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Report
DMHS Mission
• Denver Montessori Junior/Senior High School will
combine Montessori best practices with current
research on adolescent brain development to provide
a learning environment that promotes high
achievement for each student while also supporting
them socially and emotionally. Graduates,
regardless of ethnicity or income status, will be
prepared for college or a career as well as
demonstrate ingenuity, adaptability, creativity,
initiative and excellent communication and
problem solving skills.
Why Montessori Adolescent
Education?
• Four Planes of Development
• Current Research on Adolescent Brain Development
• The Montessori Approach
• 21st Century Skills
Four Planes of Development
Courtesy of Google Images
First Plane Characteristics
• Formation of the Child
• The Absorbent Mind or “Spiritual
Embryo”
• The child wants to “master his
environment”
• Help me to do it by myself
Second Plane Characteristics
• Insatiable need for facts and
knowledge
• Highly developed imagination
• The time when students are trying
to understand morals and values
• Help me to learn it by myself
Third Plane Characteristics
• Formation of the Adult
• The Social Embryo
• Help me to think for myself
Needs of the Adolescent
•
Purposeful and challenging work
•
An intimate connection with the land
•
Opportunities for self-expression
•
A connection to the community
•
Practice in economic independence
•
Experience with leadership, service, and peace
•
Empowerment to make a difference
•
Practice finding and creating a meaningful place in the larger society
Characteristics
• Boundless energy
• Thoughtful and critical
• Interested in justice and morality
• Creative, emotional, and expressive
• Socially conscious
• Powerfully humanistic
• Intense and rapid growth and development
Scientists and Researchers are
“Catching Up”
• PET Scans, Functional
Magnetic Resonance
Imaging (MRI) and
adolescent brain research
all confirm Dr.
Montessori’s theories
Courtesy of Google Images
The Adolescent Brain
• The last part to mature is the pre-frontal cortex
(controls executive functioning and reasoning) and
• The Limbic System (controls the regulation of
emotions)
• Based on this information, there are new
recommendations on how to create an optimal
environment for adolescents
New Recommendations
• The middle school classroom should be
an active, stimulating place where
people talk and share, movement is
common and planned for, and the
teacher uses a wide array of
approaches to introduce, model, and
reinforce learning.
Brain Development in Young Adolescents by Peter Lorain. Published by the National Education
Association, http://www.nea.org/tools/16653.htm
Adolescent Brain
Development
As published in the National Education Association by
Peter Lorain:
“Given what we know about brain
development and the other changes taking
place in the young adolescent, teachers can
improve student learning by doing the
following things:
Brain Development in Young Adolescents by Peter Lorain. Published by the National Education
Association, http://www.nea.org/tools/16653.htm
Brain Research and
Montessori
1. Present limited amounts of new
information, to accommodate the
short-term memory.
Montessori First Period Lessons are 20
minutes. They are given in small groups,
designed to meet the needs of the students
in that particular group.
Brain Development in Young Adolescents by Peter Lorain. Published by the National Education
Association, http://www.nea.org/tools/16653.htm
Brain Research and
Montessori
• 2. Provide opportunities for students to process and
reinforce the new information and to connect the new
information with previous learning. (Encourage students
to talk with their classmates about the new information;
have them debate or write about it; create small group
discussions.)
The Second Period of a Montessori three period lesson is a time for
students to explore, discuss and deepen their learning through
research, creative expression and concrete work.
Brain Development in Young Adolescents by Peter Lorain. Published by the National Education
Association, http://www.nea.org/tools/16653.htm
Brain Research and
Montessori
• 3. Provide lessons that are varied, with lots of
involvement and hands-on activities. Brain
stimulus and pathways are created and made
stronger and with less resistance if they are
reinforced with a variety of stimuli. (Create
projects; use art, music, and visual resources;
bring guest visitors into the classroom.)
Montessori adolescent education creates this environment
through integrated thematic units, Occupations and
micro-economy.
Brain Development in Young Adolescents by Peter Lorain. Published by the National Education
Association, http://www.nea.org/tools/16653.htm
Brain Research and
Montessori
• 4. Provide lessons and activities that
require problem solving and critical
thinking. Brain growth is enhanced and
strengthened through practice and
exercise.
Dr Montessori called this “practical work” . We
do this practical work through the urban farm,
culinary arts, and other Occupations.
Brain Development in Young Adolescents by Peter Lorain. Published by the National Education
Association, http://www.nea.org/tools/16653.htm
FYI….
• Nearly every “new” best practice
being written about today mirror
recommendations made by Dr.
Montessori in “From Childhood to
Adolescence” that was published
in 1948.
st
21
Courtesy of Wikipedia
Century Skills
st
21
Century Skills
• Montessori adolescent education
actively fosters all of these 21st
Century Skills. The entire program
was designed for students to attain
these skills.
Established Education
• Montessori adolescent education was first published
in 1948. The first USA adolescent programs started
in the early ‘80s.
• There are currently hundreds of middle and junior
high programs, and new high schools are opening
every year – most of these are private schools
• We now have Montessori public high school
graduates who are very successful in college and
who demonstrate all of the 21st Century Skills.
Conclusion
• New research on Adolescent Brain Development
along with
• The Determination of Crucial Skills necessary to
thrive in the 21st Century
• Has Resulted in a New Approach to Education
Which Just Happened to have been developed in
1948 by
• Dr. Maria Montessori.
Nuts and Bolts
• In 2013 we will open with 50 6th and 7th grade
students here at Gilpin. We are starting small in
order to insure that most if not all of our students
are coming from the DPS Montessori elementary
schools.
• The long term goal is to have 120 7th, 8th and 9th
grade students in the junior high, and 105 10th, 11th
and 12th grade students in the high school.
Junior High
• We will have an urban farm created using permaculture principles.
• History and Language Arts will be presented as
thematic integrated units
• Arts, music and PE will be integrated into the daily
schedule
• There will be a strong focus on second language
acquisition (Spanish and English).
High School
• By High School (10th grade), the dramatic changes
occurring in the brain have slowed down to the point
where students are now eager and able to handle the
intellectual challenges necessary for a pre-collegiate
curriculum.
• The delivery of curriculum maintains the core values
of Montessori and are designed specifically for
students who have progressed through Montessori
education.
High School
• Instruction is delivered via key lessons that convey to
the students fundamental concepts and serve as
“jumping off ” points for further exploration.
• Studies are self-directed in an environment of high
expectations and high support.
• Teacher/advisors work with students to insure that
students have the advanced skills necessary to
explore advanced concepts.
Questions?
• Next Community Meeting is October 24, 6:30 p.m.,
at Denison Montessori. Topic will be curriculum.
• There will be another Community Meeting on
November 15, 6:30 p.m., at Sandoval. Topic will be
student accountability and assessment.

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