This fall a new group of students started class on BGU’s campus. They didn’t come to earn a degree, but they came excited to learn.
They’re also only three and a half feet tall!
Two months ago we announced that BGU, in conjunction with Hand In Hand Christian Montessori, would be launching a preschool on our college campus.
And class has begun!
Monday through Friday a dozen preschoolers enter our building to learn and discover the world around them through an innovative educational method called Montessori.
What is the Montessori Method?
The best way to describe Montessori is to compare it to a traditional classroom. Montessori is different because:
- Classrooms include mixed ages. This way the younger students can learn from the older and everybody has the chance to share experiences across age ranges. A child learning addition can begin previewing multiplication and division just by watching the other children around them. Our preschool here at BGU ranges from 3-6 years of age.
- Children choose what they learn instead of a whole class learning the same thing in unison. There are a variety of stations throughout the class where children learn different subjects that interest them. The Montessori method uses a child’s interest to drive learning. Think of the times you were able to absorb the most information. Were you interested in the topic or did you have to learn it out of obligation?
- Since learning is driven by the child’s interest, each child learns at their own pace. In a traditional model, the whole class would move from one lesson to the next regardless of how fast or slow a child understood the lesson, making it easy to be left behind or bored from reviewing already mastered material.
- Lessons are learned by doing. All the activities within a Montessori class are designed to teach a variety of valuable lessons. As children work with the different objects, puzzles, or beads, they learn math, language, geography, music, and a variety of subjects in a tangible way.
- Children are taught social graces. They learn how to be polite, how to work in groups, and how to interact with different ages and people.
Read more on What is Montessori?
Overall, Montessorian education helps children thrive and take ownership of their learning. Take a look at Bethany Children’s House to learn more about the new preschool on campus.
What does this have to do with missions?
Throughout the world, missionaries go to heroic lengths to help people. They feed the hungry, heal the sick, rescue girls out of sex slavery, teach the poor useful skills to sustain themselves economically, and more. Essentially, doing what Jesus commanded when he said:
“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, and drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give” —Matthews 10:7-8
Helping families with their children’s education is another way to help and in many places, the only way to build trust in a community.
It’s said that if you want to gain somebodies trust, help them with their health, their wealth (or lack thereof), or children. Nearly all parents want the best for their children and in many poorer regions of the earth, families don’t have access to schools.
This is why we, at Bethany Global University, are excited to train students in the Montessori method in our Early Childhood Education minor. It is a revolutionary teaching method that becomes a practical tool to reach the lost.
“Montessori is great because we look at the development of a child and how they will best learn. We meet the children where they are at instead of having them meet us where we want them.”
“I love the Montessori classes, because they give me a great perspective on how children learn, grow, and develop.”
Having an active and vibrant preschool on campus now gives students the ability to see with their own eyes how Montessori works. This way it is a hands-on experience for both the preschoolers and our students.