Adolescent Program

 

7th and 8th Grade
7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Philosophy

Mountain West Montessori Adolescent Community opened its doors in August 2011. The program continues to base its educational principles in the Montessori pedagogy and experience.

Maria Montessori's model of secondary education is based upon her understanding of the developmental needs and learning tendencies of early adolescents. As they transition physically, cognitively, socially, emotionally and morally to adulthood, the demands of puberty require more than traditional lecture-based instruction. She envisioned a school where the young would grow their own food and live close with nature; she called her program the Erdkinder, German for Earth Children.

Instead of confining students to classrooms, she proposed a community of teenagers and adults working side by side, developing a deep sense of their connection to the land and to nature in order to learn the value of work. She envisioned students, under adult supervision, developing their own micro-economy. The students would sell farm goods and other products in their own store. These farm management and store economics would form the basis of a meaningful program that would help them accomplish two key developmental tasks: becoming psychologically and economically independent. The main goal of this independence is to prepare the adolescent to escape from the pettiness of traditional schooling and engage seriously in the realities of life in society.

Areas of Study

The Erdkinder curriculum encourages self-expression through art, public speaking, and theater. Students also study languages, mathematics, science, history of civilizations, cultures, and technological innovations.

The program offered by Mountain West Montessori is implementing a SEMI-URBAN model. Here, students come from home every day and are able to experience their learning process based on the cosmic education, a principle Maria Montessori developed for her previous levels. At the same time, students from our community will have the opportunity to connect with the land that surrounds them, since our orchard provides the space necessary for their hands-on experience, social intereaction, as well as time for solitude and reflection. The curriculum includes a carpentry workshop as well as cross-fit training and theater classes.

Field Trips

Trips to museums, special presentations, interest-based sites, day trip to the city and preparations to attend the Montessori Model United Nations are done by the students in the adolescent level as a group.

Evaluation

We provide a qualitative evaluation of each child’s development, taking into account the child as a whole. Children will be evaluated for their work in class, their every day attendance and attitude, as well as by presenting written examinations to reflect the knowledge they have acquired through a given period of time. Each student's self evaluation and commitment to specific goals is part of the evaluation process.

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