The following thoughts are based on my observations, and if I have missed relevant facts or drawn erroneous conclusions I would appreciate someone setting me straight. That being said…
I don’t see AMI organizing its members to take action in advancing the Montessori Movement.
There are many conferences and published articles with a focus on classroom practice, which is an important aspect of AMI’s role as a professional organization, but it is not actively spreading the Montessori Movement. I will concede that excellent classroom practice passively spreads the movement as more families experience excellent Montessori education and share that information with others.
The disctinction between passive and active can be shown in an analogy from the environmental movement. Passive: developing green habits around the home, such as composting, reducing waste, recycling grey water for irrigating plants, etc… as this may demonstrate the advantages and accessibility to others. Active: lobbying the legislature to pass tax relief for purchases of more expensive but less environmentally damaging building materials such as solar cells and wind turbines.
The only active efforts I hear about from AMI are undertaken at the executive level, such as advances in Thailand, China, and Argentina. These are often monumental and amazing, but sadly I do not feel involved in these advances. I feel like I’m sitting on the bench watching the starters score goals.
I want to help advance the Montessori Movement, but how? I would really appreciate AMI organizing and directing activism at a local or even individual level.
Here are a few websites that demonstrate what I mean…
- Sierra Club – on the home page is a link titled TAKE ACTION leading to a series of pages detailing how anyone can “Find out about the latest Sierra Club campaigns and get involved”
- National Education Association – a US Teacher’s Union has an ISSUES and ACTION menu described thus, “This area of NEA’s Web site contains resources for Association leaders, members, parents and community members who are contemplating, planning, or engaged in statewide or local salary initiatives.”
International and National organizations don’t need to direct every step of activism. These websites show how an organization can “call the play” , meaning provide an outline that supports and coordinates independent action toward a common goal.
I love working with children, and to me, the Montessori Method is genuinely making the world a better place. When I think of all the children who could be recieving Montessori education I become frustrated that I am not doing more to amke that happen, but I don’t know what to do and I feel like I am one small ant. If AMI will organize and direct all its members, including the ants, I know we can move mountains.
If you share my desire to be involved in AMI organized activism, please contact AMI and share your support. Thank you.