I am familiar with the work of Maria Montessori, but I never set out to pattern myself on her practices (which are also similar to Reggio Emilia systems of schooling). Turns out I have inadvertently set up something very Montessori-like here at HoneyFern, and other schools are using this as a way to restructure and improve schooling in the older grades.
Turns out, student-led learning actually works, and it works just as well for the older grades as it does for children in the earliest stages of school.
As quoted in the article above,
"It’s a different style of teaching, another option for children who learn differently,” she said. “It’s geared towards students who are exploratory, that like to discover things. Middle school kids by nature like to have a voice and are very inquisitive. Developmentally, the Montessori program sits very well with the middle school-aged child who is curious and likes to have more ownership to his or her own learning.”
Sounds about right.