It was a morning of both teaching and learning for Umbra’s PYHD 430: Human Development in Culture on Friday. Students in the course visited two local schools – Scuola Media Statale San Paolo, a public middle school, and Scuola Primaria Statatle Maria Montessori “P. Ciabatti”, a Montessori elementary school – to give English lessons and to observe, respectively.
At Scuola Media Statale San Paolo, three teams of Human Development students presented English language activities they had prepared to an engaged crowd of eighth-graders. The exercises were designed to encourage participants to speak English, teach a bit about American culture, and to be participatory and age-appropriate. Judging by the enthusiasm of the crowd, it seems like the Human Development class succeeded!
The group then moved onto Scuola Primaria Statale Maria Montessori. There they visited a variety of different classrooms, from first grade to fifth, to observe the Montessori Method in practice. The visual and tactile education techniques, which use props, colors, and movement, the distinct, student-centered room layout, and the independence given to such young pupils made an impression on the Human Development students. As Madeline Harwood of Roanoake College reflects, “I thought the school was so enlightened, especially in the amount of respect teachers and students have for one another, even when the students are so young.” The school visits will inspire two presentations throughout the remainder of the semester: one on teaching, the other on Italian culture in general.
To view the course description for PYHD 430: Human Development in Culture, click here.