Montessori Worldwide

First, I’d like to say how much I enjoyed the Montessori Education (UK) conference that was held in London a couple of weeks ago. As usual, Artful Dodgers was exhibiting but I also got the opportunity to listen to the morning’s speakers and was impressed by their commitment, enthusiasm – and the usual Montessori good sense!

Over the past couple of years we’ve been supplying equipment to a nursery in Nigeria. It’s a new start-up called ‘Cuddles Place’ and appears to be thriving under its owner, Weyinmi. I’ve asked her permission to include a couple of photos, as I think you’ll enjoy them.

And that’s one of the best things about Montessori – it transcends national boundaries. Children all over the world are learning and developing by using the same standards and ethos. Using the globes, maps and flag stands can be a great way to make your children really feel the link between themselves and others all over the world.

A manageable exercise is to start with a list of about six different countries where there is a Montessori presence – you could try Canada, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Germany, Argentina and Australia. First, show the children where each one is on the globe. Then narrow down your search by using the maps.

Make up a story board for each country using A3 poster paper sheets. On these include anything about the country that sparks your children’s interest. Ideas might include: the food they eat, the crops they grow, how they dress, what the weather is like, what games they play, what songs they sing, what special events they celebrate… The list is endless.

Cut things out of magazines and newspapers (the Sunday supplements often provide some fantastic pics) or print them from the Internet and stick them onto the story board. And don’t forget to include the national flag of each country. It’s amazing how children love to identify different flags. Finish off with a coloured border and you have something that will help your children get a better understanding of how others live and learn. Something that they can keep adding to and changing as their understanding develops.

Finally, I’d just like to mention the Montessori Schools Association National Conference on 18th June. We won’t be exhibiting, but I’m sure that it will be a fantastic day and I really envy everyone going on the boat trip at the end of the sessions!

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