The deep understanding of Montessori Education must come from research and studies developed in the context of the contemporary world. To reach this aim, Montessori Europe has initiated the Research Working Group. The main task of this group is to search for issues that fit in with the interests of the members of the group and to define actions around shared activities.
The Research Working Group will start by setting up (a) how to establish and proceed with projects and (b) how to communicate and organize meetings of members involved. So setting up the operations of the working group will be “discussed in action”. But the most important thing is that ideas arise “at the source” of Montessori education.
Meeting at the 2017 ME Congress
Three persons joined the meeting of the Research Group and used the time intensively. An important question was how to involve Montessori teachers and trainers into a small-scale inquiry process. To encourage practitioners to participate a change of the group name was proposed: Research Group: Improving the Montessori practice through inquiry. Thus, all educators may feel invited to contribute to the work in group .
A mail will be sent to all congress participants with our plans and an invitation to join the group with a personal contribution. We can take matters further after the participants’ responses:
- The organization of a small group of members responsible for establishing the Research Group action plan in between congresses. An additional meeting will be organized for them;
- The launching of a database of teachers, trainers, research fellows, experts interested in undertaking and supporting research within Montessori Europe;
- The process of recognition of studies/reports done by or under the guidance of members of Montessori Europe and making them public as the Montessori Europe Research Library;
- The organization of a presentation of individual findings during the next congress session in Sofia/Bulgaria;
- The recognition of the possibilities and needs of educationalists as an impulse to organize a research workshop at the next year congress.
Update February 2018
Just before Christmas time a letter was sent to all Montessori Europe members, informing them about the activities of the Research Group. The idea of sharing and discussing teachers` experiences and findings to improve classroom practice was presented. To encourage practitioners a more concrete name was proposed for the research group: IMPROVING MONTESSORI PRACTICE THROUGH RESEARCH. All interested members were asked to contribute to the work of the Research Group. The starting point was collecting ideas/thoughts on how to spread out the Montessori practitioners’ reflective approach into self-study teacher research. What do teachers need to organize a small-scale research to improve their practice? What are expectations and potentials in the area of research of ME members?
There were two responses to this letter, one form a researcher from the University of Gdańsk (Poland) and one from a teacher from Gotland (Sweden).
Another deadline is now set: 15 March 2018. We are still looking for contributions from teachers. Practitioners are once more requested to become an active part of the RESEARCH GROUP: IMPROVING MONTESSORI PRACTICE THROUGH RESEARCH by sending a personal presentation: a study, summary and/or abstract reporting on a study/research. Personal imput will be helpful to organize group work and the next research meeting in Sofia.
I am looking forward to hearing from you soon,
Beata Bednarczuk – email@example.com