For my capstone project, I studied the integration of the Montessori Method with the restorative farming practices of Bertrand Farm to create a curriculum for children ages nine through twelve to be used in Good Shepherd Montessori School’s new greenhouse. Introducing children to sustainable gardening techniques and the origins of food serves to benefit society by fostering a future generation of sustainably minded adults.
In December, I finished a literature review of the intersection of Montessori, the Common Core, Indiana Academic Standards and sustainable agriculture. Relevant research conducted includes articles, journals, books, and interviews with Montessori instructors practicing gardening in the classroom and discussions with Bertrand Farm to understand their needs, hopes and requirements for the new curriculum.
My research culminated in a working 3 year rotational urban farming-based curriculum to be used at Good Shepherd Montessori with a companion insert to Indiana and Michigan Standards for public schools. This book will be available for free on iBooks for community use. Ultimately, I hope this will educate a new generation of citizens who will become stewards of the planet and advocates for sustainable societies.
I'd also like to extend my eternal gratitude to Theri Niemier, the Director of Bertrand Farms and a mentor to me during this whole process. Without her, this project would not have been possible.