Middle School Program Overview

Adolescent Program Perspective

The Adolescent Program at the Elizabeth Ann Clune Montessori School of Ithaca considers each adolescent holistically, encouraging the development of the whole person, not solely from an academic point of view.  This perspective enables the Adolescent Guides to assist the adolescents in achieving what can be extraordinary accomplishments.  Ultimately, the program guides adolescents on their journey toward becoming independent and empowered adults who can serve responsibly and compassionately to improve the world.

We seek to encourage the development of such positive qualities as: self-discipline; teamwork; responsibility; honesty; compassion; self-esteem; respect for peers, adults and the environment; independence; tolerance; equality; joy; imagination; a love of learning; commitment, contribution and service to the community; gratitude; a willingness to try new experiences; and the pursuit of excellence.

Philosophy and Content

The Adolescent Program is designed with the characteristics and needs of the early adolescent as its foundation.  Our pedagogy has its roots in the writings of Maria Montessori regarding the nature of the education of the adolescent.  Her vision, based upon her understanding of the psyschological needs of the adolescent and his/her interaction with modern society, was that of an “Erdkinder” (farm school) program.  In keeping with the philosophy behind this educational model, the goal of our program is to assist the adolescent in the awakening and defining of his/her adult self through meaningful work amidst a community of learners.

The Montessori Fundamentals

  •  a multi-age community
  •  self-directed learning experience
  • cognizance of the needs of the individual in the academic environment
  • responsibility for the physical environment
  • a Peace Curriculum, addressing conflict resolution from the classroom to the planet
  • a Practical Life Curriculum, offering students opportunities to gain and apply skills necessary for everyday life
  • activities to foster independence
  • an integrated curriculum