For details, see the working-groups/ Montessori Express page
On the occasion of Children’s Day the team of Montessori School Warsow sent this song to all their pupils and would like to include the ME community as well.
Dear members of Montessori Europe,
As mentioned, we have postponed our next Congress to early 2021 in Prague, since there are other competing events celebrating Maria Montessori’s 150th birthday in the fall of 2020. We would like to inform you about other events we are planning for 2020 and about the Board elections taking place at the next Congress.
1) Events in 2020
The later Congress scheduling gives us the opportunity to host three smaller events in 2020:
Saturday, May 2, 2020 in London
Round Table Event in May cancelled, but new event on the way
Due to the corona crisis we have had to cancel the Round Table Event of 2 May in London. In these uncertain times it is difficult to estimate when live events will be possible again, but we are glad to announce that we will participate in a series of webinars that will be organised by Montessori St. Nicholas, WeRtheFuture and Montessori Model United Nations. The series will focus on on topics ranging from sustainability, art, biodiversity, environment to the economy. The guiding question will be “What can we learn from the current situation?”
The webinars are meant for (secondary) schools and can be used by teachers in virtual or real classrooms.
Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020 in Prague – Secondary School Roundtable (open space format)
(in cooperation with Institut Dohovka, Prague)
Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020 in Prague – Montessori Research Roundtable (workshop format)
(in cooperation with the MERGe Working Group)
Also, the Montessori Express 2020 is planning an event in October 2020 leading up to the Montessori Congress in Rome.
We will provide more details in our next ME Newsletter or in direct invitations.
2) AGM with ME Board Elections
The next Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Montessori Europe will take place during the ME Congress in Prague in early 2021. This will include our regular Board elections.
The tenure of Board members is 4 years; according to our staggered election cycle, elections for half of the positions take place every 2 years. At the next AGM, the ME President and up to three Board positions without portfolio are up for election.
Our President since 2014, Mirjam Stefels, will not be standing for re-election. We regret this very much, but understand that she wishes to pursue other activities. During 2020, we will be informing you of the profile of a successor that we will be looking for, as well as inviting interested persons to approach the Board.
As an exception, we have an additional election at the AGM: When Michael Rubinstein was elected as our Vice-President in 2018, he stated that he would most likely not continue beyond 2020. He has regretfully decided to step down at the next AGM, so that we will be electing a successor for this position as well.
We will keep your informed on these topics as more information becomes available.
We appreciate your membership in Montessori Europe. Your membership builds solidarity by connecting the Montessori community, supporting the Montessori movement and provides these additional benefits for you:
- Discount on registration to Montessori Europe congresses;
- Voting privileges in the Montessori Europe Board elections;
- The opportunity to join Montessori Europe Working Groups.
Institutional members can announce events and open positions on our website, and participate in the marketplace at our congresses.
As a way to say thank you, we are happy to share with you the attached infographic of the three keynote presentations at the Dublin 2019 Congress.
We wish you all the best for 2020!
The Board of Montessori Europe
Mirjam Stefels, Michael Rubinstein, Jörg Boysen, Judith Cunningham, Bojana Mikaric, Camilla Miller, Barbara Isaacs and Christian Grune
Montessori Europe e.V.
Grünstr. 23, 12555 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 21 480 18 40
President: Mirjam Stefels; Registered with: District Court Berlin-Charlottenburg, VR 36635 B
In the December issue of our newsletter you can read the feedback from the attendees of our congress in Dublin. The ME working groups all met during the congress – read the reports on these meetings.
The organizers of the Global Montessori Games, Jeroen Gremmen, Roelant Wijngaards and Aiden Bloodworth, met at the Montessori Europe conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2018, while attending the MMUN Workshop. The idea was to bring together Montessori schools from around the world for a sport for peace initiative that shares the Olympic vision of fun, friendship, solidarity and fair play. Since then, the idea grew, as did interest and participation, all culminating in the delivery of the first event in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. 118 students and teachers, from 9 different countries, came together and shared a week of noncompetitive sport, cultural exchange and celebration of peace. It was a real success and the positive feedback from those involved has been overwhelming. It is only the beginning. Just a year after meeting and making all of this happen, we were invited to return to the Montessori Europe conference, this time in Dublin, Ireland, to share the results of our research. The interest in what we have done was amazing and we feel proud to have been given such a warm reception, while connecting with Montessorians from all over the world.The encouragement and interest that we have received has reassured us that our aims are both relevant and achievable and we look forward to connecting more Montessori students, teachers and professionals at future events.If you would like to know more about what we do, recent updates and future events, please visit our website you can find also information about the next GMG-Winter-version of these games in Norway in December 2021.
