At Montessori of Calabasas, our goal is not just to churn out erudite scholars who may happen to excel academically but are otherwise inefficacious and unhappy. Our goal is to enable our students to develop themselves into young high-minded individuals, individuals armed with the abstract knowledge, thinking skills, character traits and practical life skills that they need to become mature, capable and happy adults.
When faced with the question, “What should we teach?”, we realized that if our goal is to help our students become successful adults, and not merely academicians, some knowledge and skills are more fundamental to this goal than others. The tree of knowledge has a trunk, and it has many branches, leaves, and flowers. When deciding what to include in our curriculum, we hold that it’s the trunk that is the key—because it is what makes the rest possible. If a student has the trunk, a strong foundation in core academic content and core thinking skills, then the branches, leaves, and flowers—the child’s interests, hobbies, activities, forays into specialized knowledge and specialized skills—will naturally grow and extend upwards.