Maria Montessori passed away before she was able to develop the adolescent curriculum fully. However, she did outline the important concept of work of not only the mind and hands, but of the body as well for these teenagers. Her original intent for adolescence is for them to reside at a boarding school to run a farm as well as run some sort of general store that sells the produce and crops that they generate on the land. This would involve executive planning for the crops, physical work for planting and harvest, as well as financial and interpersonal skills in running a small business.
This philosophy directly relates to the A1 classroom's emphasis on Community Service and our working to implement a Micro-Economy in our classroom.
Our community service, as much as possible, involves the whole adolescent - their planning (mind), their effort and physical labor (body), and then a processing and a discussion on the importance of what we did (heart). While some may say that painting an office or demo-ing a bathroom is not as valuable of work as other academically oriented learning, Maria Montessori would advocate that it is equally as valuable for the development of the whole child. Our emphasis at the Way of the Shepherd is not only sharp and curious minds, but also a focus on the whole of the child, the development of their character, virtue, and the shaping of them to become a contributing member of society.
The second piece that relates to Maria Montessori's original philosophy is a Micro-Economy. Not only is this a requirement of every adolescent classroom, it teaches them valuable planning, teamwork, and math and finance skills. As we are brainstorming and generating ideas for this, I ask for your support in these endeavors with the forethought of how much fruit it will bear in the formation of your student and the development of their academic and moral character.