Erdkinder: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Leading Secondary Montessori educators will take you on a survey of the theory, practice, and outcomes of Erdkinder in this multi-part workshop. You will trace the concept’s impact on the third plane of development, from Dr. Montessori’s original theory to how Erdkinder is being adapted and implemented today.

You will come away able to identify successfully implemented Erdkinder practices, a firm understanding of Montessori’s initial vision for “land children,” creative ideas for how to adapt the theory to fit the needs of your student, and an understanding that the study of Erdkinder is unfinished—and will continuously adapt alongside the changing habits of humankind.

This workshop will be presented in 4 parts: 2 on-demand units (“Growing Tall,” “Seeds of an Idea”), a live panel discussion (“Taking Root”), and a reflective conversation between you and your fellow attendees (“Branching Out”). 

Part 1: Growing Tall

Veteran adolescent guides will give testimony to the outcomes of successfully implemented Montessori practice at the Secondary level. You will hear their personal stories about student achievement and be invited to explore the feelings you may encounter while guiding a class of adolescents growing into their independence and self-actualization.

This section will frame the conversations to come and keep you focused on your task: the education and improvement of the adolescent.

Part 2: Seeds of an Idea

Return to Erdkinder’s beginning in this core concept review with teacher educators Dr. Elisabeth Coe (Houston Montessori Center) and Dr. Katie Keller Wood (Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program). Review Maria Montessori’s essays on the adolescent; explore the social, emotional, and physical sensitive periods of learners ages 12 – 18; and consider the meaning and outcomes of “land children” and “Earth schooling.”

In reviewing the foundation of Erdkinder, you will gain confidence in implementing authentic, quality Secondary programs in your school.

Part 3: Taking Root

Live Panel Discussion
A group of today’s Secondary practitioners will come together for a lively panel discussion on how they are adapting Dr. Montessori’s vision in their classrooms. They will offer new perspectives and illustrate divergent implementations of Erdkinder that meet the needs of their students. You will come away with an expanded palette of ideas for engaging students in their projects. You will also see how, in the intervening century, Maria Montessori’s theories have remained the roots of Secondary education even as today’s teachers work to make Erdkinder relevant to the 21st-century student.

Part 4: Branching Out

Live Breakout Discussions
The work is unfinished. Simply by virtue of being a Montessori Secondary educator you are a researcher, a scientist, and a pioneer. Practitioners of Montessori at the Secondary level are breaking new ground, exploring the ever-changing social landscape of humanity, and defining the field with each passing day.

In this final session, you will come together with your fellow attendees for a presenter-facilitated conversation on topics such as what Erdkinder looks like in your program and how you are branching out (or would like to branch out) to push the boundaries of Montessori education at the Secondary level. There will be ample time to ask questions and share stories of your challenges and your successes. The exchange will not only help cement concepts explored earlier, but leave you with new and deepened connections with your peers.