Forum 4 Saturday morning 11.30 – 13.00

Diana Dimitrov and Sven Burger: How to explain the concept of “Erdkinder” to parents?

Montessori pedagogy is a concept that is wildly acknowledged as working for young children in the Casa de Bambini. Often there is an attrition in enrolment because some of the parents do not believe in the efficacy of Montessori pedagogy in compulsory education. However, when it comes to secondary education the concept of “Erdkinder” seems so revolutionary and estranging from the concept of a “school” that even some committed Montessori pedagogues do not fully believe in it. Parents want to be sure that they make the best decisions for their children. They have to be convinced that the concept of “Erdkinder” is the right decision. But how can you convince somebody of something which he or she cannot imagine or be shown?  Participants of the forum will discuss this question and further challenges concerning the work with parents at a secondary Montessori school. Ideas and solutions will be collected and could be used for the work with parents or even as a blueprint for a parents training concept.

Diana Dimitrov has been a teacher for young adolescents aged 12-18 at the Montessori Zentrum Hofheim for 19 years. She is also responsible for quality management and school development and has tried to foster the implementation of a genuine Montessori environment at every level of the school. At the forum she will share  her experience of having designed an educational program for parents at her school. She is a Montessori teacher trainer and has worked for the education ministry and has experience working with children and young people in the second and third plane of development. 

Sven Burger has been working in a Montessori school for 8 years, both as an administrator and a teacher, he has experience of establishing a state funded Montessori secondary school. He hold the national Montessori certificate for the age group 12 to 18 and took part in the Orientation for Adolescence studies. His current project focuses on setting up a land-based Erdkinder programme with boarding facilities. Throughout observations in Erdkinder programmes he got a wide overview on its possibilities and constraints.