Characteristics and Philosophy of Secondary Montessori Programs

The Montessori approach to learning is the educational framework for the content and structure of the curriculum, as well as the policies and procedures in our Upper School/Secondary Program.

The following characteristics describe a Secondary Program that is consistent with the Montessori approach and supportive of the developmental characteristics and needs of the adolescent.

1. The program consciously strives to create a sense of community among the faculty and students, allowing many opportunities for student participation in the planning and operation of the life of the school community.

2. The program consciously strives to introduce students into the life, functions, and social issues of the community in which they live,both through the curriculum and through field experiences, service learning,business internships, cultural exchange programs, economic endeavors, and work projects;

3. The program consciously strives to facilitate each student’s transition into adulthood through supporting the development of positive and responsible interpersonal and social skills, particularly in the areas of the relationship between the student and his/her family; relationships with peers,and relationships with the opposite sex;

4. The program allows for personalized pacing and progress where possible and appropriate;

5. The program allows students ample opportunities, interwoven throughout the curriculum to move around and work with their hands;

6. The program emphasizes a sense of collaborative and cooperative learning among its students, rather than academic competition;

7. The program encourages students to learn from their mistakes without anxiety and offers opportunities for self-reflection and self-assessment;

8. The program provides a wide range of experiential learning opportunities interwoven throughout the curriculum to allow students to learn through experience and practical application;

9. The program evaluates students on a logical, objective basis as well as through self-assessment opportunities;

10. The program offers a curriculum that is oriented toward the development of high order formal thinking, not just memorization;

11. The program offers the student a broad view of the world throughout the curriculum, emphasizing the historical development of ideas and things and an international perspective;

12. The program consciously strives to help students to develop maturity, high self-esteem, independence, responsibility, compassion, openness to new experience and learning, patience and self-discipline, acceptance of others, and satisfying social relationships; and

13. The program provides for a multi-disciplinary approach to learning and an interdisciplinary approach to program planning.

Seldin, T; Secondary Montessori Education Committee; American Montessori Society; 1978