Igniting Voice: How Greenspring Montessori’s mission is brought to life in the Adolescent Community
Throughout each trimester, adolescent students answer life’s big questions:
- What does it mean to be human? – Community Work
- How can we measure the universe? – Mathematics
- How can we communicate effectively? – Language
- What is humanity’s role on our planet? – Humanities & Occupations
- Who am I and what do I believe? – Personal Expression
While the Adolescents’ Guides are continually and informally assessing the students during the trimester, adolescent students culminate their learning by presenting their trimester’s work to their community during Igniting Voice at the end of each trimester. They share the process of their work during a gallery walk, where participants are invited to browse the students’ process-foilos, a place where the students catalog the work that challenged them, inspired them, or made them stretch themselves. They also deliver individual and group presentations about language, mathematics, humanities, occupations, wellness, and their student-run business.
At the end of each presentation, guests are invited to ask questions. This gives our adolescents the opportunity both to be the “expert” on their topic and to navigate, in an open forum, a question that may help them deepen their understanding of their study. Clarifying questions are especially helpful; they show our students that their research is interesting to others.
It’s important to remember that each student works within their personal “challenge zone,” so each adolescent’s polished work reflects where they are in the process of heading toward the “ideal.” The students also allocate time and effort based on their interest. While balancing their work, they also dedicate themselves to the areas they’re most interested in pursuing. Each individual process can be seen during the gallery walk by reviewing students’ process-folios.
We strive to provide our adolescents with the kind of assessment that is found in the adult world. Our emphasis is on critical thinking and analysis during their polished presentations that are developmentally appropriate for these emerging adults as this age needs opportunities for self-expression.