We want to nurture curiosity, wonder, autonomy, concentration, intrinsic motivation, and perseverance. We believe that education should prepare children to be productive members of society and that with a strong social-emotional and academic foundation, they will be well equipped to lead their own pathways. Montessori education finds the perfect balance between individualized learning, freedom of choice and rigorous academics. Research has shown that Montessori education aids the development of executive functions, as well as equalizes the playing field for students from a variety of backgrounds (Lillard et al., 2017). As a school that values equity and nurturing human development, Capucine is dedicated to delivering an authentic Montessori experience to a diverse group of students.
WHAT IS CAPUCINE?
Capucine (pronounced ka-pue-seen) is the French word for nasturtium, a beautiful climbing plant with edible flowers and a peppery flavor. The capucine can climb a trellis, extending itself and flourishing into a formidable display of warm colors and beautiful broad leaves. This is our vision of the child. With the proper conditions in the environment, the children can grow independently yet together in the company of their fellow seedlings. Intertwining and thriving. As their curiosity guides them, they expand and travel high up the trellis, each finding their preferred pathway. The classroom environment itself is an ecosystem with all entities dependent on one another. Each child, each adult, each material, shelf and painting on the wall contributes to this balance.
French-English Bilingual Montessori
Capucine Montessori School is a French/English, dual immersion, Montessori classroom, serving children ages 2.9 to 6 years, and their families. We are opening Fall of 2018 in Cambridge, MA.
The effects of bilingual education on cognitive development has garnered much interest in the last decade. Researchers have found advantages to bilingualism, particularly in the ability to adapt to ongoing changes and process information efficiently. This involves the executive functions of inhibition, switching attention and working memory. In a 2012 review study, Bialystok, Craik, and Luk note that “lifelong experiences in managing attention to two languages reorganizes specific brain networks, creating a more effective basis for executive control and sustaining better cognitive performance throughout the lifespan.”
The Montessori classroom is rich with materials that cover topics from the physical properties of shape, color and texture to language, math, science, and geography. As children are introduced to new materials, they are introduced to concepts through sensory explorations that provide a concrete and physical memory to attach to the corresponding name, word or number. A second language can be introduced simultaneously in the same way.
The materials in the classroom are intriguing and beautiful, and the dynamics in the classroom promote self-direction, independent activity, and collaboration. Within this environment, the children have the opportunity to discover objects, relationships, and meaning through their own experiences. The two languages become a natural part of the classroom, making the acquisition of another language an organic consequence of their daily discoveries. Writing and reading will come naturally through the progression of the Montessori materials and the support of the French and English teachers.