Welcome to Montessori Guide!
The Association Montessori International/USA is pleased to premiere this new online resource tool for Montessori teachers. It has long been our intention to find innovative and unique ways to support our members in their daily work to meet the needs of children. This visionary project is now a reality as a result of an initiative undertaken by AMI/USA.
How to Navigate This Site
ABOUT THE PROJECT…
Montessori practicum is rarely included in the many professional development tools for teachers that have cropped up on the Internet in recent years. In fact, when Dr. Robert Pianta of the University of Virginia Curry School of Education presented his My Teaching Partner tool in 2010 at the AMI/USA refresher course, it was the inspiration that led to the development of an online resource tool for Montessori practitioners to demonstrate what quality Montessori looks like and needs to take into consideration in order to be implemented.
Montessori theory is straightforward, deeply tied to neuroscience and the natural developmental path of the child. Montessori practice, on the other hand, can be complex. What is crystal clear however, is that if the mission is to capture authentic Montessori practice on film for professional development purposes, the focus must be on showing the work of children in their classroom environments.
We decided to seek the child who emerges under the conditions described by Dr. Montessori in her writings in order to illustrate the concepts to be explored. Since October 2012, the creative team has traveled coast-to-coast, capturing ordinary days in Montessori environments on video in an attempt to show a diversity of real classrooms with real situations. Filming took place in urban areas, rural areas, suburban areas; in the public and private sectors; in corporate childcare sites and home-based care settings. Slowly, through this process, as the video illustrations of the pedagogical topics were crafted, that universal child emerged.
We hope you will remark while watching, “That looks like my classroom with the kinds of situations I face on a regular basis.” These are your colleagues, trained in AMI teacher training centers and working in schools adhering to AMI school standards, who were kind enough to let us in. We want to thank them for their gracious hospitality.
Most importantly, we hope Montessori Guide will inspire. We wanted to follow a new level of inquiry and to essentially begin delving deeper into our craft. Too often discussions of Montessori have gotten bogged down in the “A, B, C” level of explaining practice and theory. Montessori Guide is different. It explores topics that were chosen to assist daily practice.
Over time the site will be growing. In the meantime, welcome, and let’s get started!
Virginia McHugh Goodwin
The AMI/USA board would like to extend sincere gratitude to those who contributed to this site…
Director, Emily Green
Cinematographer and film editor, Renny McCauley
Graphic support, Victoria Brzustowicz
AMI heads of school, teachers, and students across the United States
Thank you for welcoming us into your classrooms
AMI Teacher Trainer Advisory Committee
Thank you for guidance on finding filming locations, reviewing the videos, and offering direction and support
Authors and commentators
Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience that provide the pedagogical foundation for the entire site