Our Curriculum and other philosophies of education

Our curriculum builds upon the best from Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Howard Gardener's theory of Multiple Intelligences as well as Indian education philosophy and yet adapts it to the needs of our children in this century and the aspirations of parents.

Our Curriculum and Montessori approach:

The Montessori approach is based on the principle that children learn through self-directed activity. The role of the teacher is primarily to carry out clinical observations as the child uses Montessori Apparatus to learn concepts and master skills. The apparatus is self correcting and is attractive and engaging. Thereby it ensures that the child brings to the activity a high level of thinking, concentration and learning.

The basic criticism of Montessori is that

  • The program is highly structured and allows very little opportunities for self-exploration and spontaneous discoveries.
  • There are very few opportunities for social interaction –no group work etc.
  • Needs highly trained teachers in the Montessori approach.
  • The class room environment needs to be carefully prepared and maintained.
  • Montessori material is expensive as use of plastic is discouraged. All material should be of natural material like wood and should be beautifully finished.
  • In the original format, Montessori system talks about multi age classrooms, whereas current classrooms have children of similar age group.

Our Curriculum tries to borrow the best features of the Montessori approach but does incorporate other activities to address the criticism mentioned above

For example

  • We suggest the use of several different types of Montessori/ Montessori like apparatus especially for math.
  • We incorporate a lot of Montessori sensorial activities during theme time where we encourage children to explore the natural environment using their senses.
  • Montessori's practical life activities are also accommodated in the daily routine.
  • For language we use the sand paper letters when the children are to write the letter. The letters are however introduced through a rhyme story and a kinesthetic movement to provide a context and to address the needs of children with different kinds of preferred intelligences.
  • There are many opportunities for co-operation and collaboration as we believe that learning happens best through social interaction.
  • Many opportunities for creative expression as against Montessori.

Reggio Emilia approach:

Some aspects of Reggio Emilia's approach that have been incorporated into Our Curriculum are:

  • Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing.
  • Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore.
  • Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.

Howard Gardener's theory of Multiple Intelligences:

Dr. Howard Gardner's theory on Multiple Intelligences suggests that the traditional view of intelligence as a single undifferentiated whole is simplistic. Instead Gardener proposes eight different intelligences to accommodate a broader range of potential in children and adults our curriculum provides opportunities to engage the children in activities that involve the use of different types of intelligence. This is made possible by providing varied experiences and stimuli. This ensures that all children are involved in the varied interactions and therefore learning happens for each child. Moreover OUR also provides children with varied means for showcasing their learning.

The 'Experiential Learning Cycle.' forms the basis for instructional design. Each theme is introduced through an experience. This is followed by opportunities to reflect on the experience; analyze it in context of prior knowledge and then act on this learning.
Learning is considered as a social activity. Interaction, collaboration and co-operation with adults and peers are essential for learning.
Children have a natural inclination to explore, manipulate and understand the environment. Facilitators build on this to help children engage actively and constructively in the learning process.

OUR and Education Philosophy in India:

The Indian Education Philosophy, especially in the works of Sri Aurobindo, Gurudev Tagore has highlighted the innateness of knowledge, and the role of education in eliciting that. OUR curriculum focuses on nurturing the child's natural curiosity to learn, find their own answers and be independent. The teacher training in OUR curriculum prepares teachers of both will and skill to be able to provide opportunities for such kind of education. The focus on skill orientation of the pedagogy goes hand in hand with Mahatma Gandhi's Nayi Taleem.