We hope that together, we can make a better and more peaceful world.
Global Association of Montessori Education and Sport
Michael Dorer recently published his new book “Hatching the Cosmic Egg”. It is meant for children and there is a accompanying CD with music included in the package. Read more about it in a review by Kitty Bravo by clicking this link.
„The needs of children and adolescents in the 21st century“
Do children or adolescents have different needs today? What would Dr. Maria Montessori say about the development of digital technology? How would you integrate it into the respective learning environments?
There are possible answers in her extensive written legacy, and who knows Dr. Montessori’s work better than acknowledged experts?
Three international speakers will accompany the participants on a Montessori journey through early childhood and elementary school to puberty and adolescence.
Due to the internationality of Montessori education and this year’s conference topic the lectures will be held in English and not translated.For more information, please go to https://www.montessori-deutschland.de/2019/12/09/montessori-conference-27-03-2020/
Recently the yearly conference of the Polish Montessori Association took place in Lodz. The conference celebrated the 25thanniversary of the association and that did not go by unnoticed!
In summary, the Lodz workshops offered the opportunity to exchange thoughts on theory and practice.
On behalf of Montessori Europe I addressed the members of the association, especially Malgorzata Miksza, president and former ME board member. 25 Years ago she took the initiative to found both a school and the Polish Montessori Association. In my speech I mentioned that the Polish organisation and ME have organised three ME congresses together: in Lodz, Krakow and Lublin. Both in Lodz and Krakow Malgorzata was the leader of the national congress team. In 2018 she was made Honorary Member of ME.
To emphasize our cooperation I have attended the Polish conference over the past five years and have given workshops. This year’s workshop was titled “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony’. Doing this is for me a pleasant way to meet the Polish members.
After all the speeches an enormous birthday cake (30 kilograms!) was cut and shared with all attendees. All allendees also received a ceramic snail – the symbol of the Polish Montessori Association.
During the congress in Sofia Hatice Duzgun invited me to visit North Cyprus in order to help thinking about the future of Montessori education there. In this part of Cyprus there are ten Montessori schools for children from 2-6 years, both state and privately funded.
The first day of my visit I went to five schools, accompanied by Hatice Duzgun and by Serife Celebi, a teacher of English who acted as interpreter during my visit. Four of these schools were private schools, led by Hatice, who also trains the teachers. In the past Hatice worked for the Ministry of Education and at various regular schools; therefore she has many contacts and a few state schools have now also joined the training programme.
Is was very touching to observe how proud teachers are of the children and their work. They work enthusiastically at creating the prepared environment. In this they succeed, although they are uncertain at times. This kind of visit is inspiring but at the same time sensitive: I am not a school inspector, but teachers experience this in a different way: they are nervous and have taken care of extra cleaning. They take their work seriously and want to do their utmost to show this. They ask questions such as: “Is the way I do it right?” “What do you think of the cabinets?” These are understandable questions that I feel I should answer, but without judging them. After all, I am nothing but a Montessori pedagogue, although with a lot of experience. For me it is important to reflect on the Montessori pedagogy and its possibilities – these are especially relevant here.
The state schools are housed in traditional school buildings and class rooms are set in the same style. This makes for more traditional schools, whereas the private schools are housed in former private dwellings, which is very different and has the effect of a Montessori house. Is that difference ”right” or “wrong”? Sometimes a school starts out when there is space to develop in the broad sense of the word. Children are challenged at cognitive and social emotional level and should enjoy their schooldays.
That children do enjoy their life at school is beyond doubt. I saw them at work, intensively, but also relaxed reading a book together or enjoying communal activities. I got a reception as if I was a queen: an orange was squeezed for me, I received a garland of flowers made by children and their teachers. And a spontaneous welcome by a child who asks in English who you are and what the purpose of your visit is, made my heart melt…
The second day was more official, with a visit to Ministry of Education. Montessori schools are tolerated, but not completely accepted, largely because of a lack of knowledge. Therefore my task was to explain the work of Montessori Europe and to make clear that recognition at the national level is important. I also gave an interview, broadcast by radio and television, in which information about montessori pedagogy was the key message.
