History is governed by those overarching movements that give shape and meaning to life by relating the human venture to the larger destinies of the universe. Creating such a movement might be called the Great Work of a people. (Thomas Berry, The Great Work)
The Montessori High School Integrated Curriculum
Preparation for adult life in the 21st century means that our graduates develop critical thinking skills and can apply knowledge creatively in co-operative settings to solve real world problems. A curriculum guided by core values, peace and sustainability, fosters the intellectual and moral development of adolescents so they become engaged, caring, and actively contributing citizens of the world. In addition, Montessori High School weaves the principles of Montessori and the International Baccalaureate core courses into the vibrant culture and community of Cleveland’s University Circle.
Core elements of the Montessori High School learning for life experience are:
- A community for belonging, where challenges scientifically match skills through the use of “prepared environments” that support choice, engagement, and social and emotional development in accordance with the psychological needs of the adolescent.
- A place-based curriculum that informs students through the sciences and history about the positive relationship between the human-built world and the natural world, with a focus on sustainability, 21st century challenges to global environmental balance, and peace.
- A well articulated 9th and 10th grade program that combines an introduction to the full range of academic disciplines with Montessori pedagogical guidance, supported by a course on Current Events and Ethical Thought to meet the younger adolescent’s need for moral and time/place orientation in a complex world.
- IB courses that include literature, 20th Century World History, Environmental Systems and Societies, and an innovative Environmental Systems and Societies-Biology hybrid course, chemistry, mathematics, second languages (French and/or Spanish), theatre, visual arts, and music, as well as a Theory of Knowledge course wherein students investigate the nature of knowledge across disciplines, and an Extended Essay project allowing students to pursue an area of research interest in depth.
- Emphasis on analytical thinking and writing, Socratic discussion, problem-solving, use of primary sources, and myriad opportunities for students to design and produce their own real-world projects.
- Dedication to ongoing, active community service through social justice projects and work with neighboring museums and other community organizations.
The academic year is structured by semesters with two, two-week intersessions called X -Terms, which are student-driven and faculty-coordinated. They enable the deepening of student interest through experiential learning opportunities, including international travel for service projects, building of cultural awareness, and language immersion in places such as Mongolia, Mexico, Spain, and Canada.
For course descriptions, click the appropriate age level: