The United Montessori Schools of Indiana would like to congratulate Bunche Montessori School in Fort Wayne on it’s 20th Anniversary. 20 years of public Montessori! An open house will be held on Sunday, April 22 from 1:00-4:00 to commemorate this special occasion. Bunche Montessori was the first public Montessori school in the nation to be accredited by the American Montessori Society. They were re-accredited during the 2010-11 school year.

If your school is celebrating an anniversary let us know! We would love to post your achievements!

Take the time to visit the website http://www.goodatdoingthings.com/ ! This is the home website of Dr. Stephen Hughes PhD. Dr. Hughes is a neuropsychologist (and yes….I had to spell check that word). It is a fancy name for someone who studies the brain. Dr. Hughes has all kinds of earned titles and letters behind his name, but more importantly, he is a dad. A Montessori dad!

I had the good fortune of hearing Dr. Hughes speak. I was spell bound. Really! I know a neuropsychologist and the brain doesn’t sound like a Friday night’s type of entertainment, but I was mesmerized by what he had to say about the way young children learn, modern brain research, and Montessori.

He talked about the Factory Model of Education, longitudinal studies, performance standards, standardized testing and what all of this tells us about schools in the 20th Century. He proposed a question to the audience of educators and some parents, “What is the goal of schools?” It was an interesting question. He posed the theory that we, in America, need to really define what it is that we want modern American children to get out of school. What does being “educated” mean? Does it mean passing standardized test? Does it mean being compared to a “norm”? Does it mean passing a graduation or 3rd grade reading test?

Then he proposed a school that looks like this:

* Support of self instruction to produce life-long learners
* Teacher acts as a facilitator and guide
* Learning occurs from original sources not textbooks
* Knowledge is open-ended
* The curriculum is integrated (in other words, subjects are not taught in isolation)
* There is a friendly relationship with errors (we learn from our mistakes)
* Learning is NOT limited to the classroom
* The students become the experts-not the teacher
* Student’s interest and motivation are considered and are known to affect behavior (for the better!)
* Students work in collaboration
* There is minimal whole group instruction
* The focus is on the process-the process of developing skills and competencies-not rote memorization for a test
* There are experimental interactions with the environment
* An enriching environment builds better brains
* An environment that allows for movement-there is a direct link between movement and cognition

What type of school does this sound like? Do these points seem familiar? Montessori!

Also, being a neuropsychologist, Dr. Hughes had scientific reasoning to back up each and every one of the preceding bullet points.

Take the time to visit his site. It is worth the click!

Attending the AMS National Conference in San Francisco was truly inspirational and rejuvenating! Brenne Brown’s keynote address had me crying, laughing, and reflecting all at the same time! If by chance you did not attend the conference, you can visit the American Montessori Society’s website and download many of the presenters handouts. http://www.amshq.org/Events/AMS%20Annual%20Conference/2012%20Annual%20Conference/
Handouts%20and%20Resources
Getting new ideas and connecting with colleagues is what attending a conference is all about. Mark your calendars now for UMSI’s annual state conference which will be held on Saturday, October 20 in Fort Wayne. It will be a great way to rejuvenate yourself at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year!

Welcome!

If you are reading this, you are one of the first people to visit our new website!  The United Montessori Schools of Indiana (UMSI) has been working on improving the way we communicate.  We are thrilled with the beginning of this new endeavor.

This group is comprised of public and private Montessori educators who value the rich results collaboration brings to our learning environments.  UMSI has sponsored an annual fall conference, assistant training and speakers at various schools.  It is our goal  to not only continue with these projects, but to expand our reach through dialog such as this website and blog and input from readers such as yourself.

Please help us serve our Montessori community by telling us how we can help you.  What would you like to see on this website?  How could we help support your professional development?  How could we help with parent education?  We welcome feedback and ideas!

Our board will be meeting soon to discuss how we can maintain this website financially while offering our Montessori community a robust environment in which to share.  This may include a fee that will enable schools to list their schools on the website as well as any important items they would like to have added to the calendar.

Remember, we are just starting out and we, like you, are full-time educators who are taking on this new adventure so we will also ask your patience as we stretch our wings.

Marilyn Horan,

UMSI Vice President