The Nine Principles

Dandelion Montessori Coop is part of the Wildflower Montessori Network, which is an open-source model for shopfront Montessori lab schools that re-envision Montessori by blurring the boundary between home-schooling and institutional schooling, while broadening the interactions between teachers, parents and children and the community at large. Dandelion holds the nine principles (listed below) as organizing factors in the school environment:

Providing a peaceful, mixed-age, child-directed learning environment: Dandelion Montessori was formed to create an authentic, peaceful and child-directed Montessori environment for toddlers aged 17 months to 32 months. Our classroom will be growing into the traditional 3 – 6 Children’s house classroom in the 2016-2017 year, and our Montessori credentialed teachers will configure the classroom to support them through this transition.

We are committed to remaining small, integrated in the community, and responsive to the needs of the children: Our founding families built this school to seed an intentional and supportive community, and we are excited to create deep connections between the school and the Inman Square neighborhood through thoughtful curriculum, use of public space in the neighborhood, and inviting neighborhood families into our space during outreach events.

in the park

Serving as a research setting dedicated to advancing the Montessori Method in the context of the modern world: We balance the time honored traditions of an authentic Montessori philosophy with the innovation-driven perspectives of research and experimentation. We understand Montessori practice to be a cycle of observation and responsiveness to that which is observed. We value the consistent application of principles of scientific research and look to the insights that emerge from that research to influence evolving practices in our classrooms. We aim to develop and produce curriculum, Montessori materials, and environmental items under the guidance of design and education professionals.

Blurring the boundaries of home-schooling and institutional schooling by placing high priority on parent education and giving parents an integral role in the classroom: The families of Dandelion Montessori Coop understand the important role parents have to play in the education of our children and welcome the opportunity to be an active part of our children’s education. We have demonstrated our commitment to learning about authentic Montessori through Wildflower programming, individual research, and parent education. We believe that apprenticing at the co-op will help develop our skills in creating the ideal child-directed environment at home and school.

child washing hands

Bringing richness to the learning environment by giving the children opportunities to observe and interact with adults doing day-to-day creative work: Dandelion Montessori Coop aims to support developmentally appropriate interactions with art throughout our children’s education. Our space has been crafted as a sensorially and educationally rich environment by our parents under the guidance of a LEED certified architect and founding parent. We seek to provide experiences with art and movement that help our children to experience beauty and focused attention in their everyday developmental work. As our children become more able to empathize with the work of others, we will provide more opportunities for children to observe the everyday work of artists in the community.

Fostering socioeconomic diversity in the classroom and working to maintain accessibility regardless of means: We are committed to our school reflecting the socioeconomic diversity of the community. We keep tuition as low as possible to ensure accessibility and offer scholarships to families as we can. We are also committed to building diversity through outreach programs which may include free or low-cost parenting courses and playgroups that introduce community families to the Montessori method.

Emphasizing the nonseparation between nature and human nature through a unique living-classroom design and extensive time in nature: From our design that brings nature inside the classroom, to our teachers’ activities set outside in the neighborhood parks and public spaces, Dandelion Montessori values nature and aims to help our children understand their role in supporting nature as it supports us.

Working with the community to improve local parks, streets, and establishments to create an urban environment that is healthier for children: We make choices that support our children, their bodies, and our neighborhood. We source locally and organically as possible, and we honor our responsibility to both shape and be shaped by the neighborhood.

Advancing an ecosystem of independent Wildflower schools that mutually support one another: Though we are a small and independent school, we benefit from the professional and organizational resources of the Wildflower Network. Through the network, we gain access to knowledge, wisdom, and the power of a group of Montessori experts who have demonstrated commitment to Wildflower’s principles in their work throughout the years. We give back to this community as we can, and support all families seeking Montessori education.

Dandelion Classroom