The House of Youth
Natus Ad Majora
THE ERDKINDER MODEL
“The essential reform of our plan from this point of view may be defined as follows : during the difficult time of adolescence it is helpful to leave the accustomed environment of the family in the town and go to quiet surroundings in the country, close to nature. Here, an open-air life, individual care, and a non-toxic diet, must be the first considerations in organizing a ‘centre for study and work.’ (…). Life in the open air, in the sunshine, and a diet high in nutritional content coming from the produce of neighboring fields improve the physical health, while the calm surroundings, the silence, the wonders of nature satisfy the need of the adolescent mind for reflection and meditation. (…). The school where the children live, or rather their country homes, can also give them the opportunity for social experience, for it is an institution organized on a larger scale and with greater freedom than the family.”
Maria Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence, p. 67
Maria Montessori used the term ErdKinder, which literally stands for ‘Children of the Earth’, to describe adolescents who are preparing to enter the larger, global community.
For adolescents, real growth occurs through the work of running an interdependent community, under the guidance of wise adults. Through purposeful work such as operating their own production and exchange, studying deeply and collaboratively, and producing and preparing their own food, adolescents thrive. Learning becomes a vibrant, everyday way of life in the adolescent community. This is the goal of the House of Youth.
These developmental guidelines inform the programmatic aspects of our adolescent program. The curricular elements that form the structure of the program support these needs of the adolescent:
The Arts of Living: Living a balanced, attentive, skillful life is an art. This element of the program focuses on developing those arts, both practical and philosophical. For example, being financially aware and independent is a critical art. In the micro-economy aspect of the program, students authentically develop skills of financial awareness and independence through the process of deciding on products to create and sell in the wider community. Along the way, practical life skills such as sewing, repairing, problem-solving, maintaining an environment, gardening, using technology and much more, are developed.
In addition, the philosophical arts are strengthened through a robust program of self-inquiry and philosophical inquiry focused on questioning, awareness of interrelationships, respectful independent thinking, and clear and logical expression of one’s thoughts. A culture of thought in a community of inquiry will serve them for the rest of their lives, preparing them foundationally for whatever life brings.
Multi-Dimensional Work & Study: True learning, just like the world itself, is holistic and interdependent. In this element of the program, academic subject areas such as history, geography, and the sciences are offered through integrated courses emerging from the needs of the environment, as well as the interests of the students. For example, a course on “Water” might result in student research on aquifers, weather and climate change, the chemistry of water and solutions, hydroponics, social justice issues associated with water availability, and much more. Such courses will culminate in seminars where students will refine their research, communication, and collaboration skills.
Self and Community: Adolescence is the time of the blossoming of the self and a growing awareness of others. Thus the Self and Community element of the program links everything else together. Through activity and reflection and service, students explore their own personal place in community, from their community at school, to the wider local community of where they live, to the entire global community. A focus is on the critical skills required for positively learning and living in community, including communicating, listening, compromising and empathizing, and collaboratively solving issues. It is about understanding others and themselves in preparation for a responsible, positive, balanced, and independent life in society.
Core Courses: Essential academic abilities are critical for progress. This academic element of the program focuses on the core subject areas of Math and Language/Humanities as well as the Arts. We have chosen to offer the Cambridge International Curriculum. We inspire the children to develop independence and self-direction in their academic work, as well as continuous self-evaluation using checkpoint tests, ensuring they are on track with the curriculum.
THE CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL CURRICULUM
At the House of Youth, our goal is to prepare each individual for success in anything they seek to endeavour. Our choice of the Cambridge International Curriculum emanates from its global standard for education, its recognition by universities and employers worldwide, and its flexible yet challenging approach to education.
The standards of Cambridge IGCSE are equivalent to the GCSE qualification in the UK.
Cambridge International AS Levels
Cambridge International Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS Level) represents the first half of the full A Level course. It gives students the opportunity to study a broader range of subjects without committing to doing a full A level. Students can choose to complete an AS Level examination, then stop studying that particular subject. Or they can then complete the remaining course of study in order to gain the full A Level qualification.
Cambridge International A Levels
With Cambridge International Advanced Levels (A Levels), we switch from the classroom teaching method in AS to a tutor-led, self-study system. This involves on average three contact hours per subject per week, while the student follows a well-constructed curriculum in each subject with regular compulsory assignments and assessments.
Subjects at AS and A Level
Usually, a choice of 4 subjects for AS Level, with 3 of these taken to full A level, is made from the following list. These vary slightly from year to year depending on student interest.
Find out more on https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/
LIFE AT THE HOUSE OF YOUTH
Maria Montessori had understood the need of the adolescent was to be offered a higher degree of independence, in a home away from home. The adolescents must take ownership for their newly found environment, under the guidance of prepared adults. They are in charge of creating or enhancing their space, taking care of it, its living species, as well as themselves within it. As the specificity of this third plane of human development is financial independence, beyond caring for this environment, they are empowered to manage a micro-economy that will allow its sustainability.
Their presence in the environment is vital to its life. Without their daily contribution, the animals and land could suffer. This is an immediate reflection of their important place within a functioning society.
The House of Youth’s boarding program provides a broad and deep range of experiences to meet a young person’s needs for social development, intellectual stimulation, creative expression, independence, responsibility, and personal growth. We offer them real practice for what it is to be a responsible, caring, hardworking, and empowered adults.
Although the boarding encompasses all the elements for an ultimate Erdkinder experience, our program offers the Day School option, allowing our students to commute daily to their families, with periodic overnights at the House that will be mandatory.
The day school tentative schedule for the first year will be from 8:30 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. This schedule may change based upon the needs of the community. Outings will take the community beyond Casablanca, whether for camping/bonding, or for research. There will be occasional overnights at the school.
Boarding is offered for international students.