This Conference namely “The Relevance & Effectiveness of Montessori Education in the 21st Century,” was graced by the former President of Singapore, Mr.S.R. Nathan with his awe-inspiring speech aiming to reinforce the importance of “the basic Montessori philosophy that every child is unique and possesses an innate desire to learn and produce purposeful, meaningful work.” He further underlined the significance of “holistic learning as a bedrock for academic excellence, success and as a stepping stone towards cultivating a positive self image, character building and developing important life skills.” Mr.S.R. Nathan.
In support of the conference, Dr. Gudula Meisterjahn-Knebel, President of Montessori Europe, travelled all the way from Germany to congratulate the opening of the conference. In her address to the audience, she conversed passionately about the preservation of Montessori Education.
The most vital and distinctive feature lies in the fact that “Montessori education does not lead to competitiveness, to envy and selfishness and consequently to conflict, but on the contrary fosters mutual help, social solidarity, altruism and thus educates for peace and friendship” Prof. Winfried Bohm from Germany explained in his speech. As more and more children are being diagnosed with special educational needs, “Montessori Education is more relevant now than ever; Dr. Maria Montessori focused her life’s work on the universal laws of child development – how and why children learn, what gets in the way of their learning and how to ameliorate defects. The 21st century child can profit richly from Montessori’s legacy, but only if we ‘follow the child’” exclaimed Ms Wendy Fidler, speaker from France. The approach forms the basis for lifelong learning.
“In today's world, it is more important than ever that children become motivated individuals able to develop to their full potential. More than any other approach, Montessori takes into account the whole child and his place in the community, hence
its relevance for today and the future,” stressed Ms Marianne Bourke, principal of MMI London.
The Asia Montessori Conference displayed an array of art forms, creativity, aesthetic expressions and a blend of different cultures in the breath taking dance performances of children from MMI pre-schools. The Montessori culture was showcased in a ‘fun based learning’ set up with an audience experiencing a musical adventure through storytelling and songs that teach. Mr. Michael Phillips firmly believes that “children love it when parents and teachers tell them stories about the old days when they, themselves, were kids.”
The profound success and quality of the Asia Montessori Conference was achieved with the flow of information and knowledge dissemination of the Montessori Education as an effective mechanism of learning and the basis of auxiliary learning even in the 21st century.More Photographs