"I never teach my pupils.
I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn."
(Albert Einstein, Swiss physicist, 1879 - 1955)
MIS - Montessori International School
At the center of our pedagogy is the individual child and his needs. A respectful, attentive and caring atmosphere is in keeping with the dignity of every human being!
(mission statement MIS Montessori International School 2012)
- instruction in English with English-speaking AMI trained Montessori teachers (mostly native speakers) and native German Montessori teachers
- internationally recognized school (Austrian public status)
- highly qualified international personnel with additional qualifications
- health and innovation focus:
exercise, nutrition and learning in nature
- continuation of curriculum (continuing pedagogical and foreign language concepts at the utmost level) for 1 to 18/19 year olds
- Fridays: theater, movement, arts and crafts and creative day
- flexible arrival time 08:00-08:40; Mon.-Thurs. until 3:00 p.m.; Fri.: 1:00 p.m.;
- choice of activities/afternoon care (sports: climbing, yoga, self defense, swimming, etc. as well as creative and musical activities adapted to the needs of the respective group) from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.!
- Mingling of grades
The two groups, Primaria 1 (6 to 9 year olds) and Primaria 2 (9 to 12 year olds) mingle during the day in the 250 m2 facilities with shared working areas as well retreat areas. This allows 6 year olds to learn from and with 9, 10 or even 11 year olds. This orientation on older children, socially as well as intellectually, is a further motivating factor in the children’s everyday lives. Social competency grows through interaction with younger children, by helping and supporting those more in need of help. It is the duty of the Montessori teachers to perceive and care for each child in an absolutely individual and differentiated way, which also aids in supporting the mingling of different age groups.
Our Primaria 1 and Primaria 2 are based on a 3-year plan. Within these three years, children move freely according to their interests and individual preferences. The Austrian educational goals must be met in all disciplines at the end of these 3 years. Thanks to the Montessori concept, this should be attainable for every child regardless of their differing talents. In addition, our children are well educated as to the world around them and natural processes, and experience foreign languages through our native speakers as part of their everyday lives.
- Language instruction/ Foreign languages
At the Educational Center Sonnberg, children aged 1,5 to 18/19 receive high quality care in several foreign languages. It is our focus that our pupils can communicate in European languages. We begin already at the preschool level (in our Montessori Preschool Sonnberg) with German and English as everyday languages. The Primaria 1 (6 to 9 year olds) and Primaria 2 (9 to 12 year olds) enjoy working with our native English-speaking Montessori pedagogue and German-speaking Montessori pedagogue; At the secondary level, we add Spanish as a further European language.
- Gifted education and talent recognition
"Every child has talent! And each child is entitled to our helping him find his potential!“
It is the duty of our teachers to help each and every child find his/her talents and special interests! The children are closely observed, their work documented, ensuring over the years that mathematics, sciences, languages and, of course, the „three R’s“ (reading, writing, arithmetic...) are completed and mastered long term. A child should never be disturbed or stopped when engrossed in work! This way the child enjoys a sense of success and can move on to the next subject with new motivation.
- Health: exercise and child-friendly nutrition
Exercise and whenever feasible time spent outdoors are essential for the healthy development of every child. Why study in stuffy classrooms when workstations can be set up in the directly accessible garden? We endeavor to go outside in every type of weather in order to experience nature with its seasonal changes.
We serve only organic, vegetarian whole foods. Even our snacks are composed of whole foods complemented with products self-harvested from our herb and vegetable garden.
- Free study and experimentation – activity oriented learning
Learning about animals is best accomplished by taking care of them and observing them in day to day life. We bring nature to school and show the correct handling, care and observation of their behaviour with the help of a veterinarian!
Montessori education is a continuous methodical and didactic concept. It doesn’t impart partial knowledge in stages or grades but instead is dedicated to interwoven concepts and subjects. Experiments, the great stories of the origin of the earth, and the universe – these and more are the topics of great interest of the 6 to 12 year olds! Nothing helps them figure out a sense of SELF more than the big picture and a perspective of their position within it! Children love stories and exciting narratives of the past and gain with our method an overview of and general knowledge on the history of mankind and the world in which we live. They have the time to work on these subjects independently and to become experts themselves during our field trips (museums, woods, expert interviews...).
- Independence, competence, confidence
Self-restraint is the duty of our teachers! Success should belong to the children, strengthening confidence and raising motivation. Naturally we adults can use our years of experience and knowledge, but a child can only retain his/her intrinsic motivation if we allow him/her to grasp and explore independently, if we understand that mistakes are part of the normal learning pathway and if we don’t discourage the child or prevent the child’s success through our evaluation, criticism or „well-meant“ patronising.
What our pedagogy does comprise:
Montessori education of the highest quality; strengthening and completion of essential, enthralling subjects and topics; free movement within the room; choice of workplace and handling of a topic through (room-adequate) communication with like-minded; healthy food; learning outdoors; handling of animals; research projects and expert talks... all building the basis of our concept and fitting the needs of 6 to 12 year olds!