Leaders from Two Major Montessori Organizations Come Together for Groundbreaking Collaboration
For Immediate Release
Contact: Marcy K. Krever, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: 212-358-1250 x323
American Montessori Society
116 East 16th Street, New York, NY 10003-2163
April 3, 2012. New York, NY.
The Montessori community was delighted when key members of two of the world’s most venerable Montessori organizations— the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and the American Montessori Society (AMS)—met on March 17, 2012, to develop a shared understanding of the issues and challenges faced by the Montessori community in the U.S., and to strategize about how they can work together to effect common goals.
The occasion was a panel discussion, “AMS & AMI: A Dialogue about the Future of Montessori Education,” which took place during AMS’s Annual Conference, held this year in San Francisco, California. It was the first time in AMI and AMS’s cumulative 135-year history that leaders from the organizations have met publically to develop a shared agenda—and the mood was electric.
Representing the Association Montessori Internationale were André Roberfroid, president; Adam Lewis, president of AMI/USA (the primary operational affiliate of AMI in the United States); and Virginia McHugh Goodwin, AMI/USA executive director. AMS panelists were Kathy Roemer, president; Sharon Damore, Board secretary and chair emeritus of the AMS Research Committee; and Richard Ungerer, executive director, who served as dialogue facilitator.
Ungerer started the event by welcoming the panelists and thanking them for joining one another in conversation, which he acknowledged as a vital step in collaboration. He then opened the field for responses to prepared questions, which focused mainly on ways the organizations can work together cooperatively to ensure that Montessori education is a growing and positive force in the United States.
Topics included research, public policy, Montessori in the public sector, and raising the visibility of Montessori, among others.
Overall, panelists expressed consensus on central, unifying points, for example, that a goal of both organizations is to create optimal learning environments for children; that a key to success is “one voice, one message”; and that a Montessori Movement must be open to everyone. They also agreed on the value of pooling resources.
Many members of the audience expressed their enthusiasm for the direction being taken by the two organizations and the possibilities that it offers for growing and strengthening the Montessori Movement in the U.S.
This is a first step in what is intended to be a continuing conversation and dialogue.
Montessori is a holistic, child-centered form of education, developed in Italy more than 100 years ago by educational pioneer Dr. Maria Montessori, and based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood.
The Association Montessori Internationale, headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, was founded by Dr. Montessori in 1929 to maintain the integrity of her life's work, and to ensure that it would be perpetuated after her death. AMI/USA, an affiliate of AMI, is located in Rochester, NY.
Based in New York City, NY, the American Montessori Society was founded in 1960 by educator Nancy McCormick Rambusch, PhD, with the backing of key parents from Whitby School (Greenwich, CT), to adapt Montessori for an American culture, and to strengthen the Montessori Movement in the United States.