Dr. Montessori had a medical, psychological, psychiatric, and educational background. Through scientific observation, she identified the following four different planes of development that children pass through before they reach maturity:
Arborland Montessori Junior High School focuses on the third plane of development, referred to by Dr. Montessori as “The Adolescent Years.” In her book, To Educate The Human Potential, Dr. Montessori said, “The child comes into the third plane, holding lightly in his mind the seeds of interest which will be capable of later germination as the will becomes more directive.” Education needs to take into consideration the psychological characteristics of the child, not only the curriculum, syllabus, and schedules.
At the beginning of the third plane, 12-15 year olds go through great physical changes as their bodies suddenly develop and great psychological changes as the opinions of their peer group becomes more important than the opinions of their family. Taking these developmental changes into consideration, Arborland provides junior high students the opportunity to develop social, economical and emotional independence in addition to a rigorous academic curriculum.
For example, Service Learning is a key component of the junior high curriculum geared toward addressing adolescent physical and psychological changes. According to their interests, junior high students plan experiences to give back to the community, whether it is planting a garden, reading to the elderly, or cleaning up the beach. From start to finish, the students brainstorm an idea, contact the location, organize the logistics, and perform the service. Some experiences may potentially provide them with the opportunity to earn dollars for a classroom economy as they understand the costs of running a business like a car wash or a school snack stand. Students now only feel proud of what they accomplished, but are gaining hands-on, practical skills for life that are appropriate for their developmental level.
Mentorship is another key component of the junior high curriculum geared toward helping the students through adolescence. Teenagers are notorious for rebelling against family, but if paired with an adult mentor in a professional business setting, the student will still receive adult guidance and exposure to a potential future career interest. Guidance is provided by the teacher, with the permission of parents.
Social adjustment is another main focus at this stage. We help the child become a socially contributing individual by helping them recognize their strengths and weaknesses. Exposing them to the nobility of humanity, to the heights to which human beings can reach. Adolescents have an urgent desire to build and understand connections, and they need to know the relevance of what they are learning in connection to the real world. Children are encouraged to question what is presented to them. The teacher incorporates Socratic questioning into her lessons. As the program progresses, teachers will include lessons to develop financial independence and self reliance.
Interested in learning more about Arborland Montessori Junior High? Check out our website at https://www.arborland.com/junior-high.