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Education is constantly evolving to improve the learning development process by encouraging good values and social responsibility at an early age. We talked with educators from schools and non-profit entities in the area and asked them to share insights into their academic environment, teaching philosophies and community involvement.



THE NEWGATE SCHOOL TIM SELDIN, HEAD OF SCHOOL SHARE YOUR TEACHING PHILOSOPHY. We believe that children are born intelligent, curious and filled with a sense of wonder, and we put our energy into cultivating their personality and intelligence from a very young age when learning comes easily and unconsciously. The basic idea of all Montessori is to recognize that children are real human beings, not empty vessels into which we pour curriculum. Each child is unique and learns in their own way, at their own pace. One of our mantras is “Follow the child.” Our teachers have the flexibility to do whatever it takes to help a child succeed, working closely with the same students for several years in a culture of partnership and respect. Together we create lifelong learning and deep understanding, not just the ability to pass multiple-choice standardized tests. In Montessori, our students learn by doing and solving real problems. A child of six or seven will learn the table of elements while conducting experiments; a group of students in ages ranging from six to sixteen perform dissections with the help of a scientist. Our elementary students produce a children’s opera and full-scale Shakespeare play every year, and our older students do intensive sessions at Florida Studio Theatre. Students learn history by literally creating a living civilization, making their own costumes and tools and then writing and performing plays to bring a past time and place to life. They also create “archaeological digs,” in which each team invents an imaginary civilization, prepares artifacts and written materials in a created language, buries them for the other team to dig them up and learn about the culture through artifacts left behind. We teach things in very pragmatic ways that help our students develop a passion for learning. We create joyful scholars.

“We ‘follow the child’ and adapt to whatever they need, creating a collaborative learning environment in which kids are learning from each other and from the teacher.” The NewGate School

5237 Ashton Road, Sarasota, FL 34233 Phone: 941-922-4949 •

The NewGate School is an international, coeducational, non-sectarian, college preparatory Montessori school in Sarasota. NewGate is the Lab School of The Montessori Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of Montessori education in the United States and abroad. Head of School Tim Seldin is also president of The Montessori Foundation. Under his leadership the school develops curriculum and best practices for Montessori schools around the world. The goal of The NewGate School is to nurture intelligence, curiosity and imagination while supporting and developing each students' unique talents. Classrooms are carefully prepared environments for learning and discovery, set up to facilitate student discussion and stimulate collaborative learning. There are no rows of desks facing a large blackboard, but rather warm inviting spaces filled with plants, animals, art, music and books. Much of the curriculum takes place outdoors as students also learn to be stewards of their environment. The NewGate School teaches universal values and instills a global perspective, responsible citizenship, and encourages an entrepreneurial spirit. The aim is to graduate young people who are balanced between their knowledge and character so they become life-long learners, critical thinkers and active leaders in their local community, their country and the world. By 2015, The NewGate School hopes to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to all of its students. This internationally recognized program is the equivalent of two years of university work. New Gate’s graduates go on to succeed in university and in life.

SRQ Education Roundtable  

From SRQ magazine, May, 2013

SRQ Education Roundtable  

From SRQ magazine, May, 2013