“Independence, in the case of the adolescents, has to be acquired on a different plane, for theirs is the economic independence in the field of society. Here, too, the principle of ‘Help me to do it alone!’ ought to be applied.”

Maria Montessori had many wise and insightful things to say about the adolescent years, and one of the highlights of my first two years here at MCS has been to experience those insights first-hand through the daily work of our very own Adolescent Community.


Montessori education, I believe, is all-too-often inaccurately perceived by the general public as something that is strictly beneficial for the very youngest of students. But Maria Montessori herself refuted this notion when she wrote:

“…above all it is the education of adolescents that is important, because adolescence is the time when the child enters on the state of manhood and becomes a member of society.”

I have written about and spoken of my admiration and affinity for our Adolescents on more than one occasion previously, and in hindsight, I believe that it really all started at the final day of MCS’s 2015-16 school year, when my wife Deborah and I visited and got to hear the very thoughtful speeches that our Eighth-Year students delivered.

That affinity was reinforced all-the-more just this morning, when I watched our Adolescents provide us at our all-school assembly with a very entertaining preview of their upcoming production of The Lion King, Jr

In the true spirit of Montessori philosophy, our students have assumed primary responsibility for virtually every aspect of the production, from costume design and staging to music and choreography.No automatic alt text available.

Next week, there will be two full performances of this production at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro: Tuesday, February 27 at 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m.

If you are the parent of a student currently in our Toddler, Primary, Lower Elementary or Upper Elementary programs, and find yourself pondering that perennial question of whether or not MCS is the right school for your child next year, or two years from now, or five years from now, I urge you to attend one of these performances. Or, better still, just stop by the Cool Beans coffee cart one morning next week and ask our students who are working there to tell you about the Adolescent Program’s “Micro-Economy” curriculum.

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I’m very confident that, if Maria Montessori herself were to do so, she would be very pleased with what she heard and saw. – Tim Daniel, Head of School