From Community to Society
The Montessori adolescent program is the culmination of the child’s experience as a Montessori student. More and more Montessori schools are offering this unique program as it is designed to meet and serve the needs of children during this period of tremendous personal growth and change.
A Montessori Adolescent Program, for the 12-18 year old, is built on the foundations of the elementary.
Students are expected to bring a high level of independence and self direction, a comfort with collaborative work, and a love of learning for learning’s sake. They treat each other with respect and are comfortable with the knowledge that each person has different strengths and challenges. The manipulative materials of the elementary level are rarely present, as adolescents have moved beyond their applications and are now solidly comfortable with the more adult learning techniques of reading, discussion, and application to a task.
The adolescent curriculum is “society” and relates to the needs of their particular community. While traditional education often teaches facts that are isolated from life outside the classroom, the Montessori adolescent program offers lessons with practical applications that allow students to make improvements in that community.
“What will I use this for?” is an often-asked question of the adolescent, as he is determined to use knowledge to DO something in the world. Projects such as monitoring the neighborhood watershed, building and maintaining a large garden, baking bread, or beekeeping are real world opportunities for many lessons in science, language arts, and practical life skills. Students work as a group to find ways of making money, their first direct experiences of the economic connections in a society. The success of earning money for a job well-done is a strong source of validation for the adolescent’s skills and contributions.
Students Continue to be Agents of Their Own Learning.
Montessori adolescents continue to learn without letter grades or gold stars. Conversations with the teachers and written remarks on papers compliment the most important barometer of success: the student’s own knowledge that he has put forth his best effort. The mixed-age class supports each student in applying himself in a unique way to a group experience. Longer blocks of time each day for subject areas such as Humanities, Occupations/Sciences, and Creative Expression allow enough time for each student to follow personal threads of interest without interruption.
We create an optimal learning environment by providing the time and space for exploration and discovery. We focus on the student’s mastery of the material. Our teachers don’t simply lecture to our students. They engage them in the subject matter and then provide ample time for the students to actively, not passively, participate in the learning experience. Our students are expected to independently follow their interest and then present to their classmates and teacher what they have learned. This presentation can be oral, written, video, or some other medium, depending on the material. We intentionally give our students the space to learn about their specific interests while providing guidance and support to ensure that they stay on task and master the content.
For students pursuing higher learning, preparation for the SAT or ACT is offered in the 11th and 12th grades.
8:30am - 3:30pm
The Adolescent program is five days a week and includes students from seventh through twelfth grades.
Early Care/Late Stay
7:00am - 8:30am
3:30pm - 4:30pm
Whitegate Montessori Land School offers extended care to support our working families. During the extended day periods, the students enjoy their rich classroom environment and outdoor play opportunities.