A small group of teachers from Horsham Montessori attended the annual Montessori Conference at the QEII Centre in London on Saturday 28 September. They joined around 750 delegates from across the country to hear from a range of speakers and participated in some fascinating workshops.
It has been 100 years since Maria Montessori delivered her first training in London, and the conference celebrated her legacy as well as looking at the future of Montessori education. Speakers shared the latest research insights and practical ideas for applying Montessori pedagogy.
Dr Angeline Lillard, Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, discussed the long-term outcomes of Montessori education and presented data from new studies examining the long-term association with health, wellbeing and other measures in adulthood.
Professor Michael Thomas, Educational Neuroscientist, reviewed recent evidence on sensitive periods in brain development and how these stages link to concepts underpinning the Montessori approach.
The session on ‘Learning outdoors: children’s capacity for personal risk assessment’ explored the concept of risk in children’s play. Enforcing too much caution on young children can put real limitations on them and therefore on their development. Montessori believed in the ability of the child to test his/her own ability and gain confidence from the achievement. She wrote, “The child’s first instinct is to carry out his actions by himself, without anyone helping him, and his first conscious bid for independence is made when he defends himself against those who try to do the action for him.”
It was a very interesting and inspirational day with lots of information to digest and take back to the nursery.