The Montessori Adolescent Program

On top of preparing the student in the discipline of university life, she puts together a Prepared Environment that simulates the socio-­‐economic world of the adult, the adolescent’s next world.

"But, above all, it is the education of adolescents that is important, because adolescence is the time when the child enters the state of manhood and becomes a member of society."

The farm becomes the milieu for production and exchange, a dynamic micro-­economy where the adolescent explores his evolving sense of dignity (or self-­‐worth) and justice (service to others).

“This is the time, the ‘sensitive period’ when there should develop the most noble characteristics that would prepare a man to be social, that is to say, a sense of justice and a sense of personal dignity.”

He discovers that his need to count and be counted on are being addressed by his roles in the community.

He lives this life in school, experiencing the rudiments of hard work, industry, community, service and leadership.

“The essential reform is this: to put the adolescent on the road to achieving economic independence . We might call it a ‘school of experience in the elements of social life.'"

The farm engages theories of classroom experience with practical applications in the field, thus addressing the relevance of academic pursuits to real life.

"Education should therefore include the two forms of work, manual and intellectual,

for the same person, and thus make it understood by practical experience that these two kinds complete each other and are equally essential to a civilized existence."

The adolescent raises swine for his socio-economic experience but engages biology to study its anatomy.

They explore the theories of Pythagoras and use the same to measure the area of raw land for farming.

"The adolescent must never be treated as a child, for that is a stage of life that he has surpassed. It is better to treat an adolescent as if he had greater value than he actually shows than as if he had less and let him feel that his merits and self-respect are disregarded."


In the mornings, regular academic classes are held in small groups for maximized interaction and connectivity.

The afternoons are occupied either with one-on-one consultation and coaching or Great Work.

Great Work are individual or collaborative activities that require creative work and thus larger chunks of time.  Creative work involves intellectual conceptualization (head), affective or spiritual motivation (heart) and manual execution of the idea (hand).

Dr Montessori’s program also places great emphasis on Self-Expression.

"The chief symptom of adolescence is a state of expectation, a tendency towards creative work and a need for the strengthening of self-confidence."

Not only in a phenomenon she describes as the ‘Valorization’ of the adolescent’s being through his contribution in a micro-economy is Self-Expression explored,  it is also offered in a number of opportunities :

“The first reform in education must be to offer a wider environment and to multiply the possibilities of association and activity.  It is during the period of adolescence that interest in the construction and functioning of society presents itself in germinal form in the individual consciousness.”

Contents

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