How Many Montessori High Schools Are There – Finding the right Montessori school is challenging enough. Much more so when it comes to Montessori high school. There isn’t a lot despite the growing numbers of Montessori schools.
How many Montessori high schools are there? It is quite rare to find a Montessori high school today even with the increasing number of Montessori schools opening every year. Today, there are only about 150 Montessori high schools out of the 5,000 or more Montessori schools throughout the country. Montessori secondary programs have students ranging from ages 12 to 18 years old. It covers both middle school and high school.
Why There Are Very Few Montessori High School
Montessori education was originally designed for young children. High school students are no longer considered children but adolescents. This is the main reason why Montessori schools only go through elementary grades.
Although the Montessori approach is being used for people of all ages across different industries, the number of Montessori high schools has not grown as fast as we want it to.
Montessori schools invest primarily in early childhood education. Most schools believe that adolescents are in a different developmental stage and require other sets of programs to address their needs.
The Montessori Approach to Secondary Education
Montessori uses the same Montessori method to help high school students prepare for higher education, develop good character traits, and learn practical life skills using effective teaching techniques appropriate for their age.
Montessori focuses on the child’s overall development needs and learning requirements. It follows the child’s interests, regardless of age.
In high school, students’ interests become complex and more focused. Most Montessori high school students have realized their life goals, career paths, and areas of study to focus on by now.
For example, some students want to focus on music and arts, while some might want to start learning about running a business. Montessori provides various learning programs to give them the opportunities to explore those interests and learn in the actual environment.
Students Make their Learning Choices and Manage Their Own Time
Montessori high school students get to choose areas of study they want to focus on. Montessori meanwhile provides the environment that gives them a mile opportunities to master that subject so they can prepare for the next step – higher education and life after school.
Students are given free rein on pursuing their areas of interest. They manage their own time given the right tools for learning.
Montessori high school is the transition period for adulthood. It is the time when students need to master self-management and make good choices.
Self-Discipline and Responsibility
Montessori high school education puts more emphasis on self-discipline and responsibility for one’s own learning. Students will soon leave the safe corners of the Montessori environment, they need to be self-reliant and responsible.
The Montessori activities and learning materials teach students self-assessment and self-regulation which leads to developing self-discipline. While they develop responsibility for their own learning and growth by allowing them to make independent choices and learn from their mistakes.
The secondary program of Montessori is the training ground for adulthood.
Independent and Collaborative Work
The Montessori classroom gives high school students opportunities to work independently at their own pace and work with their peers to achieve their learning goals.
High school students learn to rely on their abilities and the help of their classmates instead of getting teacher instructions or directions.
Solo work develops independence while collaborative work develops social interaction skills and positive behavior in dealing with others.
Uninterrupted Work Periods
Montessori students are given enough time to do their tasks and finish them at their own pace. Teachers observe and supervise but they do not interfere.
These uninterrupted work periods can last 3 hours or more. This allows children to focus and develop concentration.
Uninterrupted work periods give students enough space and time to gain a deeper understanding. Montessori believes that a focused student is a happy student.
The spiral curriculum of Montessori exposes students to interrelated topics and concepts that are repeated over time at increasing levels.
By repeating topics and adding more information over time, students gain a better understanding of their subjects.
The spiral curriculum does not require students to master a topic at a given time. This eliminates the pressure of learning at the same time as their peers. Montessori, after all, respects each student’s learning style and pace.
Montessori high school students are put in groups of 2 to 3-year age range. It forms a small community where they can practice and learn to become productive members of society.
In the Montessori classroom, children are given different opportunities to develop leadership through collaborative work like:
- Regular community meetings led by the students.
- Stimulating activities that encourage diversity in learning style, pace, thoughts, and perspectives.
- Developing compassionate and respectful relationships, and appreciation of differences – race, religion, family background, etc.
Additional Components of a Montessori Secondary Program
- A community within the classroom – adolescents require more social interaction and build stable relationships. The Montessori classroom provides a stable and loving community where they build connections and strong friendships for life.
- Exposure to Nature – exposure to nature is part of Montessori education. It teaches students compassion, care, and love for nature including plants, animals, and other living beings.
- Micro-economic experiences – high school students learn to establish and run a business to help them understand economics, currency, and business in general.
- Responsible and ethical use of technology – Montessori only allows students to use technology if it is necessary like learning computer programming, etc. The majority of the school day is spent on hands-on experiences with the class.
Are there public Montessori high schools? If there are very few Montessori high schools, there are even fewer public Montessori high schools. If there is one in your area, chances are, it is a Montessori high school program within a public school. You are lucky if you find a Montessori high school in your location.
Are Montessori high school students prepared for college? Yes. The rigorous academic training, practical life skills, and positive character traits help students excel in college and overcome challenges as a student.
It is quite rare to find a Montessori high school today even with the increasing number of Montessori schools opening every year. Today, there are only about 150 Montessori high schools out of the 5,000 or more Montessori schools throughout the country. Montessori secondary programs have students ranging from ages 12 to 18 years old. It covers both middle school and high school.