NOCME is the National Organizations Council of Montessori Europe. In the past the rules for membership of NOCME were unclear. In November 2016 the board decided to change participation in NOCME. Now NOCME membership is restricted to institutional members of ME that are national organizations (“associations”).

NOCME meeting 24 March 2018, Berlin
Four NOCME members met at the special meeting in Berlin: Nina Johansen (Norsk Montessoriforbund, Norway), Helen Prochazka (Montessori Partnership, UK), Jörg Boysen (Montessori Dachverband, Germany; ME Board), Michael Rubinstein (ME Board).

The agenda consisted of

  • Analyzing responses to the questionnaire that had been sent
  • Formulating goals and agenda for our next meeting(s)
  • Discussing NOCME membership

Eight persons responded for their organisation on the questionnaire we sent out to seventeen organisations.

Seven out of eight characterized their organisations as having a national reach; in some cases international contacts were mentioned as well.

We had asked respondents to rank five topics that might be of interest for NOCME. We counted the first and second places in the ranking and in this way a ranking order was reached. ‘Raising awareness for Montessori education’ was the topic most mentioned, followed by ‘Quality standards for Montessori schools’.

We also asked for possible contributions from organisations and made a list of these. ‘Share and network’ and ‘report and discuss’ were mentioned a few times.

Next we discussed what raising awareness for Montessori education meant. We decided that we needed more detailed information from our members/interested parties and will send out a follow-up questionnaire.

We think that there are two sides to consider in raising awareness:

  • To develop strategies together that will improve the spread of Montessori education in Europe;
  • For national organisations: to take home strategies they can use in their own country.

As raising awareness is a very broad term, we think that topics such as sustainability and digital learning/digitalization can be useful to tackle in order to get the ball rolling. Discussing these subjects will change NOCME meetings into work sessions, perhaps a workshoplike structure with an introduction and facilitator.

This will also influence the nature of NOCME as such. Up until now NOCME has officially been an advisory council to the ME Board. However, it has hardly ever had that function. We propose therefore to transform NOCME into a forum for national organisations. In such a forum organisations can make contributions, take home what they need and help design ME strategies.

It is clear to us that national organisations should have a place within the ME organisation. The ME Board consists of individuals, who do not represent an organisation. It is therefore necessary for ME to have a place where the organisations can be heard. We think the transformation of NOCME into a forum will be more productive, both for the national organisations and for ME.

Finally, the question remains what we will consider as national organisations. Our proposal is to be pragmatic and use a broad definition which will include school associations, teacher training associations and accreditation organisations that operate at a national level.

To summarize:

  1. We propose to change the nature of NOCME from advisory council into forum. NOCME will become NOFME, FNOME, NoMEF, NOF – to name but a few possible names. More importantly: if this proposal is supported by NOCME members, it will become a formal proposal in the next AGM to change the statutes accordingly.
  2. Under this proposal membership will be open to school associations, teacher training associations and accreditation organisations that operate at a national level who are ME members.
  3. We propose a new way of meeting. To get more information from the members we will send out a second questionnaire. At this moment there are a lot of national organisations that have shown interest in NOCME, but have not yet become participants. We will try to convince them that it is worthwhile to participate.

Jörg Boysen, Nina Johansen, Helen Prochazka, Michael Rubinstein

Michael Rubinstein –