Progressive Initiatives in Education the Focus of Upcoming American Montessori Society Conference in Dallas

Progressive Initiatives in Education the Focus of Upcoming American Montessori Society Conference in Dallas

For Immediate Release

Contact: Cathy O'Brien, Public Relations Consultant
Phone: 212-358-1250 x323

American Montessori Society
116 East 16th Street, New York, NY 10003-2163

Increased testing. Ensuring a secure campus. Social media’s effect on children. These are just some of the issues facing America’s educators. How to tackle them will be a central theme as Montessori leaders from across the globe gather March 27 – 30, at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas, for the American Montessori Society’s 2014 Annual Conference.

Four days of workshops will present a bold look at the policy pitfalls and issues facing today’s schools and families; for example:

  • Teaching the Test Without Teaching to the Test 
  • Understanding & Addressing the Effects of the Trauma of Violence on Children
  • Helping Gender Variant Children

Montessori education, a scientifically-based approach developed more than 100 years ago, presents an alternative to traditional education, generously creating a learning environment that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, and cognitive. Classrooms for children of all ages, infants through adolescents, are carefully designed to be close, caring communities that encourage exploration and discovery, promote independence, and help all kinds of minds to succeed.

To this point, Temple Grandin, PhD, the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world, and author of numerous bestselling books including The Autistic Brain, will present a keynote address in which she makes the case that the world needs all types of thinkers—including those who think in pictures, as she does. The conference will also feature New York Times best-selling author of Far From the Tree, Andrew Solomon, PhD. Drawing from his interviews with parents of children who face extraordinary challenges such as dwarfism, deafness, or being conceived in rape, Dr. Solomon will explain how by embracing the differences between us, we expand our definition of what it is to be human.

Dr. Maria Montessori—the educational pioneer, who, in the early 20th century Italy, developed the practice of education that would come to bear her name worldwide—passionately argued that values such as global citizenship and peaceful resolution of conflict must be a part of every child’s education. Championing this message will be keynoter John Hunter, whose “World Peace Game” was hailed by TED and Huffington Post as “the most influential idea of 2011.” Created by Hunter for his own students, the game is a hands-on political simulation that gives players the opportunity to explore the connectedness of the global community through the lens of economic, social, and environmental crises and the imminent threat of war.

“All things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity,” said Maria Montessori—words that will surely resonate in the minds of those taking part in AMS’s Day of Service, a feature of the Annual Conference that enables attendees to share the Montessori spirit with their host city. This year’s event will be held at Mosaic, a Dallas organization that provides resources for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Volunteers will work with clients at Mosaic’s Vocational Center to make simple craft projects and will assist clients to with landscaping work at a Mosaic residence.

Online conference registration, open to all, runs through February 28. On-site registration will be available, space permitting. Registration and the full schedule of over 150 events for the AMS 2014 Annual Conference can be found at

For media passes, e-mail Cathy O'Brien.

About the American Montessori Society
The American Montessori Society is a not-for-profit organization based in New York City, with nearly 13,000 members worldwide. Founded in 1960, AMS sets the high professional standards that inform Montessori education as practiced in AMS-accredited schools and taught in AMS-affiliated teacher education programs. AMS is also a Montessori information hub, a voice in the public policy arena, and a mobilizing force for the global Montessori community through support services, research, and professional development events. Executive Director: Richard A. Ungerer. President of the Board of Directors: Joyce Pickering.

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