The Montessori Environment: Middle School 12 to 15 years
The middle school at Childpeace weaves academic work with experiences that connect our emerging adults to the real work of adulthood. Montessori wrote and lectured about the adolescent stage of development (12 to 18 years old), but did not have the opportunity to put her ideas into practice. For the last twenty years, there has been a strong move to research, develop and establish a model approach for early adolescence (12- 15 years old) and later adolescence (15 -18 years old) that stems from a solid understanding of the unique developmental needs of this age, as Montessori prescribed.
Guided by our Montessori orientation to the needs of adolescents, lessons are mostly given in the context of class projects that address each student's need to be in a community-oriented environment that inspires them to gather new information, practice new skills and make new connections with people and ideas. This experiential learning stems from a core curriculum that substantially exceeds Oregon standards and has proven to prepare graduates for competitive high school programs. We have five central themes underlying our curriculum: Humanities, Occupations, Self-Expression, Connection to Nature and the Living Community.