“The teachers must have the greatest respect for the young personality, realizing that in the soul of the adolescent, great values are hidden, and that in the minds of these boys and girls there lies all our hope of future progress and the judgment of ourselves and our times” —Maria Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence
At Nature’s Way, the Adolescent Community is composed of seventh and eighth grade students, consistent with Montessori’s planes of development. Adolescents fall into Dr. Montessori’s third plane of development, also known as the “cultural” plane, in which the student is concerned with his or her developing role in society. A student of this age is making a powerful transition from a Second-Plane intense observer and explorer of the universe (Elementary) to looking inward and asking characteristic questions:
*Who am I?
* Where do I fit in?
* How will I contribute and have meaning?
The Nature’s Way Montessori Adolescent Community strives to meet the developmental needs of the adolescent by deeply considering these key questions in all aspects of the curriculum. Throughout the plan for work and study, students will find opportunities for self-expression, intellectual stimulation, independence, collaboration, and—ultimately—finding value in their role in the community.
At this age and stage, students crave substantial work of the body and mind that is going to contribute to their immediate surroundings and that is meaningful and relevant to their individual growth. Adolescents need work that allows them opportunities to collaborate with others to solve problems in healthy ways. In the Adolescent Community, students explore different adult-like roles and experiment with meaningful work in which they care for themselves, others, and for the environment. For example, when you visit the Adolescent Community, you might see students caring for the garden and the beehive, presenting original research to their peers and teachers, or learning algebra through inquiry-based, self-paced methods. To meet this group’s needs, the Adolescent Community is a land-based program.
Our Adolescent Community students currently maintain two blogs. Take a minute to check them out!
Students in the Adolescent Community are engaged in a challenging and rigorous academic curriculum with classes in mathematics, humanities, science occupations, language arts, and Spanish. Guides carefully craft course offerings to integrate all subject areas and encourage students to dive deep into specific studies of interest. Additionally, students participate in self-expressions, community service, community work, and enrichment activities that prepare them for life beyond Nature’s Way.