Montessori Montessori Pedagogy Montessori Erdkinder
Erdkinder Study Group

Adolescence

The Montessori program for children aged 12 to 18 years is based on the recognition of the special characteristics of adolescence. Adolescence is an age of great social development, an age of critical thinking and re-evaluation, and a period of self-concern and self-assessment. It is a transition from childhood to adulthood with the corresponding physical, mental and sexual maturation. In early puberty the adolescent finds it hard to concentrate on academic and structured learning. Above all adolescence is like an odyssey - an arduous yet exciting adventure - where the adolescent tries to find his or her place in the world.


Garden

Erdkinder

Dr. Montessori recommended that the adolescent should spend a period of time in the country away from the environment of the family. This would provide an opportunity to study civilisation through its origin in agriculture. She suggested they should live in a hostel which they would learn to manage and open a shop where sale of produce would bring in the fundamental mechanics of society, production and exchange on which economic life is based. She outlined a general plan for their studies and work but believed that the program which she called "Erdkinder" (German for "land children") could only be developed from experience.

Photos courtesy of NAMTA