MIR's Student Learner Outcomes (SLOs) form the basis of the educational program for every student.
Sensorial: MIR students will have the ability to use their senses to understand their abstract and concrete experiences in the world around them.
Practical Life: MIR students will have the ability and the desire to care for themselves, others, and their environments.
Language: MIR students will be competent in expressing themselves in written and spoken language and competent in their understanding of the written and spoken words of others.
Mathematics: MIR students will be skillful in abstraction and reasoning. They will possess the ability to use deductive and inductive reasoning to solve symbolic and practical mathematical problems.
Science: MIR students will have a conscious awareness and understanding of the natural world and its order. They will have the ability to recognize and use the basic methods of scientific inquiry.
Cultural Subjects: MIR students will create a foundation for the appreciation of the humanities and the arts. They will have a sense of historical perspective, an understanding of one’s place in the world, and gratitude for the accomplishments of those who came before them.
Moral and Character Development: MIR students will possess a strong sense of self. They will be capable, responsible, and accountable to themselves.
Social Development: MIR students will contribute positively to their school, local, and global community. They will cooperate with others and proactively seek resolution of conflict.
Executive Functioning: MIR students will build a foundation for learning by practicing inhibitory control, time management, working memory, and cognitive flexibility.
Executive functioning is so important to success in life that MIR explicitly includes it in its SLOs. Executive functioning skills include working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control--the skills that we need to set goals, plan, and get things done.
This whitepaper, “Optimal Developmental Outcomes,” describes the social, moral, cognitive, and emotional dimensions of Montessori education in more detail.
Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child produced the video below, which discusses the importance of executive functioning skills to life and learning. Many of the classrooms featured are Montessori classrooms.
To measure student progress against MIR’s SLOs, teachers use a mix of formative assessment and academic achievement assessment. Formative assessment includes the teacher’s ongoing observation of and interaction with the children to assess their individual progress and support their learning across all SLOs.
MIR students in grades 3-6 participate in standardized testing to practice their conventional test-taking skills. The test results can also serve as one additional data point to help teachers and parents understand students’ strengths and challenges. MIR uses the TerraNova3 test.
MIR students as a whole consistently perform mostly above grade level on the TerraNova test. Overall results are reported in our Annual Reports. Individual student results vary for many reasons.
In a conventional environment, children are given a set amount of time to master predetermined content. Therefore, assessment is focused on their progress within the given timeframe. Methods used include tests, homework assignments, and written reports. Grades are the rubric to communicate children's mastery within the set timeframe.
Time is the most important factor for assessment in this model. Students are compared with each other to develop a norm-referenced scale (often a “bell curve”).
Mastery is sacrificed in this model—children who do not master content must still move on to new content in time with their peers. Conversely, students who master concepts too quickly may be under-challenged.
Montessori flips the model, allowing each child the time they need to ensure mastery. Because each student moves at their own pace, assessment is continuous and individual, and students are not compared with each other. The result is a more well-rounded education that meets a child where they are and is non-punitive in assessment.