By Lynne Lawrence, Executive Director of AMI
What an incredible year it has been to mark the 150th birthday of Maria Montessori, yet what a perfect opportunity to reflect on her work and show us how relevant it continues to be today and into our future.
While we had planned to celebrate so much in person, sharing our work, our vision and our achievements this year, we have still found ways to connect across the world and I am grateful to the AMI community for your continued work and commitment to continuing Montessori’s legacy.
This year has so far presented us with some challenges and realizations: A global pandemic which has forced us to adapt the way we train and teach overnight, while supporting schools and parents through the change; we have witnessed continued violations of our human rights, with the need for a continued reminder to societies that black lives matter; and we have marveled at the amazing impact our lack of travel has had on the planet, showing us how we can so quickly make the positive change we know is needed for a sustainable future for generations to come.
What these events have done is to focus us on where our attention needs to be, now and into the future, if we are to have the impact on the world which Maria Montessori worked towards.
That focus requires us to think about how accessible Montessori education is, and how we can work to ensure more children continue to gain access to it, from anywhere in the world. It also places a spotlight on the dignity with which we treat our elders and the need to continually work to support their basic human rights, as well as those of children and their communities, and how we must ensure that Montessori education remains the inclusive, accepting education it was set out to be, for children and adults of all abilities, and all cultures.
In order to do that we must remain open to learning, listening and understanding the needs of all communities that are striving to implement the Montessori approach.
As we celebrate Maria Montessori and remember all that she achieved as just one individual, to spread her ideas and ground breaking work in universal education on a global scale, we need to think about how we can continue to support her work.
Whether we are working as part of a large organization or are individuals championing Montessori’s work, we can all play our part to continue to communicate and demonstrate the incredible impact of Montessori education.
Each one of us has that power, the power to make a difference but if we can do it together – collaborating, sharing, supporting, learning from and listening to one another – just think how that difference can be amplified.
As a Montessori community, it’s our duty to continue this work – as a commitment on her 150th birthday – to make a difference in any way we can, large or small, to the lives of our children, to the lives of adults and our elders, in our communities and for the generations to come.
Let’s have a wonderful, productive, thoughtful, kind and globally collaborative year ahead!