PRINTS recognizes the innate human desire to learn and supports the individual expression of that desire. Our dual immersion and multicultural environment foster an early awareness of the global community, and our interdependence across countries and cultures. PRINTS cultivates the child’s ability to become aware of his/her own learning process, intellectual needs and aspirations, and helps to develop the capacity for each child to carry out this personal vision.
Keys to Montessori: The Planes of Development
"Successive levels of education must correspond to the successive personalities of the child. Our methods are oriented not to any pre-established principles but rather to the inherent characteristics of the different ages."
- Maria Montessori
Dr. Maria Montessori observed four stages of development leading to adulthood. She called these stages 'Planes of Development.'
The First Plane:
Ages 0 to 6
Nurtured through three progressive learning environments: the Nido, the Infant Community, and the Children's House. This plane covers physical and emotional development from birth to the age of 6.
The Second Plane: Ages 6 to 12
Set in the Elementary Community, this plane addresses the child's reasoning mind, which seeks to explore and understand the world.
The Third Plane:
Ages 12 to 18
The adolescent years mark dramatic changes that demand a thoughtful and meaningful pedagogical approach unfortunately lacking in traditional schools. Dr. Montessori called this age group 'Erdkinder,' or 'land children. At this age, young adults, similarly to the children of the first plane, gain understanding through work. The students' physical labor in a farm enables them to continue to develop intellectually by applying concepts learned in class to real life. They re-establish their self-confidence and make connections to the larger world through direct experience.
The Fourth Plane:
Ages 18 to 24
Corresponding to the period when adolescents traditionally head off to college, these years are, as Dr. Montessori wrote, when the young adult 'should be as a live spark and aware of the open gate to potentialities of prospective human life and of its own possibilities and responsibilities' (The Four Planes of Education, 11).
What is a dual-immersion international experience?
Pacific Rim International School (PRINTS) offers a comprehensive education structured to promote an understanding and appreciation of other cultures and nations. This 'multilingual international experience' begins with the enrollment of the child and becomes a lifelong learning process. Parents frequently remark on how our school environment shifts a child's worldview. The aims of the 'multi lingual international experience' are two-fold: firstly, children develop a curiosity and passion for both the second language and the culture in which it is spoken; secondly, children gain the ability to think and communicate in two (or more) languages. Within this environment, bilingualism, along with a genuine understanding and appreciation of internationalism are achieved with ease.
What are the benefits of bilingualism?
Children acquire oral and written fluency in two languages, and carry that functional ability across the entire Montessori curriculum. They become familiar and comfortable with Eastern and Western customs and traditions, and can operate successfully in both worlds.
We are not native English speakers. Shouldn't our child be focusing on learning English?
Our dual immersion approach allows students to become proficient speakers, readers and writers in both English and the second language. Maintaining their link to their country and culture of origin enhances their education as well as their understanding of themselves and their place in the world.
At PRINTS, children develop fluency in speaking, reading, and writing in two languages; they learn to express their thoughts and ideas across academic disciplines. While dedicated parents may be able to 'home-school' the parents' language(s), the students benefit greatly from our dual immersion environment as they receive constant input in two languages and engage in meaningful practices.
Particularly after the age of 6, most students in the U.S. begin to speak only English when it is the medium of instruction. Our dual immersion model continues to strengthen their language skills throughout the entire curriculum and enables them to experience the integration of language with content. Hence, they are able to conduct research, and express their understanding of concepts and ideas bilingually.
We speak Chinese, Japanese, or Spanish at home. Why should we consider a bilingual program?
Our non-bilingual parents choose a multicultural, bilingual environment for their children for a variety of reasons. Some are committed to assist foreign-born adopted children in maintaining a connection to their birth culture and language. Others see the benefits of bilingualism in assisting brain development and preparing their children to meet the increasing need for multi- lingual and multi-cultural participants in the world.
Every child has the ability to acquire more than one language. However, the process varies with the individual and with the home environment. PRINTS provides an optimal environment, where native speakers help support and enhance the child's ability and interest in the acquisition of the second language.
Can a child from an English-speaking home really become bilingual at PRINTS?