Dr. Montessori’s model of secondary education is based on her understanding of the developmental needs and learning experiences of early adolescents. Part of these experiences was the need for the students to develop the abilities for abstraction, conjecture, prediction and creation; the need for peer interaction and acceptance as well as mentor relationships with adults who are not their parents; the need to form a personal identity, to know how one fits in the world. A Montessori Middle School program meets these needs by providing a combination academic and project-based learning environment.
Basic elements of the middle school program include:
- Interdisciplinary, thematic instruction;
- Discovery-based learning;
- Individual and small-group learning projects;
- Authentic and performance-based assessment;
- Small advisory groups;
- Community service;
Student work is evaluated individually against clearly stated academic objectives through a wide variety of authentic assessment techniques, which includes portfolios, long-term projects, and self-evaluation.