Report Group Meeting 7th September 2021

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    Summary/Report working group Montessori Europe Secondary Education September 7th 2021
    Diana Dimitrov – Hofheim
    Gabriel Enkelaar – Wageningen
    Christian Grune – Berlin
    Reinhard Beijer – Chemnitz
    Dorien de Jonge –Wageningen
    Jan Durk Tuinier- Foundation for Peace Education Netherlands, Ede
    Katharina – Dresden
    Benjamin Zohar – Poland
    Barbara Isaacs: Chair Montessori Europe (United Kingdom)
    Michael Rubinstein was involved in the preparation of the meeting but couldn’t join because of his birthday party, Congrats, Michael!
    Until now the monthly meetings of this working group (every first Tuesday 19.00 – 20.30) are prepared by Christian Grune, Michael Rubinstein and Gabriël Enkelaar at some tuesdaymorning 8.30 – 9.00
    Our common intention is to create a real ‘working-group’ for Secondary Education within Montessori Europe. Untill now we have organised all kinds of interesting presentations, about several theme’s and projects, mostly connected to the school of one of the participants. IN some of the presentation , pupils of the schools have participated .
    To participate in this secondary Working Group membership of Montessori Europe will be required. More information about this subject can be found at
    During our meeting on the first Tuesday of September (7th) we discussed the possibilitys how to involve all the members in a more active way, for example by reading interesting texts and articles of Montessori litterature acoording to the ‘harkness method’. (see the attachment with a tekst from ‘Education and Peace by Maria Montessori, and the Socratic method to study and discuss it according to the ‘harkness method’.
    The presentations, discussions and contacts in this workgroup can initiate new projects in one or more schools. Some of the schools already particpate in ‘exchange-projects’ with other Montessori schools. New exchanges canbe organised by the schools themselves. In this working group we bring teachers (and students) together, but it’s up to themselves if they want to organise new projects. Teachers can visit each other’s schools (as we have done in the Montessori Express Projects, which was pretty stimulating).
    Practical presentations of different ways of implementation of the Erdkinderplan in modern Montessorischools can be very inspiring. It’s important to include the ‘student perspective’ in these presentations.
    An important theme will be the way attention will be given so ‘sustainability education’ where the different SDG’s are studied and discussed in secondary Montessori Educaiont. SDG’s and Montessori pedagogy are quite close to each other.
    This raises questions like:
    How can we implement and integrate this in our schools?
    How can we exchange our projects in a practical way?
    Benjamin Zohar co-director secondary Montessori highschool in Warschau: For me the most important question is : How to implement Montessori theory in our secondary high school? I ;ike to exchange general ideas. Exchanging ‘good practices’.
    Katharina Montessorischool 6 – 22 in Dresden: this working-group is pretty nourishing for me and my school. It stimulates that we think out of the box. Not just by studying litterature, but als sharing theories or other materials and experiences, that inspire us.
    Reinhard Beyer, Montessori Chemnitz: our Montessori organisation runs 4 schools, 2 secondary schools. I want to bring some elements from the university into the school, (keep up international contacts)
    Dorien de Jonge: I want to get in touch with the international community and stimulate that my pupils can communice in English with other Montessori-pupils.
    Jan Durk Tuinier; as director of an international peace education organisation, I’m working in Germany with a “Friedenslabor”. SDG’s and Montessori-education.
    Gabriel Enkelaar: I’m glad that the Montessori Express-project created more attention for Secondary Montessori Education; this working group can keep this ‘kicking and alive’.
    Diana Dimitrov: I studied a lot about Montessori theory: I want to share these concepts and discuss them with other colleages
    Barbara Isaacs: It’s wonderful that there is a group who works on the Montessori Education for adolescents. In England tehre is only very little attention. We engineered the website also for the different age-periods (toddlers, primary, adolescents). Montessori Europe wants to “grow” with the members. My impresion is that the webinars of this Secondary Working Group have a high quality content. From this working group suggestions can be done for themes and subjects for the larter Montessori Europe Congress.
    Presentation Diana Dimitrov
    The Harkness method works very well for any text approach in your education.
    It’s not ‘teacher driven’, but it asks the competence to formulate questions like a corkscrew. (What do you mean by this or that). Harkness implemented this on his secondary school (pupils have to learn to formulate the right questions). It is really close to the “Socratic method”. Questions are formulated in an ‘open way’ by the participating pupils, not by the teachers.
    As a teacher you have to be able to be silent, observe and listen.
    Questions at paragraph starting with:
    “All creatures that live on earth have a cosmic rol to play.”
    1. What should be the cosmic role on earth of humans in this era?
    2. Is the cosmic role of humans restricted to our earth?
    Stay in an observer status. Zoom offers quiet well the possibilities for making roles quite clear (observers have their own video’s off). Within this method many things are possibles, there can be ‘jewels’ and ‘nightmares’. Katharina would like to use this method to talk about ‘self-expression’, Reinhard would like to exchange experiences about ‘how youngsters can walk and mature and find their way in society bu exchanging experiences with each other”. Reinhard ; walk and mature , young people should find their way in society and nature.

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