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.