Outdoor & International Education
The World is Our Classroom
At Near North, we believe that the world is our classroom. In addition to the outdoor curriculum provided through NNM's Farmessori, our urban farm, students are surrounded with opportunities to widely explore. Our students learn from the world we live in—by visiting Chicagoland's museums and educational attractions, spending dedicated time in the natural world, or through travel further afield.
Wherever they are, Near North's students are active members of our community—in the school, Chicago, the US, and the world. Dr. Montessori recognized that the hope for global peace lay in the education of children, which is why NNM integrates lessons on global citizenship into each level.
Begin at age 6, students are exposed to the broader world of Chicago through planned excursions lead by their teachers. These field trips, or "going outs," allow students to take advantage of all that Chicago has to teach and enrich our children: museums, nature preserves, theaters, and neighborhood tours.
Field trips occur throughout the school year by class or level.
The Junior High version of a "going out" excursion. These student-run activities, occurring on Fridays throughout the year, allow 12-14 students the independence to identify a city cultural attraction and organize a trip to that destination. Students are responsible for all aspects of the outing, from planning transportation to arranging group tours, tickets, or paying entry fees.
In the spring and fall of each year, NNM students spend extended time learning in the outdoors. Children as young as 9 go away for a week-long camp in Wisconsin, participate canoe trips, and at the Montessori-based Nature's Classroom retreat center. Junior High students go on a week-long canoe trip in the fall and a rock-climbing camping trip in the spring. With each opportunity, students are encouraged to explore the natural world, learn hands-on science lessons, build independence, practice creative problem-solving and bonding with classmates.
Each year, as part of NNM's global citizenship curriculum, Junior High students study international relations and serve as delegates to the Montessori Model United Nations.
The Montessori Model United Nations culmination of classroom and afterschool school study with a two-day global education simulation that enables students to learn about the operations of the United Nations and its role as the world’s largest international peacekeeping and humanitarian organization. Through the process of role-playing, each student becomes a delegate of a selected nation. They write, present and debate issues affecting their nation and peoples of the world. By assuming the character of a citizen of their selected country they fully develop an understanding of the needs of a people and the importance of accepting differences.
In years past, students have traveled to New York, Italy, and China to participate in Montessori Model UN.
Near North has a longstanding relationship with Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos International (NPH) Honduras, which provides a home, education and family for abandoned, abused and neglected children. Each year, NNM’s Junior High students and parents have an opportunity to visit and volunteer at NPH Honduras. This partnership supports NNM's mission to care for those in need, develop philanthropically-minded students, develop cultural competency skills and gives children a global perspective through which to learn.