Adolescent Program

Mountainside Montessori School is an MEPI (Montessori Educational Programs International) official internship site at the adolescent level.

“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. . . . If social progress is realized through the succession of the generations, then these children . . . will become more highly developed than their adult teachers.”

–Maria Montessori, “From Childhood to Adolescence”

Adolescents need to construct themselves as responsible individuals who participate as contributing members of society. The Adolescent asks: “Who am I? Where do I fit in? What contribution can I make? How can I participate?” Adolescence is a time of dramatic change, including profound changes in the structure of the brain. The Adolescent program of Mountainside Montessori (for students 12 to 15 years old) approaches the challenges of adolescence as opportunities for self awareness and growth.

The Adolescent program at Mountainside:

  • Provides a supportive learning environment;
  • Offers a stimulating syllabus to meet or exceed state and local school standards;
  • Allows each young person to develop his or her unique strengths while learning about the roles and responsibilities of adult society.

The Adolescent program is organized around Maria Montessori’s plan of work and study for adolescents. Lessons reveal the relationship between knowledge and responsibility, and emphasize human invention and discovery.

Students are expected to bring a high level of independence and self-direction, a comfort with collaborative work, and a love of learning for learning’s sake. They treat each other with respect and are comfortable with the knowledge that each person has different strengths and challenges. The manipulative materials of the Elementary program are rarely present, as adolescents have moved beyond their applications and are now solidly comfortable with the more abstract, adult learning techniques of reading, discussion, and application to a task.

The program’s curricular offerings include:

  • A full complement of challenging academics;
  • An introduction to human society based on the economic imperatives of farm work;
  • Field and research trips to libraries, laboratories, museums, and theaters.

The Adolescent program syllabus includes:

  • Math
  • Language
  • Spanish
  • Ethics/Logic
  • Sciences
  • History
  • Art History / Culture & Expression
  • Art
  • Practical subjects: Opportunities to apply knowledge of math, language, and the sciences. Specific aspects of production (fields, greenhouse) and exchange (sales, marketing, recordkeeping) as well as domestic roles (cooking, cleaning, repairs).

4H_LogoMountainside Montessori’s Adolescent Program now includes a 4-H Livestock Club! Please click here for more information.



Click here for a Washington Post article on one actress’s experience in the 4-H Program, and the life lessons participants gain.


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