By: Erica Lampert ~Staff Writer~
Xavier University Montessori undergraduates recently began a Montessori club to further their education outside the classroom and bring the Montessori philosophy to the Cincinnati community.
“The Montessori Club is a new organization to Xavier that encompasses Maria Montessori’s philosophy of education, the sharing of our educational experiences thus far and the opportunity to grow as future Montessori teachers,” Treasurer Abbie Fox said.
Xavier has developed a Montessori undergraduate program based on liberal arts and child development. The program prepares future teachers to teach practical life, art, music, movement, sensorial, math, language, geography, science and history within their classrooms.
Montessori undergraduates learn to be scientific observers and facilitators to encourage children to develop cognitively, emotionally and physically. The children in the Montessori program work in prepared learning environments where they are arranged with learning materials to aid in their exploration of new ideas.
The Montessori Club expands on the ideas taught inside the classroom through reading and assisting schools within the Cincinnati community.
“As a new club, we are really trying to do as much as we can to impact not only Xavier, but the Cincinnati community as well,” Fox said. “President Sarah Lofquist, Vice President Jessica Shambaugh, Secretary Catherine Guimaraes and I felt that we needed to share our passion of education and the philosophy of Maria Montessori with not only each other but our Xavier community as a whole.”
The club has been busy as several events have already taken place since its start. Last semester the club held a material-making event for companies from China to bring to children in Montessori classrooms to focus on early language education. The club had Montessori educator Martha McDermott speak to students about the authentic model of who undergraduates were as teachers in the form of students.
This semester the club is currently reading “I am Malala” for the book club portion and working on getting a basket together for the upcoming Montessori Lab School 2nd Annual Gala held in March. The club also plans to have a children’s book drive, and a Relay for Life team and to create other materials for local schools in the Cincinnati area this spring.
“Our club is important because it is necessary to share our passion for educating the child with our student body and branching out into the community,” Fox said.
Anyone is welcome to join the club to continue expanding his or her knowledge and his or her love for education and children.
“I am so thankful to be part of such an exciting new chapter of the Montessori program here at Xavier,” Fox said.