Origins of the MSJ Conference

Public Montessorians once met annually in the 1990s, in a series of national conferences organized by NAMTA and the Montessori Public Schools Consortium, an organization that was a precursor to NCMPS.  (In 1993, 185 public Montessorians gathered in Kansas City!)  But there have been no public Montessori conferences for the last 15 years, although during that time there has been explosive growth of public Montessori.

Similarly, AMI and AMS offer sessions on public Montessori at their annual conferences, but these events only include a portion of public Montessorians at one time.  AMI’s Educateurs Sans Frontières hosted an international summit on “Montessori Education for Social Change” August 2015 in Thailand, but this was limited to AMI affiliated educators and is likely outside of the budget of most American public Montessori educators.  In addition, many public Montessori schools cannot afford membership into AMS or AMI and do not participate in these group’s conferences at all.  While we ultimately would like to reduce the number of competing annual conferences, there is no other national Montessori event that attracts public Montessorians across affiliations.

In spring 2014, Montessori Madman Daniel Petter-Lipstein urged the Montessori for Social Justice group to harness its virtual energy and start bringing people physically together.  A number of public Montessori leaders including Christie Huck and Nicole Evans of City Garden Montessori (who generously offered to host the first gathering), Sara Cotner of Montessori for All, Dakota Prosch of Oglesby Montessori, and Mira Debs of Elm City Montessori School planned the first gathering over email.

Subsequent conferences have been held at the Institute of Montessori Innovation at Westminster College (2015) and Tobin Community Montessori School (2016). Please join the conversation and community!

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