MONTESSORI GROUP NEWS – Summer 2021
(The Montessori Group consists of MCI and Montessori St Nicholas)
We entered this summer after almost 18 months of life that has been really challenging for almost everyone.
What was clear to us, as we watched, felt, and suffered with everyone, were three things.
- If we are going to make a difference, then we had to, and must think about, what is needed in the present and in the future, and not live in the past.
- Maria Montessori understood about evolution and change. She lived through the chaos of two World Wars and a pandemic, as well as massive societal change. This didn’t stop her being a radical thinker but, even more importantly, it didn’t stop her being prepared to implement her approach. Maria Montessori was a ‘thinker’ and ‘doer’ – she was prepared to be unpopular and go against the tide of traditional thinking. We should do the same.
- At a time when so many people have suffered, and will continue to suffer, we have a duty to put social impact at the heart of all that we do. As Maria Montessori said, “The greatest step forward in human evolution was made when society began to help the weak and the poor, instead of oppressing and despising them.”
In previous updates we have outlined how we have chosen to do this, with the main strategic direction of the Montessori Group (MCI and Montessori St Nicholas) being to ensure that Montessori is available to all, regardless of economic means, and is focussed on the child.
As Montessorians, you will all have that focus on the child and especially the most vulnerable children in society.
We continue to develop and work to achieve this legacy. Since our last newsletter at Easter, we have been focussing on our social impact work and support for practitioners. Some of our highlights are:
- Launching our first Host Centre, offering a range of courses and qualifications from the MCI portfolio. We are thrilled that Little Dukes Training Academy in Richmond will begin training in October this year; with further Centres in Manchester, London, Germany, Spain, and Malaysia following very soon.
- The International Montessori Institute at Leeds Beckett University has launched the new Montessori Education BA. We have supported this by launching a new, annual, £50,000 scholarship fund for anyone wanting to study this new accelerated (2-year) degree.
- Holding our first International Montessori Awards to recognise and celebrate the amazing work of Montessori practitioners, settings, and children, especially in such challenging times.
- Launching two research funds to encourage research into effective early-years pedagogy and the positive impact of Montessori in practice. The European Research Fund will announce its first successful projects very soon, and our Early Years Insight Fund will be operated in collaboration with partner Universities and engage with a range of practitioners and children through into 2022.
- Maintaining an active, strategic focus on supporting families during lockdown including free resources via our Montessori Network and partnerships with other organisations (see our partnerships page to see the breadth of our collaboration montessori-group.com/partnerships/s)
- Joining colleagues in the early years sector in holding the Government to account and calling for support for early years practitioners, settings, and children.
- Becoming part of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Childcare & Early Education and on Women & Work. For the first time in decades, this has put a Montessori voice at the heart of the British parliament. From October 2021, we will be launching a new series of monthly webinars with the CEO of MCI – Maccs Pescatore – where she will take questions from you to put to the APPGs so that your voice can be heard directly in parliament.
- Launching our new STAR framework to provide recognition and professional accreditation for nurseries, education providers, childminders, and schools looking for a trustworthy, quality mark of excellence in their educational provision. STAR opened to applicants early this year and we are thrilled with the number of sign-ups so far from across the world. We look forward to working with these providers to highlight and publicly recognise their commitment and dedication to providing quality education through a Montessori or Montessori-inspired approach to their learning and teaching experiences. If you are interested in STAR, please email email@example.com
- Collaborating with partner organisations, (e.g., Jane Goodall Institute, Humanimal Trust and Cities for Children) so that nearly 25,000 children globally have had access to Montessori for the first time
- Our webinars have been watched by 121,000 people globally. We recorded our new series of podcasts with Professor Catherine McTamaney, which will be launched at the beginning of September within our Montessori Network.
In addition, we have been planning and developing new initiatives.
MCI training, courses and qualifications
MCI continues to maintain a wide portfolio of accredited and internally awarded qualifications and courses available to support practitioners and trainees at all stages of their career within the education sector.
Through a range of collaborations with our partners and validators, MCI operates:
- NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – Birth to Seven (Early Years Educator)
- NCFE CACHE Level 4 Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – Birth to Seven (Early Years Educator)
- Integrating Montessori Practice (IMP) – Principles & Philosophy
Note: IMP courses are internally awarded MCI certifications that support professional development for qualified practitioners wishing to add a Montessori professional specialism to their practice.
Delivery of all MCI courses and qualifications is flexible and accessible for applicants based in the UK and overseas. Due to continuing restrictions on travel, we are working on the basis that courses will be delivered online with the practical element delivered, whenever and wherever possible, in a network of Montessori settings across the UK and the globe. As per our previous correspondence, we will maintain London training locations for those who wish to come into London.
Contact us today to find out more about which courses are available to suit your study requirements (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Higher Education: International Montessori Institute
We are pleased to announce that we have launched a scholarship programme to support the next generation of Montessori educators. The funding will support prospective teachers through higher education, and in turn, enrich the experiences of children who receive a Montessori education.
We are providing £50,000 in scholarships, awarded to students who are studying on the UK’s first accelerated degree course in Montessori Education. This scholarship will be available each year.
This course is offered through the International Montessori Institute, co-created by Montessori St Nicholas and Leeds Beckett University’s Carnegie School of Education. The Institute was established in August 2020 and now provides access to the UK’s first dedicated full complement of Higher Education courses for applicants looking for undergraduate and postgraduate (Masters, Doctoral-level study, and Professorship), specialising in Montessori Education.
To find more about the programme and the scholarship please visit: https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/courses/primary-education-accelerated-degree-montessori-ba/
In 2021, the Montessori Group are well-placed, both reputationally and professionally, to secure accessible research opportunities that can positively influence the future of Montessori education. We remain highly motivated to work in collaboration with a range of partners and develop research projects; in turn promoting robust findings across a range of education and educationally allied subjects.
We remain focused on creating a positive and productive experience for all research colleagues and those involved in our projects, enabling particular opportunity for practice-based involvement and knowledge exchange with new researchers, practitioner graduates and international and regional networks to work together in our projects.
Our partnership with Leeds Beckett University, enables the International Montessori Institute to maintain drive and focus through integrated research to understand and share the impact and potential reach of the Montessori Method. In the coming months projects focussed on practitioners, their roles and their holistic wellbeing plus a major child-centred research project will all be launched.
This year we are also working with a range of partners to undertake research to advance our shared knowledge of the value of a Montessori education, enhancement of educational experiences for children and further cross-sector work focused on health, wellbeing, mental health, resilience, social emotional intelligence and digital education.
The on-going research themes for the Institute are very much rooted in the work of Dr Montessori and the application of the Montessori principles. Through research we seek to inform education policy change nationally and internationally in order to advance outcomes for children.
Should this be of interest to you; please do contact us directly to discuss further involvement in our research work and projects. Contact: email@example.com
Join us in the #KindnessMatters global campaign
We are joining forces with the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) to support the #KindnessMatters global campaign to collect 1 million stories of kindness in support of the creation of a new UNESCO International Day of Kindness at the UNESCO General Conference in November 2021.
You can help by sharing with us your stories of kindness via our webpage
The absolute best stories and most inspirational stories will be featured on the Kindness Stories and Kindness Globe.
To date the campaign has gathered 677,810 stories of kindness towards the target of 1 million.
The Autumn will bring more new initiatives. We firmly believe we have duty to children everywhere to support and nurture their potential to change the world and that Montessori is the tool that will help us achieve that.
Leonor Stjepic Maccs Pescatore
CEO of Montessori Group CEO MCI
Chair of MCI