The period of adolescence has been compared to the first plane of development by Dr. Maria Montessori.
She identified both as periods of great transformation – physically and mentally. Task commitment and concentration continue to be of great importance to the Montessori adolescent. His or her psychic development is to articulate a personal vision with a motto of, “Help me to think for myself.” This requires time for solitude and personal reflection, along with time for dialogue with his or her teacher(s) and circle of peers.
The major characteristics or “ages” of early adolescence are:
The focus of the adolescent is on camaraderie, fellowship, companionship and teamwork. Peer relationships are crucial with the peer group as the adolescent’s first priority.
The adolescent mind turns from elementary thoughts of the universe toward themselves and their peer group. Adolescents need to know how they feel and what they want by drawing conclusions, listening and synthesizing. They need to their reasoning to be listened to, to be empowered to seek solutions and to discuss their conclusions.
The adolescent’s vital force has a special intensity – potentially burning out control but, if channeled, capable of moving mountains. The adolescent has an astonishing capacity to work and an unquenched thirst for adventure and self-discovery.
The adolescent feels challenged to understand what is expected of him or her as an adult.
The adolescent confronts and deals with human nature in a unique way by confronting powerful dilemmas, mysterious forces and contradictions of life. The major “needs” of the Montessori adolescent are:
- The need to work.
- The need to be challenged.
- The need of earth (land).
- The need to build community.
- The need to develop a personal vision.
The curriculum of Maria Montessori School is the result of a three year research and development project which involved site visits to three Montessori middle or high schools in San Antonio, Chicago, and Portland. An exhaustive national and local study of the major content curriculums (in terms of performance standards and lifelong learning objectives) was conducted. It is the belief of the Maria Montessori staff that the middle school curriculum meets or surpasses those of local private and public schools while embracing Montessori methodology.
Middle School day begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3:15 p.m.
If you are interested in learning more about the Elementary Environment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.