Little Scholars Foundation
Recognizing the transient nature of the Clarksville community due to the military population continually circulating, Little Scholars’ foundational elements were built around this unique community dynamic. Little Scholars serves ages 6 weeks through 5th grade to ensure siblings have continuity with character development, educational expectations, and facilitation of social/emotional tools. Understanding the hardships of a military family, Little Scholars was founded on the mindset that it would be an extension of every family within the school. Therefore, Little Scholars’ total capacity is 91 students exemplifying a quality over quantity environment. The small size of Little Scholars’ environment fosters a deep relationship between staff and students, in addition to peer interaction. The connection among the Little Scholars’ population is the key factor in negating the stresses presented in military households while promoting awareness, compassion and respect for social differences.
Little Scholars Hybrid Curriculum
Little Scholars prides itself on being a unique blend of Montessori and traditional based education. This hybrid of educational philosophies creates an environment that allows the students to develop a foundation for lifelong learning, initiative to learn new concepts based on their interests, and understand concepts in a multitude of formats. Multi-age classrooms, peer mentorship, and the Little Scholars hybrid environment are believed to be the building blocks for successful student transitions out of our school.
Our teachers proudly utilize and are trained in the teaching methods developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, which consists of multi-age groupings where teachers encourage the older children to become leaders and peer mentors. This encouragement creates an environment where younger children can learn through observation of lessons, working with peers and teachers, and self-discovery learning. Providing the older children with the opportunity to act as a leader to their younger classmates aids in a deeper understanding of the concepts and builds confidence and self-esteem. This also allows the younger students to experience the material being presented in a manner that showcases a true understanding from a peer, displaying a both an academic and social interaction in which the students are given the opportunity to communicate with assurance. Students are given the opportunity to make full use of their learning environment, both materials and people, further reinforcing the principles of Little Scholars.
Teachers construct lessons by first building lessons using the Maria Montessori Method, actively discovering the learning through concrete, hands-on activities while honoring the pace of learning. Organizing the classroom in such a way students can independently select their lessons, master lessons at their pace, and enrich their learning through more abstract and complicated thought, allows students to facilitate their own personal progress. After students begin to understand the concept, teachers will incorporate the traditional pencil and paper methods allowing students to view the concept in a more abstract manner. Creating more of a hybrid classroom for the students not only meets different learning styles, but also exposes students to different teaching methods they may experience further in their education. Little Scholars found this method to be beneficial for students and teachers, granting teachers and staff the ability to develop and present lessons in ways that play to their strengths as educators.