Looking back on the visit to the Minister of Education I think it was successful. I emphasized that training facilities for teachers 6-9 are necessary for the development to primary education. This training should be situated within the national training programme. The minister understood this and invited us to explore this together. He is also willing to support a future ME congress in Cyprus. After a photo session we left the Ministry satisfied.
I look back on my visit with admiration for the work and enthusiasm of Hatice, her colleagues and the children at the schools. Back in The Netherlands a colleague at work had seen a photo on my Facebook page and asked me where I had been. When I told her I had been to Cyprus for Montessori Europe she said: “Wow, that is a holiday!“ I smiled, thought of all the (thinking) effort such a visit takes and said: “Yes, a successful Montessori holiday.”
Invited by Montessori St Nicholas (MSN) the ME Board visited London to attend an event about Maria Montessori. The event took place on International Women’s Day and was organised by MSN.
After the event MSN and the ME Board explored ways in which a partnership between the two organisations can be realized.
The ME Board is very thankful to Montessori St Nicholas for the warm welcome and is hopeful that a partnership will soon be effected.
In the weekend of the AMI AGM in Amsterdam, 4 and 5 April, the Montessori Adolescent Initiative offers a colloquium on working with adolescents in a prepared environment. The colloquium consists of two different assemblies, one for teachers with little experience with adolescents, the other for experienced teachers in this area.
The colloquium is free and open to all subscribers.
More information and (obligatory) registration at:
On the MERGe page you can now find new subpages devoted to Stories from Montessori schools and MERGe ME Congress handouts.
Find the latest newsletter on our webpage!
Go to News –> Newsletters
or click here
The ME Board held its final meeting for 2018 at the beginning of December. This is a short summary of items from the agenda:
The board decided on a new concept for the congress – see elsewhere on the website. Quality standards were also discussed. Interactivity in workshops, forums and keynotes deserves extra attention.
The board also looked at the possibility to have one or more places as regular congress venues to get more stability in the organisation and the costs. As yet, no decision has been taken.
Friends and partners
The board would like to make organisations that are friends and/or partners more visible. This includes reaching out to organisations with which ME has no relation as yet and strengthening the ties with others.
Communication and marketing
This will be an important item for the next few months. A new communication/marketing plan will be written, including the relation between ME and its sponsors.
Starting in January ME will once again have a (part-time) General Secretary, in addition to the services provided by Montessori Foundation Berlin. More information on this topic will follow shortly.
Looking for an unforgettable and fun international event for your pupils – aged 12 – 16? Join the first Global Montessori Games in Nijmegen – The Netherlands – from September 16 until September 21, 2019.
This activity is not about winning prizes, but about connecting and meeting people in a fun way.
By attending this event pupils will learn more about different cultures and it will broaden their worldview. It will help them develop communication-, social-, and interpersonal skills. An experience they will never forget!
You are free to share this with other Montessori schools from all over the world. Hope to see you in September 2019!
Jeroen Gremmen & Roelant Wijngaards
After the successful roadtrip to 5 Dutch and 4 German secondary Montessori schools last April, we are busy organising another roadtrip, which will take place in April or May 2019. The final plan, including schools and dates, will be published on this website in January 2019.
The goal of the roadtrip is to see, experience and discuss the different ways the secondary stage of Montessori Education has been developed in the Netherlands and Germany.
You can choose the number of days you want to participate. Every morning at 8 o’clock a new trip will start from Pantarijn (Wageningen, The Netherlands) to a Dutch school (€ 30 per person per day) or a German school (€ 40 per person per day). This way you can arrange your own ‘Montessori expedition’.
More information will follow in January 2019. If you have any questions now, send them to Gabriel Enkelaar at email@example.com
Memories of the Montessori Europe Conference 2018 in Sofia
In the AGM at the ME congress in Sofia three new board members were elected to fill the places when vice president Beata Bednarczuk, Eva Baekkel and Ken Healy stepped down from the board.
Judith Cunningham, Camilla Miller and Barbara Isaacs were elected as new board members. Michael Rubinstein will be vice presendient for the next two years, Jörg Boysen was re-elected as treasurer.