My term break was a real change from the usual routine. For the past 10 days I have been in Thailand working with the Montessori community in that country. As a strong advocate of Montessori education, it has always been my dream to see the methodology embraced widely – and Thailand was an appropriate destination as they are well on their way to recognising that this form of education is the model for the future. In only 8 years they have managed to open Montessori classrooms in over 400 government-run schools! I first visited 5 schools in various parts of the country ranging from well-established classrooms to newly opened Montessori classes – and every school wildly exceeded my conservative expectations.
The primary purpose of my visit, however, was to work with the principals of those schools, who gathered for a 4 day course on managing Montessori classrooms as a school leader. This community of educators in Thailand is keen to see further expansion of Montessori, but also know how difficult it is to train teachers fast enough and to maintain the standards when resources are so scarce. From this experience I have learned to appreciate what can be done with very little, and how privileged we are at Montessori East to have available to our students the ultimate in materials and talented staff.
Bill Conway, Principal
Image 1: Bill Conway in Thailand with Kannekar Butt (left) and Montessori Australia Foundation President Christine Harrison (right)
Image 2: Primary aged children working with Montessori maths materials.