Our program is based on the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)
“For success in life depends in every case on self-confidence and the knowledge of one’s own capacity and the many-sided powers of adaption.” Dr. Maria Montessori From Childhood to Adolescence
Our vision is to foster joyful engagement, life-long learning, global awareness and meaningful stewardship by providing an extraordinary public Montessori program designed to challenge and inspire each student academically and meet the unique developmental needs of adolescents in Baltimore City.
Our mission is to build a diverse and respectful community of joyfully engaged learners by providing a holistic Montessori environment that supports individual fulfillment, compassion, self-discipline, lifelong learning and a deep awareness of our responsibility to contribute meaningfully to our world.
Our educational foundation is based on the principles of Montessori education, which is often referred to as“Education for Life.” Dr. Maria Montessori, who was the first female doctor in Italy, founded Montessori education in 1907. She believed that education has two purposes, encompassing both the conscious, or intellectual and physical needs of society, as well as the construction of personality so individuals are able to reach their fullest potential. Dr. Montessori spent her career studying how children learn and the types of environments that foster optimal learning experiences. What she discovered about learning over one hundred years ago is consistent with current research on brain development. Respect for children’s particular developmental stage and current sensitive period is a foundation of Montessori educational design. Baltimore Montessori’s Adolescent Community will provide students with a safe, nourishing environment based on their developmental needs and the requirements for successful living in the 21st century.
Properly educating adolescents involves knowing how they learn as individuals through their present developmental stage. Their education must be a preparation for life based on what they need developmentally. Adolescents are going through many physiological and intellectual changes and require an active learning environment that promotes problem solving, critical thinking and making connections to real-life situations.
Our program will challenge students academically and intellectually while also providing opportunities for leadership and independence appropriate for the social and emotional development of adolescents. Students are engaged in both individual and collaborative learning based on core curricula and student interests. They develop strong academic habits, expand their knowledge base and articulate their growing personal and global awareness.
Montessori pedagogy is consistent with contemporary perspectives on motivation and middle school reform. Adolescents are ready for a higher level of independence and responsibility. Within a secure environment guided by adult mentors, our students learn to make responsible and healthy choices. Providing choices is essential for motivation, particularly at the adolescent stage of development. Through the use of various planning and accountability structures, our goal is for the students to take ownership of their learning.
The most compelling need during adolescence is a sense of belonging and contribution to a community.Adolescents seek autonomy in order to establish a sense of self and self-confidence. Our students will be active participants in building a cohesive social structure through community meetings, oration, collaborative projects and a student-run business. A learning environment that promotes autonomy as well as community-mindedness will, with guidance from adult mentors, empower our adolescents not only to do their best academic work but also to understand themselves as important contributors to their community.
Our mission will be accomplished by focusing on the following guiding principles.
· Focus on the needs of adolescents and how to meet them
· Understand that adolescents’ sensitivity is the source of their remarkable compassion,joy, creativity and courage
· Understand the adolescents’ need for active learning, meaningful activity and real work
· Engage students to learn through the senses to conceptualize and generalize knowledge
· Empower our learners to feel successful by one’s own efforts
· Nurture individual aptitudes to recognize one’s strengths and challenges and discover problem-solving strategies through work
· Relate history to personal experiences - adolescents are sponges for culture if it is relevant and sparks their creative energies
· Provide an interactive environment with autonomy and opportunities to develop interests
· Offer a variety of key experiences for deeper cognitive understanding of self and the world around them
· Extend learning through creative and physical self-expression
· Build a high-octane language arts environment, with an emphasis on oral communication so that our adolescents learn to communicate effectively in a variety of situations
· Provide opportunities for students to explore science through project-based learning and opportunities for meaningful lab work
· Develop an understanding of the economic world by creating a small business using local resources - for awareness of production and exchange; integration of math, humanities and science concepts; contribution to the community; and to develop pride of ownership and economic independence
· Foster noble characteristics – integrity, generosity and responsibility through ongoing conversation, genuine social structure that balances individual needs with those of the community, adult models and entrepreneurship with social responsibility
· Provide adult mentors with unfailing compassion for adolescents and understanding of their sensitivity for justice and dignity, who work alongside and with students
· Maintain a small school environment and cultivate a sense of belonging, acceptance and relationship building through group projects and regular community meetings