We are Montessori: Highlights from the 2024 American Montessori Society Community Impact Report

We are Montessori

The American Montessori Society (AMS) has released its 2024 Community Impact Report, a comprehensive document highlighting the organization’s accomplishments, initiatives, and future goals. This report is a testament to the dedication and collaborative efforts of all of those who have joined together to further Montessori philosophy and pedagogy. Here, we explore some of the key sections of the report, showcasing the profound impact AMS and its members have made over the past year.

Educational Outreach and Professional Development

One of the focal points in the report is AMS’s extensive efforts in educational outreach and professional development. AMS has made substantial investments in training programs aimed at equipping Montessori educators with the essential knowledge and skills required to cultivate enriching learning environments. The report highlights several noteworthy initiatives including the following:

The Montessori Event 2024

We Are Montessori - TME photoDuring the dynamic four days of The Montessori Event 2024, more than 4,000 educators from across the globe gathered virtually and in person in Orlando, Florida to attend more than 170 engaging sessions, discover new resources offered by 120 vendors, and much more.

AMS Regional Symposiums

In 2023, AMS hosted five regional symposiums to help foster collaboration and innovation within the local Montessori communities in Washington, California, Texas, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. Over 200 participants attended each symposium where they participated in breakout sessions and heard from a variety of spotlight speakers including AMS executive director, Munir Shivji and AMS Living Legacy, Gay Ward. Mark your calendar for the 2024-25 AMS Regional Symposium tour heading to Houston, Texas; Tacoma, Washington; Waukesha, Wisconsin; Brooklyn, New York; and Palo Alto, California.

AMS Instructor Academy & Emerging Leaders Fellowship

AMS has continued to facilitate specialized programs like the AMS Instructor Academy and the Emerging Leaders Fellowship, aimed at nurturing the next generation of Montessori leaders and instructors. This fiscal year, the AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy prepared 45 experienced Montessori teachers for the instruction of adult learners. Cohort 7 of the Emerging Leadership Fellowship Program kicked off in Orlando, just prior to The Montessori Event 2024. The cohort will spend the next year researching, collaborating, and networking, developing the skills and confidence needed to raise their commitment to Montessori education to the next level.

The 2024 AMS Leadership Labposium

We are Montessori - LabposiumIn January 2024, AMS held its second Leadership Labposium, an annual event designed to connect a diverse group of Montessori leaders and future leaders with a shared mission to move Montessori forward. The Labposium featured workshops, networking and research, workshopping/hands-on experiences, reflective projects, and poster presentations with a focus on technology, Artificial Intelligence, and the future of Montessori education.

AMS Innovation Fellowship Think Tank

AMS launched the year-long Think Tank, offering Montessori leaders a deeply immersive experience to drive meaningful change for the Montessori community while protecting the integrity of Montessori pedagogy and practice. New and returning fellows will continue collaborating on addressing critical questions and developing foundational strategies for long lasting initiatives.

U40 Montessorians for the Future

AMS and Association Montessori International of the United States (AMI/USA) jointly hosted the U40 Montessorians for the Future Summit 2023 in Orlando, Florida where 40 innovative Montessori educators under 40 years old convened to collaborate with one another. Participants from all over the globe addressed common themes of research, technology, equity, and awareness.

Educating the Human Potential Podcast

In Spring 2024, AMS launched production of the Educating the Human Potential podcast, aiming to explore critical topics on education through the lens of Montessori principles. Hosts Nicole Coman and Biff Maier have interviewed guests including Phil Hansen, Lisa Ling, and Erica Moretti on subjects ranging from practical parenting advice to educational trends and hot topics.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives

The AMS Community Impact Report reveals AMS’ commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. AMS has created and held affinity spaces to encourage courageous conversations amongst members of the Montessori community who share a similar identity, background, experience, and/or goal, aiming to drive change and offer opportunities to solve particular issues. AMS has streamlined its affinity groups to encourage courageous conversations amongst members. These new spaces include:

  • AMS en Español Affinity Group
  • Intersectionality/Inclusivity Discussion Group
  • Montessorians of Color Affinity Group

Global Outreach

The report showcases various ways in which AMS has extended its reach globally through partnerships with international members of the Montessori community.

AMS traveled to China to build relationships and expand the organization’s presence. While visiting, AMS led China’s first-ever Labposium where participants walked away with a renewed commitment to the Montessori community and the belief that when one does better, we all do better. The excitement continued with regional symposiums across various locations in China and included poster sessions conducted by some of the talented Mandarin-speaking Emerging Leader Fellows.

We are Montessori - 29th International Montessori Congress 2Select AMS senior directors, members of the AMS Board of Directors, TEAC commissioners, and other AMS leaders and supporters also traveled to Bangkok, Thailand in August 2023 to attend the 29th International Montessori Congress. Gina Lofquist, AMS senior director of education and strategic initiatives, co-presented with Ayize Sabater, executive director of AMI/USA on the impact of collaboration across the American Montessori community.

In September 2023, AMS executive director, Munir Shivji, attended the International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA) Councilor meeting in Leiden, Netherlands. The event brought together 22 national and international accreditors to explore and discuss evolving trends and challenges facing educational institutions across the world.

Future Goals

Looking ahead, AMS is embarking on a new 12-month strategic planning process to shape the organization’s future. They are deploying three dynamic data collection methods—SWOT interviews/analyses, focus groups, and surveys—to capture various perspectives and insights in an effort to gauge internal and external perceptions, uncover actionable insights, delve into complex issues, and better understand the broader implications of the community’s feedback.

AMS invites its members to share their perspectives by participating in surveys and focus groups at the 2025 Labposium and at The Montessori Event 2025 in Denver, Colorado, or volunteering for interviews. The goal is to craft a visionary path forward, incorporating the diverse voices of the Montessori community, shaping the future of AMS together!

About the Author

Heather White

Heather White, EdS, is a Montessori coach and consultant, content creator, and educator for adult learners, as well as a moderator and manager for the Montessori at Home (0 – 3 years) Facebook group. Formerly, she was a Montessori teacher, in-home caregiver, Lower Elementary coordinator, and associate head of school. She also has experience as a school psychologist intern. She is AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Elementary I) and is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). Contact her at hpratt@stetson.edu.

The opinions expressed in Montessori Life are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of AMS.

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