The Outdoor Classroom


“How often is the soul of man – especially in childhood – deprived because he is not allowed to come in contact with nature?” Maria Montessori

Dr. Montessori was a scientist who had a profound reverence for the intricacies and mysteries of the outdoors-1natural world. Nurturing a deep connection to nature and inspiring wonder are integral to her educational approach. Dr. Montessori’s vision for schools was always a combination of indoor and outdoor classrooms. She believed that if children can see themselves as part of a greater universe, they can begin to understand the interconnectedness of all things.

In a society where many children suffer from “nature deficit disorder,” New World Montessori School children are fortunate to have an exceptional outdoor environment that supplements and complements their outdoors-2indoor classroom. Our beautiful garden, our three-acre prairie area, and our pond are living laboratories of the natural world. Our children love spending time in those outdoor classrooms, which they do regularly as part of our Nature Study program.

Time spent outdoors deepens every child’s awareness of interconnections and respect for all living things. Children who feel comfortable in nature also demonstrate reduced stress, an increase in curiosity, creativity and problem-solving abilities, and improved physical and emotional health.