Adolescent Program Philosophy
The Montessori philosophy for adolescents, also known as Montessori Erdkinder (Earth Children), builds upon the principles of the early childhood Montessori approach. It recognizes that the needs and characteristics of adolescents are distinct and require a different educational approach. The Montessori adolescent program aims to support the holistic development of adolescents as they transition into adulthood, nurturing their intellectual, emotional, social, and practical skills.
Key elements of the Montessori philosophy for adolescents include:
Prepared Environment: Montessori adolescent programs typically include a farm or outdoor environment where students engage in meaningful, hands-on work. This environment provides opportunities for adolescents to connect with nature, develop practical life skills, and explore their interests in a real-world context.
Integrated Curriculum: The curriculum in Montessori adolescent programs is interdisciplinary, integrating various subjects and providing connections between academic knowledge and real-life experiences. Students explore subjects such as mathematics, sciences, humanities, arts, and practical life skills in a meaningful and interconnected way.
The mathematics curriculum provides an understanding of measurement, number sense and numeration, geometry, algebra, data management, and probability. Additionally, math is applied to real work “occupation” projects like the management of the Café Anglais or cost analysis of hydroponic vegetable production. It is also interwoven into their weekly cooking program.
The science curriculum is based on the principles of Scientific Method, discovery and the interdependence of humans and nature, both living and nonliving. Students study Ecology, Geology, Botany, Biology, Physics and Chemistry over the course of the two year program.
Language Arts: Writing is an art form used to crystallize adolescents’ own thoughts and emotions while communicating to an audience. The students’ language arts work permeates through all disciplines. Within the language arts program students focus on word study, vocabulary, fables, debate, genres, essay writing, persuasive writing and journaling.
Students continue their French studies in the areas of conversation, reading, writing and grammar.
Humanities encompasses all areas that help define our humanness: history, literature, politics and political geography, current events, and the arts.
In our music program students learn technique and theory, as well as music history, appreciation and genre study.
The students experience the following in our visual arts program: Skill development & appreciation, principles of design: form, balance, perspective, colour harmony, and industrial design, experimentation with different types of mediums and materials and exploration of both classical and contemporary art.
Physical Education, Health and Wellness: Our program looks at the health of the whole adolescent. It includes various physical activities, which are a combination of individual and group sport. The physical aspect of the program is complemented by presentations and discussion on human sexuality, nutrition, substance abuse, protection of self and other and stress management.
Experiential Learning: Montessori adolescent education emphasizes experiential learning, where students actively participate in projects, field studies, internships, and community service. They have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world situations, fostering a sense of purpose, responsibility, and civic engagement.
Self-Directed Learning: Adolescents in Montessori education have the freedom to follow their interests and passions while engaging in self-directed learning. They are encouraged to set goals, manage their time, and take responsibility for their education. Teachers serve as guides and mentors, providing support, resources, and guidance as needed.
Community and Collaboration: Montessori adolescent programs emphasize the importance of community and collaboration. Students work together on group projects, participate in discussions, and engage in activities that promote teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. The community aspect of Montessori education helps adolescents develop a sense of belonging, social responsibility, and respect for others.
Entrepreneurship and Leadership: Montessori adolescent programs often incorporate opportunities for entrepreneurship and leadership development. Students may initiate and run their own small businesses or engage in projects that involve planning, decision-making, and problem-solving. These experiences help adolescents develop independence, self-confidence, and a sense of agency. Students in our Adolescent Program run their own business called Café Anglais. Café Anglais runs every Thursday after school selling fresh baked goods to the greater school community. The students produce the product, manage the finances and marketing and organize themselves independently.
Evaluations, grades, tests and homework
Grades 7 & 8 are a transition period between Elementary and High School. At Humberside Montessori School, students are introduced to the concept of grades, tests and deadlines. Homework becomes a more regular part of their daily school life in preparation for high school.
Overall, the Montessori philosophy for adolescents aims to provide an education that prepares young people for the challenges and responsibilities of adulthood. It fosters a love for learning, critical thinking skills, self-motivation, and a deep sense of connection to the world around them. The Montessori approach recognizes the unique needs and potential of adolescents and seeks to empower them to become active, engaged, and compassionate members of society.