Sarasota Schools Combine To Create Premiere Education Model

Students who attended New Gate School last year will be attending one with a new name and organizational structure when the 2010-11 school year begins.

On July 28, New Gate's board of trustees voted to enter into a long-term partnership with the Montessori Foundation, merging its school with the foundation's Field School. The new school will be located at New Gate's address at 11011 Clark Road and will accommodate students from preschool through the grade 12.

Because of its affiliation with the foundation and its proposed Field School, the new school will serve as a model center for curriculum development for Montessori schools and teachers around the globe. Tim Seldin, author of The Montessori Way and president of the Montessori Foundation, will serve as head of the school.

According to Seldin, the Montessori approach offers more benefits to students than the traditional model.

"We respectfully disagree with the American model of education," says Seldin. Since 1984, our country has spent billions of dollars attempting to improve education in a number of ways. But the focus has not been to improve the knowledge and skills of American children. We would argue that children are born with curiosity, creativity, imagination and intelligence. They come into the world hard-wired to learn. And they do so in different ways. But you cannot make them learn. You need to create an environment in which they want to learn."

Seldin explains that students at the new school will be exposed to materials that support hands-on, self-directed, concrete learning at their own pace. "Children learn far more from each other than from any adult."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Tim Seldin, Montessori Foundation
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