Below is some updates from members who have participated in Professional Development sessions outside of what is offered by the MTA. As a community of Montessori Teachers we feel that sharing these experiences is valuable both as a reflective tool for the participants and also to offer ideas of what is available. If you would like to share your latest PD experience with us please contact us.
The Montessori Teachers Association offers Professional Development Grants to members in order to assist them with the cost of travel and registration for quality Professional Development opportunities. If you would like to apply for a Professional Development Grant please email our secretary firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Early Years Learning Framework
What does the Early Years Learning Framework look like at a Montessori school?
The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) is Australia’s first framework for early childhood educators that covers children from birth to age five years and is mandated to take effect from 1st January 2012.
The EYLF is meant to be used as a guide for educators to form their own curriculum, underpinned by the principles, practices and learning outcomes outlined in the EYLF document.
The EYLF documentation stresses the importance of play and defines play-based learning as ‘a context for learning through which children organize and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representations.’
Though Montessori schools may use the term ‘work’ rather than ‘play’, they share the same vision for children’s learning as outlined in the Framework:
Children’s learning is dynamic, complex and holistic. Physical, social, emotional, Personal, spiritual, creative, cognitive and linguistic aspects of learning are all Intricately interwoven and interrelated. (Belonging, Being & Becoming, 2009, p.9).
The Montessori curriculum and the EYLF Principles, Practices and Learning Outcomes complement each other very well. Here are just some suggestions for how the EYLF principles link with our Montessori approach, though every school will have its own.
1. Secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships
Children remain in each Montessori classroom for three years, and during this period educators develop a strong relationship with the child and their family. The Grace and Courtesy component of the Montessori curriculum focuses on positive interactions and the development of secure, respectful relationships.
Relationships between educators and families, and educators and children, begin with a ‘home visit’, and continue throughout the child’s three years in each class through regular parent observations, meetings and joint ventures. Parent education and social events at school also further develop these partnerships.
3. High expectations and equity
Inherent in Montessori education is the belief that all children have the capacity to succeed. Educators are trained to observe children, the environment, and themselves, to remove obstacles to children’s learning and well being.
4. Respect for diversity
Diversity of all types is valued, respected and encouraged. Parents are invited to share their experiences and culture; and we incorporate the celebrations, stories, music, art, food and language of other cultures in our curriculum.
The school educates children with a variety of different needs, and all children benefit from this.
5. Ongoing learning and reflective practice
Professional learning, both Montessori and non-Montessori related, is a necessary element of teaching, and is actively encouraged and supported by the School. Staff meetings (both whole staff and peer group), forums and class and individual observations provide ample opportunity for reflection. The induction process for new staff includes establishing a relationship with a mentor.
BUZ Life Skills Program workshop
The Montessori Teachers Association of WA held a Professional Development day on Friday the 6th of November 2015 at the Beehive Montessori School in Mosman Park.
The workshop was attended by both Montessori teachers and assistants from Junior Primary all the way through to Adolescent Program teachers.
The day began with an introduction to the foundations of ‘BUZology’ and the theoretical frameworks that underpin the program. We then participated in some hands on activities demonstrating the power of a circle to help create a socially constructive learning environment. The remainder of the day focused on strategies for building relationship skills, resilience skills, respect and ethical skills, emotional competence skills and restorative practice skills.
The 5 BUZ nutrients:
- Control of Feelings
- Conflict Resolution