Columbia, SC (WLTX) - On Friday, Google's doodle was in shape of colorful tools in honor of the 142 anniversary of the Montessori school, a learning technique that differs from the traditional school style.
Inside one particular Columbia school, the classrooms resemble many others in the state: there are students, colored pencils, and even some fish. But you will also find atypical things such as tools, little white beads in cups and teeny tiny sinks and toilets. That's because this is a Montessori School.
Karen Kuse is the Director of the Montessori School of Columbia, and is passionate about this learning technique.
"Children learn from using hands on manipulatives," Kuse explains. "They learn at their own pace which is wonderful because it means they can excel at their own pace."
"I think one of the biggest differences between traditional learning and Montessori learning is that children are taught to think critically and be problem solvers and they are really engaged in the process of their learning," said Kuse.
Montessori schools are both independent and State run in South Carolina.
"We have a saying in Montessori and it's follow the child and I think that some people believe that 'follow the child' means that the children can do whatever they want all day. And that's not really the case. What we mean is we are giving an individualized curriculum for each and every child because we want to make sure that every child is always challenged and in every subject area."
Not exactly an easy job for teachers but Kuse feels the end results are worth it.
"They are tasked with monitoring the progress of every student in their class, and the progress is always different. The teachers are catering to so many different levels and making sure that everybody is getting exactly what they need."
The Montessori School of Columbia caters to preschool and elementary school students.
It recently acquired two new buildings so are now a joint campus located off Rosewood Drive.
For further information or to contact the school, click here.