Montessori philosophy designs its educational approach with the developmentally appropriate needs of the student in mind.
Classrooms are student-centered and promote a sense of community
Seminars are used as tools for developing respect, listening skills, insight, and understanding
Students engage in projects that interweave subject areas, and students regularly leave the classroom for field studies
Students are coached through the design of their own work plans, and they are given extended blocks of focused work time
There are clear learning objectives, rubrics, and tools for self-evaluation
The curriculum encourages both convergent and divergent thinking
Adolescent Montessori schools have a focus on authentic service work
Students engage in real-life micro-economies (such as our on-site farm or coffeehouse) to promote self-confidence and provide real work experience during their transition to adulthood
Coursework is selected thoughtfully with the intent of helping the student find her or his place in society, giving the student regular opportunities to impact the D.C. community in a positive way, and fostering stewardship of humanity and the Earth
"My vision of the future is no longer of people taking exams, earning a secondary diploma, and proceeding on to university, but of individuals passing from one stage of independent to a higher, by means of their own activity, through their own effort of will, which constitutes the inner evolution of the individual."
"The land-based, full-time community is a pretty genuine microcosm, a small society, a social experience that truly communicates how division of labor works for human beings and how production and exchange are fundamental human interactions. The opportunity for the work of the hands is not only frequently, but connected back to theoretical knowledge and general education over and over again."
"Adolescents need the right balance of challenge and support, and of choice and structure, but individual freedom is key. Choice produces a deeper and more sustained engagement, and independent work based on interest is crucial. They need to work hard and be stretched as well as have time for reflection and laughter."