Middle School Program
Adolescence is the passage to adulthood. Parents and educators know that maturity is not just something that happens; it is something that develops with adult assistance. Too often, adolescence becomes an artificially extended childhood or a rush to adult behavior rather than the training ground for mature adulthood. Independence and a sense of responsibility are two markers of maturity.
Studies have shown that the means to a quality education and achievement are motivation, flow, interest, strong teacher-student relations, peer collaboration and self directed and active pursuits in the classroom. According to the Carnegie Foundation, a middle school “should be a place where close, trusting relationships with adults and peers create a climate for students’ personal growth and intellectual development.” The Foundation suggests a small ‘one-house” school to eliminate fragmented learning and to encourage opportunities for teachers to develop “sustained personal relationships with students.”
Montessori middle school programs offer all of the recommended components. In studies, flow, triggered by a good fit between a person’s skills and the challenges afforded by the environment, registers very high in Montessori adolescents. In a related comparison study, Montessori students reported more support from teachers, more order in the classroom and a greater feel of emotional/psychological safety. They saw their teachers as more friendly, fair and interested in them. They felt safe from putdowns by teachers and students.
Within the framework of these components the Montessori middle school students participate in an academically rigorous program that will prepare them to succeed in a challenging high school program. The program will offer them the opportunity to pursue interests, perform independent studies, participate in creative endeavors and realize their place in the wider community.