Dr. Maria Montessori said, “When a free spirit exists, it has to materialize itself in some form of work…for this the hands are needed.” She believed that “the education of the hand is particularly important since the hand is an organ of the mind, the means which the human intelligence uses to express itself.” Art provides this opportunity for self-expression. In Montessori classrooms, creativity in the whole child is encouraged. This is first approached indirectly through work in the Practical Life (includes sewing and weaving) and Sensorial (exploration of the senses) areas of the classroom. Art in the Montessori classroom is another way to foster a child’s keen sense of observation, respect, understanding of the past, freedom to express one’s self, appreciation of the beauty in life and to bring inner delight and self-satisfaction.
Art Appreciation: Art appreciation is taught using various means. Reproductions of art masterpieces from many eras can be seen displayed in the classroom at the children’s eye level. In works throughout the classroom, sorting and matching work using three-part cards of artists and pictures of their art work. Timelines are used to show the lives of artists and how art has evolved over the years. Allowing the children to do their own “reproduction” of a famous artist’s work is an educational and fun activity.
Lower Elementary – Middle School
Students learn about the elements of art, principles of design, and art processes of various mediums in both two and three dimensional art forms. Students also learn to use the tools of the various art mediums. Students develop an understanding of the relationship between art and culture including art theory, art history, periods of art, art movements, art styles, subjects in art, and symbolism in art. Students will also connect visual arts to other disciplines including geometry, biology, botany, architecture, music, literature, photography, philosophy, psychology, computer technology, and construction. Students create original and unique works of art using their own creativity and imagination. Classes meet for one hour each week.