What is Montessori?
Do you share with them that Montessori’s philosophy is that education is “understood as a help to life; an education from birth, which feeds a peaceful revolution and unites all in a common aim, attracting them as to a single centre” (Montessori, M. The Absorbent Mind, 2007: 24, Kindle Edition)? Do you explain that the aim of the Montessori pedagogy is to foster independence, self-regulation and concentration alongside the development of social skills and a love for learning?
Do you help them understand that “the environment is fundamental; it must facilitate the expansion of the being in process of development by a reduction of obstacles to a minimum, and must allow free scope for a child’s energies, by offering the necessary means for the activities to which they give rise (Montessori, M. The Secret of Childhood, 2017: 91, Kindle Edition)? Do you share with them the indirect objectives of the materials and activities available to the children? Or only the direct objectives?
And, importantly, do you help them understand that the adult forms part of this environment; is, in fact, the ‘custodian’ of the environment, lovingly preparing it so that it meets the needs of the child? Do you explain the vital significance of observation as the adult guides “the development of the child’s spirit, and therefore her observations of the child are not limited solely to understanding him. All her observations must emerge at the end – and this is their only justification – in her ability to help the child” (Montessori, M. The Child in the Family, 2007: 75, Kindle Edition).
The Montessori Europe Summit held next weekend on Saturday 29 January from 13.00 – 15.30 (UTC) / 14.00 – 16.30 (CET) focuses on Materials for the Classroom and at Home. Bearing the indirect objectives of the Montessori activities and materials in mind, the speakers will invite participants to think beyond the standard Montessori materials, enabling them to design new activities which reflect the children’s interests, offering tips and suggestions, to feel enabled as a Guide who is, indeed, a help to life.
Speaking at the Summit are:
- Simone Davies, The Montessori Notebook/Jacaranda Tree Montessori, the Netherlands, 0 – 3
- Anna Blackman, Childminder, Mimosa Montessori, UK, 3 – 6
- Heidi van Staden, Montessori Academy and College/Montessori Centre South Africa, 6 – 12
- Tony Evans, Director of Schools, DVMS/Strata/SiTE, Canada, 12 – 18
- Jaroslaw Jendza, Assistant Professor, University of Gdansk, Poland, Trainee Teachers
The speakers will inspire participants to create that environment which facilitates “the expansion of the being in process of development” (Montessori, M. The Secret of Childhood 2017: 91, Kindle Edition).
This Summit is open to Friends and Members of Montessori Europe. Members will be able to access recordings of all sessions after the event, and those attending live will be able to request a certificate of attendance. Members who have activated their online account can continue to inspire each other by sharing their ideas in a dedicated Forum on our website where the speakers will also post some provocations.
We hope you will join us – you can register here.