First Wananga for Montessori Journey to Excellence Pilot Programme held March 16-17, 2013
The first wānanga for face-to-face meeting for the 2013-14 pilot programme was held on March 16-17, 2013 and attended by 24 teachers from Montessori early childhood centres and five teachers from Montessori prmary classes around New Zealand. The first wānanga focused on building relationships between the centres and schools in each of the four regional learning clusters.
Teachers from each centre or school also explored the concept of becoming a ‘critical friend’ and developed protocols for working together respectfully and honouring different understandings. Participants then worked in pairs to make a needs analysis of their centre or school using the Montessori Journey to Excellence essential elements and indicators.
Teaching as inquiry as a framework for review and a focus on data and evidence that can be gathered in the inquiry cycle was a large focus of the weekend. Each centre and school focused on their own puzzle of practice and developed a draft inquiry question and indicators for review or inquiry. T
he learning clusters will be supporting each other in an online community provided by Educa. Participants will now begin sharing resources and support each other to refine their inquiry and begin gathering baseline evidence and information in their centres and schools. Learning clusters will dialogue online or in meetings prior the next one-day wananga in June, supported by the pilot facilitators from the Centre for Education Development at Massey University.
Teachers felt a little unsure at the beginning of the weekend about what the pilot would involve. At the end of the two days participants described how the facilitators had supported the development of a safe and trusting community of learners and one teacher felt she was now with a wider Montessori ‘family’.
The facilitators, Nicki Dowling and Karen McKay received heartfelt thanks for enabling the participants to not only feel valued but also for enabling them to have the time to enjoy the process and to notice the learning they were doing.
The workshop is being facilititated by the Centre for Educational Development, Massey University and Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand with online support from Educa.Two more wananga will be held in June and September, 2013.
Twelve member centres and three schools are part of the 2013-14 pilot programme.
Auckland: Birkenhead Point Montessori; Titoki Montessori School; Koru Montessori; Montessori @ Howick Primary
Tauranga: Little Sweethearts Montessori
Fielding: Shaken Oak Montessori
Wairarapa: Wairarapa Montessori Centre
Wellington: Capital Montessori School; Montessori @ Otari Preschool; Montessori Primary @ Otari School; Montessori @ Berhampore Primary
Nelson: Nelson Montessori Preschool
Dunedin: Montessori @ the Gardens
Queenstown: Queenstown Montessori
Wanaka: Montessori Children’s House.
Dr Montessori urged teachers to see our pedagogy as an ‘on-going work of observation and research’. We aim to create and model a community of reflective Montessori practitioners engaged in critical inquiry and to then start to ripple this learning out to the wider community.