Early Adolescence 12-15 years

“Successive levels of education must correspond to the successive personalities of the child. Our methods are oriented not to any pre-established principles but rather to the inherent characteristics of the different ages” (Maria Montessori, From Childhood To Adolescence)

Adolescents are in their third plane of development; they are becoming adults and finding their place in the world. It is a time of huge physical and emotional growth and change and as such their education must be carefully designed in order to fully meet their needs so they may achieve both the mental and physical growth and enter adulthood as socially and intellectually adept, contributing members of society, who have a sense of who they are and where they belong.

Learning is achieved through working with your hands, one cannot learn to their full potential if everything is learnt with the mind. Using hands and feeling the sense of achievement that comes from contributing to society and achieving something tangible creates confidence and gives skills to the student.  Montessori connects the idea of the advancement of civilization with physical work.  In Montessori theory, the hand develops the mind which, in turn, furthers the coordination / development of the hand.

There is a need in modern society for people to have intellectual as well as physical skills. The interaction of the hands in learning information is acknowledged, i.e. deep learning occurs when materials are handled, not just learning facts from a book.

As educators it is vital that we consider the personality of the child when we consider our lessons and prepare the students to be independent thinkers with the ability to adapt to change as is the way of the world. They need to be provided with instruction and knowledge and choice so that they may connect with the work they are required to do, then they must be allowed to work independently in order to process that knowledge and complete tasks successfully as they will need to do in adulthood.

There are particular elements of written language, oral language and literacy that must be addressed in order for the adolescent to understand and define their role in the world.