|1/19/2012 2:55:00 PM|
New courtyard will help bring indoor and outdoor learning together
Franciscan Montessori Earth School image
The courtyard of Franciscan Montessori Earth School is set to be renovated into a nature learning area.
Asphalted school yards and grassy lawns may be good arenas for students to “blow off steam”, but they fail to be places where students might connect with the earth, play creatively, or find rest and refuge.
At Franciscan Montessori Earth School, staff are focusing on the need for students to experience nature as companion, teacher, and healer. To that end, the school is undertaking a renovation of one of their classroom courtyards to create a seamless indoor/outdoor learning environment for students.
Drawing on inspiration from Maria Montessori’s concept of the “prepared environment” – a place where learning flows naturally from carefully designed spaces and materials – and on the latest European innovations in progressive playground theory, the school is hoping to bring together the elements of various ecosystems – wetland and grassland- into a park-like setting with covered spaces for whole class and small group gatherings. There will also be landscape features for gross-motor development and nooks for quiet reading and study.