High school serves as a transition period for college. It is a crucial time for students so they are prepared and equipped to deal with the challenges of higher education where the environment and processes are totally different from what they are used to.
Does Montessori have high school? Yes, Montessori does have high school. There are very few though. There are only about 150 Montessori high schools in the country. The numbers are too low compared to over 5,000 Montessori preschool and elementary schools.
How High Does Montessori Go?
Montessori education extends from infancy to adulthood, encompassing various developmental stages. Montessori education begins with infant and toddler preschools, followed by primary (3-6 years old), elementary (6-12 years old), and secondary (12-18 years old) programs. The Montessori approach to learning adapts to each stage, fostering independence, critical thinking, and a love for learning.
Why There are Few Montessori High Schools
Montessori education focuses on early childhood education. Montessori schools focus on young children in preschool and elementary age
High school students are considered adolescents. After years of early childhood Montessori education, they are believed to be ready and fully equipped to handle higher education and face the real world.
This is the main reason there are very few Montessori high schools today. It is important to remember though, that the Montessori method is designed for students of all ages. Even adolescents can benefit greatly from Montessori education.
“Education should therefore include the two forms of work, manual and intellectual, for the same person, and thus makes it understood by practical experiences that those two kinds complete each other and are equally essential to a civilized existence.” – Dr. Maria Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence
Montessori high school teaches advanced courses in language arts like foreign languages, sciences, mathematics, social studies, visual and performing arts, physical fitness and health, service learning or community service, and field studies like apprenticeship and entrepreneurship.
The high school curriculum is more complex and designed to equip Montessori students with the tools they need for college or to start a career or business. Montessori students learn time management, decision-making, critical thinking, and organization.
Hands-on experiential learning is even more important in Montessori high school. Montessori high school students are on the brink of adulthood. They need to master the skills they need to become a productive member of society.
High school Montessori education is deeply rooted in hands-on experiential learning. Students learn how to start a business, develop a working business plan, and even secure funding for their business. Other students start working as an apprentice in their fields of interest.
Students in Montessori high school complete complex projects like research and presentation to demonstrate their mastery of concepts and culmination of learning.
Montessori high school emphasizes the importance of serving the community and the world. Students learn compassion for others and care for the environment.
Through community service, students develop a love for others and nature, and a responsibility to help and change the world for the better.
Success in Montessori means achieving personal goals and becoming good individuals.
Like all Montessori classrooms, high school Montessori classrooms still revolve around the child-centered approach.
It enables students to practice self-regulation within a group context, manage their own time, organizes themselves, and exercise creative choices.
Montessori high school classrooms are grouped into different age levels. Mostly 3 age levels that range from 12-18.
Students rely on each other, teach each other, and learn from one another. They form a supportive community that forms a strong bond resulting in lifelong friendships.
It promotes opportunities for collaborative work with peers and student leadership through:
- Regular community meetings led by the students
- Inquiry-based problem-solving activities and applied scientific methods that promote perspectives, opinions, thoughts, and learning styles.
- Appreciation of differences and building compassionate and respectful relationships.
The high school Montessori classroom allows for uninterrupted work for two hours or more. It honors the student’s creative choices, fosters concentration and engagement, allows deeper learning, and gives opportunities to do collaborative work and projects.
Montessori education uses the spiral curriculum for more effective learning. The spiral curriculum spreads out learning concepts over the school period instead of concentrating it on one short period. Each concept is revisited regularly as more information is added. Each topic is deepened in complexity as the student and teacher circle back.
A spiral curriculum allows mastery, deeper understanding, and better retention. Students are not bombarded with so much information all at once.
The high school Montessori classroom focuses on independence, respect, and responsibility.
- A community within the classroom that provides opportunities to engage and participate in classroom governance and other leadership activities.
- Experience in nature that develops respect, love, and care for the environment.
- Micro-economic learning experiences learning to create and run a business.
- Ethical, proper, appropriate, and responsible use of technology.
There are no Montessori high schools in our area, what is my best option? Without Montessori options, your next available choice is a traditional public or private school. Consult your Montessori school. They can give you better advice on where to go next. Research high schools in your area, take a school tour and ask around.
Are Montessori high school students ready to start a business after graduation without going to college? Montessori prepares students for college, a career, or entrepreneurship. Most successful business tycoons and innovators are Montessori education like the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, and the founders of Google, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin.
Can Montessori students adjust to traditional high school education? Yes, they can. Montessori students are resilient and can adapt to any environment. They are confident in their academic abilities and they are socially adept to deal with other people. There will be an adjustment period for sure, but they will do just fine with your support.
So are there Montessori high schools? Yes, Montessori does have high school. There are very few though. There are only about 150 Montessori high schools in the country. The numbers are too low compared to over 5,000 Montessori preschool and elementary schools.
The adolescent period is challenging for students. They are not just transitioning to bigger things in their education, they are also dealing with puberty and physical and psychological changes. Their home and school life must provide support and nurture to help them succeed. Montessori education supports students’ long-term psychological health and overall well-being.