Portland, Oregon, nestled within the American Pacific Northwest, is a region known for both its rich biodiversity and vibrant Montessori community. Here the study of volcanoes and old growth trees runs in tandem with Dr. Montessori’s teachings of a child’s capacity to explore and study nature.
The 2013 International Montessori Congress allowed us to look closer at how Montessori education is guided by children’s natural development and how that growth fosters a respectful relationship with the environment. The Congress theme, “Montessori: Guided By Nature,” took root in that dynamic relationship and celebrated that we are all uniquely tied to the physical and ecological makeup of our surroundings.
The 27th International Montessori Congress aimed to feature presentations from speakers in diverse professional fields. Presenters, however, shared common attributes: They were eager to explore the implications of Montessori education within their respective professions; they could transform ideas into action; and they were passionate about exploring and expounding upon the Congress theme, “Montessori: Guided By Nature.”
Attendees experienced the Congress programming as a cohesive narrative that unfurled over the four-day event. Using the publication The Child, Society, and the World: Unpublished Speeches and Writings (Montessori 1989) as inspiration, each day of the 2013 Congress was thematically structured.
Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 – ”Origins and Potential”
Thursday, August 1st, 2013 – “The Natural Child”
Friday, August 2nd, 2013 – “Society and Nature”
Saturday, August, 3rd, 2013 – “Our World, Our Legacy“
Together, the 2013 International Montessori Congress “Guided By Nature” invigorated educational passion, fostered new and old friendships, and reignited Dr. Montessori’s spark in those who practice her method around the world.