st year children, much of their time is spent watching others at work, with a few preliminary exercises thrown in and then maybe one challenging practical life or sensorial exercise in a day. Along with these activities, the children are also spending time (in small groups) singing songs, reciting poetry, reading/being read to and playing little movement and sound games.
The comment about adults getting in the way too often is just so illuminating to me - it is difficult for many adults to let children figure something out on their own, work through frustration without offering help and to let a child who is concentrating alone without praising!
With a large community there are opportunities for all the children to find others with compatable personalities.
You would think that more children means more chaos but not in the environment that Montessori prepared. I have seen small classes of 15-20 that are chaotic and noisy and conversely, large classes of 35-40 that are orderly and peaceful. When our entire group is present (we have about 36) we have the greatest mornings. If 5 or more are absent, it really shows. It's very curious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for a very good explaination. I feel better about it already. We have a parent night next week to answer all our questions. Our school is going through a lot of changes right now. Thanks for you help.
 
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