Multi-age classrooms include groups of students that have an age span greater than one year. The goal of multi-age classrooms is to maximize the learning benefits and interaction among students of various ages. The teacher encourages students to help each other and to learn together. The classroom is child-centered and theme-based, with integrated curricula. Hands-on projects and experiences help to meet objectives.
A multi-age classroom offers many opportunities for students to develop skills intellectually, socially and emotionally. Students work in a collaborative environment, paralleling the workplace. At TIMA students design and produce projects through a theme- or problem-based curriculum. Students collaborate on these projects as teams and assemble a presentation. Social interaction is imperative within these teams. Practice within the educational setting prepares students for the 21st century work force.
A multi-age classroom offers all students a chance to assume leadership roles in the areas in which they excel, regardless of age. Multi-age education emphasizes building upon strengths, which builds self-esteem. Multi-age classrooms develop into "family," with emphasis on caring, cooperation and collaboration. Children are learners and teachers, the older and more advanced children guiding and providing models for younger, less advanced learners.
The multi-age classroom becomes a positive, nurturing and safe environment for its students where students learn the valuable skills of cooperation, caring, communication, respect, self-motivation, and leave with positive attitudes toward school and learning.