Dr. Maria Montessori knew that even the youngest child is drawn irresistibly to beautifully colored materials as well as an environment that is aesthetically pleasing in its simplicity of carefully chosen objects and art work. A variety of art, whether prints of famous art, photography, sculptures or textiles, is displayed in all of the classrooms at Butler Montessori to expose the students to a wide variety of art genres and artists.
Dr. Montessori was advanced in understanding an interdisciplinary approach to subjects, especially in regard to a child’s creativity and work—that was beyond just developing art skills. A work well done is work that deserves to be illustrated with pictures or embellished with interesting, colorful designs. Art is not just a segment or dedicated period of the class day, but an expected element of much of the student’s work.
Exposure and appreciation for art begins when the child arrives at 18 months and continues through his or her years of Montessori education. Formal art classes are taught at Butler Montessori once a week from grades 4 through 8. Emphasis is placed on introducing a wide variety of projects, techniques, mediums and styles. The student learns and further explores the weekly lesson, but also, and most importantly, discovers a trust and delight in his or her own individual creative ability.
By the 7th and 8th grade, art is taught in small groups over a period of six weeks, in blocks of two-hour segments. The students work on one project for the six weeks, which gives them the opportunity to tackle bigger projects, allowing time for appropriate research, problem-solving and trial and error.
Whether it is decorating a math paper of addition problems, identifying different styles of art or creating the backdrop for a school play, art is a constant in the work and experience of the students at Butler Montessori.