Mission Statement for the Adolescent Class:
To create an authentic Montessori learning environment incorporating service learning, stewardship of the environment, personal reflection and expression, and rigorous academic studies in order to enable students to become self-confident and self-motivated individuals who make a positive contribution to the larger communities around them.
At ECMCS, we use research on the needs and characteristics of the adolescent to shape our curriculum. When the adolescent’s needs are met, that student has greater opportunity to grow so that ultimately she can become an agent of change in her own life and in the world she lives in. This is in keeping with Maria Montessori’s goal of promoting peace, and solving many of the world’s conflicts through education.
Adolescence is a time of personal growth, search for identity, and increased social activity. Brain development leads adolescents to a greater ability for critical and abstract thinking. They also become more sensitive to the larger social environment and their role within that environment. All these characteristics create a need for good nutrition, exercise, fresh air, a safe opportunity to learn about and experience different roles, opportunities for independence, and opportunities to make social connections. Adolescents need to be able to talk and be heard, they need to be challenged, they need to serve, and they need time for quiet reflection.
Within our adolescent classroom, we provide rigorous instruction in core subject areas, as well as an integration of subject areas. Students are given regular independent work time to collaborate with their peers, complete projects, and develop time management skills. Instruction includes lab activities, small group lessons, whole group discussions, guest lectures, research, presentations, journal keeping, and portfolio development. Our middle school students spend a lot of time outside the classroom through work internships, land-based science, sustained community service, and class trips. These experiences – such as our phytoplankton monitoring project and our garden projects - keep the adolescents in touch with nature and the environment The class also runs a pizza business within the school to raise funds for class activities, learn important business skills, and develop a sense of economic independence.