the three year cycle
A fundamental feature of Montessori education is the "Three Year Cycle." Each developmental cycle provides the child with the consistency of the same classroom and community setting and often the same teacher for three consecutive years. Over a three-year period children have the opportunity to develop and learn at their own pace. The younger children benefit from observing the work of the older children, while the oldest children solidify their knowledge and positive sense of self by helping their younger classmates.
Mixed ages live and work together as in a family group. Those who are developing more slowly in a particular area have more time, while others maturing more rapidly in a certain area may continue to progress and not be held back simply because of chronological age. Cobb School children have the opportunity to enjoy the experience of being cared for and guided by older friends, and in due course the further opportunity of taking the responsibility of many and varied leadership roles as they progress from being younger to more senior members of the class. It is therefore in the best interest of the child’s development and essential to the program to spend at least three years at the Primary and each of the Elementary levels.