A great part of elementary education is the pursuit of answers to the burning questions the children have about our universe, our cultures, the nature that surrounds us and the workings of the world, to mention but a few things in broad strokes. The greatest talent of the Montessori Elementary teacher is to give the children just enough to capture their attention and spark their interest in an area of study, intriguing them enough so that they will pursue further study of the subject, either through practice with the tactile Montessori materials in the classroom or through collaborative research projects, called ‘great works’ with the research materials.
A foundation research material that is essential in the Elementary classroom is a quality Encyclopedia series. The Montessori Elementary Schoolhouse already has its World Book Encyclopedia, as well as a beautifully illustrated Dutch ‘Wereld Geschiedenis’ series waiting in the wings to adorn the bookshelves when they are ready. The book collection is being lovingly compiled and it awaits to provide a wealth of answers to the children.
“The bottom line is, if you’re not the one who’s controlling your learning, you’re not going to learn as well,” Joel Voss, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University.