“The role of education is to interest the child profoundly in an external activity to which he will give all of his potential.”
– Maria Montessori
Beginning in fall 2016, Christ the King Elementary School in Mandan will implement the first Catholic Montessori-based program in the diocese for children ages three through six
The staff will be engaged in extensive and ongoing training to become certified as Montessori teachers or “guides.”
Also, starting next fall, Christ the King teachers for grades one through six will begin incorporating project-based learning in their classrooms. Project-based learning incorporates a “minds on, hands on” approach to learning similar to the Montessori method. It allows students to apply traditional learning to a collaborative project that is reflective of, and relevant to real life situations. Just as with the Montessori method, there will be constant interaction, problem solving, child-to-child teaching, and multi-grade level collaboration.
Christ the King implemented the religious education program “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd” in the fall of 2015. This religious education course applies principles of the Montessori method to the instruction of the faith to children. Fr. Nick Schneider, pastor of Christ the King Church in Mandan, seeing great benefits from the Montessori-based religion program, began to consider the application of the Montessori methodology beyond the religion program at the school.
“Children want to learn. Think of what they have already taught themselves by the time they reach school age! With the Montessori method, lessons are taught individually or in small groups rather than to a whole class at once,” Fr. Schneider said. “This way, the teacher can assess the comprehension and needs of each child.”
Have you heard of Maria Montessori? She was born in 1870 in Italy and worked in education, psychiatry, and anthropology. She was the first woman in Italy to receive a medical degree. Montessori’s life work was to create an environment for children where they could fulfill their greatest potential physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The Montessori method of education stresses the importance of respecting children; the philosophy is: “Help me to help myself.”
Through extensive research and prayer, the beauty in the philosophy of allowing a child to make discoveries through his or her excitement to learn has become clear. A child’s inquisitive nature to know, to ask questions, to make discoveries and continue to learn naturally, is at the center of the Montessori method that will be implemented at Christ the King.
For more information about the Montessori-based Children’s House, or to enroll your child at Christ the King School, please call Kim Nutsch at 663-6200 or email
. You can also view Christ the King’s website at