MIDDLE SCHOOL

Ages: 12-15 years                                                                                                                            Grades :7-8

 

Ages: 12-15 years

  Grades :7-8

 

 Ages: 12-15 years

           Grades :7-8

 

Montessori School of Columbia’s Adolescent Program is designed, above all, to meet the developmental needs of adolescents between the ages of 12-15 years old. Adolescents have skills and abilities that transcend the negative stereotypes often attributed to them. We, in the Montessori community, see them as social individuals who are capable and in possession of unique talents that may someday change the world. We are committed to fostering an environment where they feel safe to succeed, fail, and learn from mistakes.

Mission, Vision, and Principles

The MSCAdolescent Community’s mission is to be a supportive and engaged learning community of adolescents that is adaptable and guided by principles of peace.

“Success in life depends in every case on self-confidence and the knowledge of one’s own capacity and many-sided powers of adaptation. The confidence of knowing how to make oneself useful, how to help mankind in many ways, fills the soul with noble confidence…with dignity.”

“Success in life depends in every case on self-confidence and the knowledge of one’s own capacity and many-sided powers of adaptation. The confidence of knowing how to make oneself useful, how to help mankind in many ways, fills the soul with noble confidence…with dignity.”

We are guided by a commitment to:

An authentic Montessori education for students ages 12-15 based on Dr. Montessori’s Plan of Study and Work.

Cultivating citizens who have a broad world view, while at the same time fostering a sense of responsibility to their local community .

Providing adolescents with a complete education through an interdisciplinary approach, opportunities for adult-like work, and a safe and nurturing environment.

Dr. Montessori’s vision of human unity and peace.

Montessori’s Plan of Study and Work

“Education therefore should include the two forms of work, manual and intellectual, for the same person, and thus make in understood by practical experience that these two kinds complete each other and are equally essential to a civilized existence.”

Practical Considerations for Social Organization (The Prepared Environment)

This is the first of the two main subsections of Maria Montessori’s plan for adolescent education. She believed that the optimal learning material for this age group consisted of a natural outdoor environment (a farm or piece of land) that could be explored, studied, nurtured, sustained, and used for entrepreneurial projects by the students. At MSC, the work of the land is found all around our classroom. We have begun working to weed and expand our established beds, as well as exploring potential opportunities around the schoolyard for additional areas to cultivate. While our urban location precludes most livestock, there is potential for establishing an apiary on the grounds. We have already begun indoor cultivation of edible sprouts and will soon be starting some mushrooms, both inside and outdoors. These opportunities for cultivation of food sources are integral to the prepared environment for adolescents. Through these experiences, students engage in research, scientific and mathematical speculation, and historical and creative endeavors based on their immediate place. “Pedagogy of Place” is a phrase that has been adopted by Montessori practitioners to describe the school site and surroundings as a living textbook over which students assume a sense of ownership, belonging, and responsibility.

Montessori dedicated half of her plan for adolescents to Practical Considerations for Social Organization. These practical life components of the adolescent community provide students with opportunities to learn to care for themselves in relationship to others. What sets this practice apart from the work in elementary classrooms are the elements of social exchange and practice in authentic economic endeavors that put students on the path toward a new level of independence. The adolescent is a “social newborn” seeking experiences in producing something of value that is appreciated and needed by their peers. The work occurs side-by-side with adults and is based on the societal structures of productions and exchange.

“Social life is not sitting in a room together or living in a city. It does not regard social relations. The essence is that something is produced which is useful to the whole of society and is changed for something else. Production and change, exchange, are the essence of social life.”

Montessori’s Plan of Study and Work

“Education therefore should include the two forms of work, manual and intellectual, for the same person, and thus make in understood by practical experience that these two kinds complete each other and are equally essential to a civilized existence.”

Practical Considerations for Social Organization (The Prepared Environment)

This is the first of the two main subsections of Maria Montessori’s plan for adolescent education. She believed that the optimal learning material for this age group consisted of a natural outdoor environment (a farm or piece of land) that could be explored, studied, nurtured, sustained, and used for entrepreneurial projects by the students. At MSC, the work of the land is found all around our classroom. We have begun working to weed and expand our established beds, as well as exploring potential opportunities around the schoolyard for additional areas to cultivate. While our urban location precludes most livestock, there is potential for establishing an apiary on the grounds. We have already begun indoor cultivation of edible sprouts and will soon be starting some mushrooms, both inside and outdoors. These opportunities for cultivation of food sources are integral to the prepared environment for adolescents. Through these experiences, students engage in research, scientific and mathematical speculation, and historical and creative endeavors based on their immediate place. “Pedagogy of Place” is a phrase that has been adopted by Montessori practitioners to describe the school site and surroundings as a living textbook over which students assume a sense of ownership, belonging, and responsibility.

Montessori dedicated half of her plan for adolescents to Practical Considerations for Social Organization. These practical life components of the adolescent community provide students with opportunities to learn to care for themselves in relationship to others. What sets this practice apart from the work in elementary classrooms are the elements of social exchange and practice in authentic economic endeavors that put students on the path toward a new level of independence. The adolescent is a “social newborn” seeking experiences in producing something of value that is appreciated and needed by their peers. The work occurs side-by-side with adults and is based on the societal structures of productions and exchange.

“Social life is not sitting in a room together or living in a city. It does not regard social relations. The essence is that something is produced which is useful to the whole of society and is changed for something else. Production and change, exchange, are the essence of social life.”

Educational Syllabus

In the second section of her plan, Montessori outlined an Educational Syllabus. Courses of study are introduced and explored through a project-based approach that spans the disciplines of human knowledge and are balanced with work that nurtures the intellectual, spiritual, physical, and emotional well being of every student. This syllabus is divided into three sections as follow:

1. Self-Expression

Adolescence is a time of profound introspection paired with a strong desire to belong to a group This is why we sometimes call adolescents “social newborns” and provide them with opportunities that support new levels of adult-like independence and interdependence. Adolescents are asking questions like “Who am I?”, “Where do I fit in?”, and “How can I contribute?” These are personal questions that must be explored in order to establish a new identity;therefore, self-expression is essential developmental work and makes up a large part of the syllabus.

2. Psychic Development

refers to those intellectual gifts we all have that put us in relation to others. Language and Mathematical thinking are the human intelligences that connect us; they form the foundation of our character; therefore, morality cannot be separated from these subjects.

3. Preparation for Adult Life

Life encompasses all of the knowledge that we as a species have accumulated and used to form and build societies through time. Subjects organized under this section of the syllabus include the humanities and sciences.