A Montessori Inspired Middle School
Montessori education is appropriate for all children. Montessori schools offer children opportunities to express their unique personalities, and help each child develop a sense of creativity, confidence, inquisitiveness, and individuality.
Teaching with a Montessori-based philosophy means honoring student's choice and giving them ownership over their learning. Teachers aim to inspire and guide students to take an active role in their learning. We allow students to share the responsibility of running their daily classroom operations. In the end, teaching in a Montessori style, grows students who have learned to love to explore, ask questions and become independent, life-long learners. Click here to find out "What is Montessori?"
Within each unit of study, it is important that students are able to experience in "real life" what they are learning about. Students need to put their new learning into context to fully understand concepts and taking field trip site visits provide invaluable experiences to ask questions of experts, explore topics more deeply, make connections between existing knowledge. Most importantly, "experiential learning" or learning through our experiences, increases learning, engagement and motivation.
In order to build a real connection with and commitment to our community, our students choose at least one community-focused project with which they continue to be involved with during the year.
Upper grade students will have the opportunity to experience one to two internships during their year. Ideally, internships last at least several hours a day during one or two weeks.
Running a Small Business: It would be tremendous opportunity for students to organize and run the daily operations of an in-house cafe style snack bar business serving the school. This small business could give students the opportunity to learn and apply the business skills of planning, ordering, accounting, inventory, marketing, budgeting and management skills.
Students will take the lead in planning the middle school events that happen throughout the year. These events may include art shows, parent nights, variety/talent shows, theater arts programs, seasonal fundraisers, science fairs, and speech/debates. Essential skills learned during events planning includes, planning, teamwork, graphic design, publication, advertising and time management.
International Tele-Exchange Schools: Using our technology, we can build relationships with communities of other Montessori middle schools internationally. We encourage and could facilitate visits and travel opportunities with students and teachers from other Montessori middle schools throughout the world.
Speech & Debates
Speech and Debate is a natural fit for the middle grades because they have strong opinions and enjoy taking a stance. Organized debate teaches students strong oral speaking skills and requires one to be a careful and critical listener. Debating is considered “active learning" and these active learning strategies are what students are called upon to use when they participate in politics and intelligent discussions, such as those within a college seminar class.
Participation in the Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) program: The National MMUN program is for middle school Montessori programs world wide. The MMUN goal is to inspire students to formulate, present and debate positions on current issues that are affecting people of the world. By assuming the perspectives of a citizen of their selected countries, MMUN develop an understanding of the needs and rights of others, learn to respect cultures, political views, and belief system of others. The insights gained from the exploration of history, geography, culture, economics and science issues worldwide is eye-opening. The MMUN experience encourages students to see how they could make a difference in the world one day.
A Montessori History
Maria Montessori began to develop her philosophy and methods in 1897, attending courses in pedagogy at the University of Rome and reading the educational theory of the previous two hundred years. In 1907, she opened her first classroom, the Casa dei Bambini, or Children's House, in a tenement building in Rome. From the beginning, Montessori based her work on her observations of children and experimentation with the environment, materials, and lessons available to them. She frequently referred to her work as "scientific pedagogy". In 1901, Maria Montessori met Alice and Leopold (Baron & Baroness) Franchetti of Città di Castello. They found many matching points between their work. Maria Montessori was invited to hold her first course for teachers and to set up a "Casa dei Bambini" at Villa Montesca the home of the Franchetti's in Città di Castello. Maria Montessori decided to move to Città di Castello where she lived for 2 years and where she refined her methodology together with Alice Franchetti. In that period, she published her book in Città di Castello, as mentioned before. The Franchetti Barons financed the publication of the book and the methodology had the name "Method Franchetti-Montessori", until the fascists ordered to cancel the baroness’ name from the Method because she was Jewish. Alice Franchetti died in 1911 at 37.
Montessori education spread to the United States in 1911 and became widely known in education and popular publications. However, conflict between Montessori and the American educational establishment, and especially the publication in 1914 of a critical booklet, The Montessori System Examined by influential education teacher William Heard Kilpatrick, limited the spread of her ideas, and they languished after 1914. Montessori education returned to the United States in 1960 and has since spread to thousands of schools there. Montessori continued to extend her work during her lifetime, developing a comprehensive model of psychological development from birth to age 24, as well as educational approaches for children ages 0 to 3, 3 to 6, and 6 to 12. She wrote and lectured about ages 12 to 18 and beyond, but these programs were not developed during her lifetime.
Montessori education also spread to India when Maria Montessori spent time there during World War II.