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The AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies
Announcing the 2013-2014
NAMTA Conference Schedule
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Montessori Institute for the
Science of Peace
The NAMTA membership year is September 1-August 31!
NAMTA's purpose is to maintain Montessori traditions, and at the same time, to be on the cutting edge of innovative education. Accordingly, we provide the medium for study, interpretation, and improvement of Montessori education.
The AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies finds its roots in Montessori history, theory, and practice. The first week looks at the context of Montessori’s developmental stages, including the intrinsic psychological characteristics of early childhood through adulthood: How the Nido, the Toddler Community, the Primary (3-6), and the Elementary (6-12) lead to the prepared environment for the adolescent’s maximum growth. From the outset, participants will experience the art of the seminar, journal writing, and applications of the three-period lesson design (presentation, exploration, and student presentation). Analysis of Montessori primary readings will emphasize the key concepts of Montessori philosophy.
All orientation classes will take place on Hershey Montessori School’s Huntsburg farm campus. Half of the participants will live at the farm during week one; the opposite half will live at the farm during week two. The needs and tendencies of the adolescent emerge while living out practical aspects: community meetings, problem solving, decision making, knowledge as embodied in the environment, the role of the adult (both generalist and specialist), observation, record keeping, organizational systems, and work periods—all meeting the needs of the adolescent’s true nature.
This week focuses on the impact of place on community: How does one build a sense of belonging and usefulness, leading to an engaging plan of adolescent work and studies as suggested by the Erdkinder Appendices? Place has a human past and a geological-biological set of relationships in the present so that both science and history, intrinsic to an ecosystem, naturally emerge.
The farm is not only a learning laboratory but a microcosm of society. The farm is a social, economic, and natural mesh of systems that frames knowledge of a local environment, the archives of a region, and its historic architecture from its settlement period to the present. Learning flows through practical arts, creative expression, physical training, and the farm cycle.
Montessori principles originally practiced in the Erdkinder-inspired farm setting are applied to a variety of settings as participants consider their own program locations and circumstances. Participants generate ideas for local connections and resources, create a context for meaningful project work, and explore possibilities for community involvement and genuine experiences of social organization in their own locale. Visits to programs in Northeast Ohio other than the Hershey farm act as a springboard for ideas and introduce the details of establishing relationships with local organizations and resources such as historical societies, museums, organic gardens, and cultural institutions.
Montessori divided the “Educational Syllabus” into three parts. First is self-expression, which includes music, language, and art. Moral education, mathematics, and language are the second part. The third part includes three divisions: “The study of the earth and living things,” “The study of human progress and the building up of civilization,” and “The study of the history of mankind.” Together, these three divisions make up the cultural knowledge that all humans inherit as a gift from the past and to which they all contribute in their own time and place in history. A developmental directive of adolescence is to respond to this invitation to be well-informed contributors to their time.
Course participants receive both theoretical overviews of the major cultural areas of knowledge as well as implementation approaches offered by practitioners at both levels, 12-15 and 15-18. Participants also generate their own program prospectus and a year-long timeline of implementation.
Orientation participants will choose among three specialty areas that meet 3 hours daily for implementation framework discussions and for design time.
1. Humanities and Occupations (Science): Humanities and occupation project planning will cover project framework and flow, key lessons, research possibilities, student inquiry methods such as timelines, maps, charts, experiments, and debates, as well as third-period presentations.
Workshops on the integration of language arts into all areas of study will be offered as a part of the humanities and occupation design section.
2. Mathematics, Math Connections to Science, and Technology: Participants receive an overview of a unified, 12-18 program in mathematics which integrates algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, the history of mathematics, discovery-based and project-based lessons. Participants design projects and concept studies in mathematics. Connections between math and science with the use of technology are considered.
3. The High School: Philosophy and frameworks of separate subject-area studies, of integrated project approaches, of discipline expertise, and opportunities for community contributions and experiences in social organization for the 15-18-year old will be considered. Project frameworks in humanities, language arts, science, and the arts will be generated. Considerations of IB programming, college requirements and admissions, and partnerships with local institutions will be covered.
4. Other Language Learning: Design of second and third language learning programs implemented according to Montessori principles will be considered. Quarter-long theme and skill-based units will be generated integrating language studies with community activities, place-based projects, and meaningful work.
The orientation concludes with a graduation luncheon at noon. The AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies certificates will be awarded.
Past orientation certificate holders may attend Weeks Four and Five. Tuition for Weeks Four and Five is $350 plus room and board costs at Hiram College. Pre-registration is required. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for registration information.