The OKMS Adolescent Community fosters a developing sense of self and purpose within the context of real and meaningful work. The students creatively and reflectively explore society and its economic base through manual and intellectual work. Through the observations of Dr. Montessori and current psychological research, we know that the adolescent is asking universal questions of identity and belonging: “Who am I in relation to human society? Where do I fit into this society? How can I serve other members of this society?” The adolescent coursework is designed to give students a sense of purpose, identity and belonging.
Areas of study include: earth, life, and physical science; human development; physical expression; mathematics (including algebra and geometry); world history, American history and civics; in-depth language work, including literary analysis, grammar, written expression, and oratory; business and economics; community service; creative expression; and Spanish. All of these are approached in an inter-disciplinary manner.
There is an increased expectation of individual responsibility in the adolescent community. Students are more involved in project planning, self-assessment, and conferences with both teacher and parents. We strive to cultivate in the students completing our program a strong sense of self, academic confidence, personal responsibility, resourcefulness, and a vision of their place in the world.
Montessori graduates combine excellence in academics, community values and stewardship of the environment with the dignity and purpose of human endeavors. What is truly special about these graduates is their strong love of learning and their knowing how to learn. They work hard because they are motivated by a desire to learn more.
work of the land
Maria Montessori’s vision of an adolescent program is rooted in working on the land. By making connections to the the land and our place in it throughout all aspects of the program, the students are supported in discovering economic independence and their roles in adult society. Our on-campus farm includes a vegetable garden and flock of seven laying hens and continues to grow each year. Working side-by-side with the Guides and experts, the adolescents tend and manage all aspects of the farm. These endeavors offer important opportunities for areas of study, real-life work, collaboration, and economic experience.
The products and services the students create and sell throughout the program comprises our microeconomy. For adolescents, a driving force is the developmental need to prepare themselves for adult society. The work of microeconomy “brings in the fundamental mechanism of society, that of production and exchange on which economic life is based” (Maria Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence) and that is so valuable for the adolescent formation of independence and self-worth. Our microeconomy has included vegetable and egg sales, a bi-weekly newspaper, bread baking, Parents’ Night Out, and a morning coffee bar – it is an evolving endeavor responding to the resources and needs of our community.