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The Montessori Group

This EdNet Forum was held on Thursday, May 5th, 7:30-9:00 am PST

Watch the Recording here

The main aim of Montessori education is to help each individual child reach their full potential in an environment specifically prepared to meet the child’s needs and interest. The adults and children are an integral part of this nurturing environment designed to facilitate the Montessori motto of ‘following the child’.


A discussion focussed on "Compassion without Boundaries": How can we integrate compassionate practice within education, to make a deeper investment in one other and our communities? With:

  • Catherine McTamaney, Associate Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning, Vanderbilt University's Peabody College, USA
  • Dr Amira Mogaji - President of the American Montessori Society Board of Directors, and
  • Preeti Patel, Head of Education at Montessori Centre International

The Montessori Method emphasises the inherently peaceful and compassionate nature of children, and the communities they create. This conversation will focus on the adults who care for them, considering:

  • How can we integrate compassionate practice in our teaching and in our work as colleagues, to invest in each other and our communities?
  • Can we think differently about the boundaries within our work and, in doing so, strengthen and redefine our adult professional communities?


Key Fundamentals or Principles

The key fundamentals or principles of the Montessori approach, which should make the motto become a reality for children attending Montessori-based education are:

  • Supporting the child as an active learner
  • Respecting the inner life of the child
  • Trusting the child’s inner motivation
  • Providing freedom within limits
  • Encouraging the child’s inner discipline


Pedagogical Principles

Pedagogical principles which scaffold these key fundamentals:

  • Vertical grouping
  • The work cycle
  • The favorable environment
  • An empathetic educator

Reflection upon these fundamentals and principles, enables open and engaged consideration of the most appropriate actions for educators as they accompany children in their learning and development experiences. Montessori teachers can influence children’s lives and by giving the best of themselves to the children, our future can flourish.

Teacher training activity with Montessori Centre International (MCI) is built upon this concept – we are fully focused on promoting adult learning that reflects the same principals of a supportive and collaborative learning environment, scaffolding learning through community, open discussion and valuing the individual.

The Montessori Group is a global leader in Montessori provision, supporting quality Montessori education throughout the world through social impact, training, quality assurance and support for families and educators.

With the child at the heart of all it does, the Montessori Group works with governments, organizations, families, and Montessori educators to ensure that the Montessori approach is as beneficial to society in the 21st Century as it was in the 20th Century.



Catherine McTamaney - Associate Professor of the Practice of Education, Department of Teaching and Learning

An award-winning teacher and author, Professor McTamaney works primarily with undergraduates in Peabody's teacher licensure programs, focusing on the social and political context of public education and the integration of education and the arts.  A three time graduate of Peabody College, Professor McTamaney has been at Vanderbilt for most of the last twenty five years.  

In addition to her teaching at Vanderbilt, she is the author of two books on Montessori education and compassionate teaching,  The Tao of Montessori and A Delicate Task, and noted Montessori lecturer across the US and abroad. Dr. McTamaney was a member of the Social Computing Group at the MIT Media Lab from 2013 until the lab's closing in 2016, where she helped to establish the design principles of the Wildflower Schools project. 


Dr. McTamaney is the Faculty Head of House for Crawford House at the Martha Ingrams Commons. She regularly teaches EDUC 1220 : Society, School and Teacher and HMED 2150/2250/3250 Children's Development in the Arts. In addition, Dr. McTamaney has offered three Commons Seminars, Mean Girls and Dead Poets: Teachers on Film, Work Hard/Play Hard, and Vampires, Werewolves and Demons: The "Other" in Young Adult Literature, which she cotaught with Dr. Melanie Hundley. Dr. McTamaney's most recent text is Picaso in the Preschool: Children's Development in and through the Arts, which evolved for her teaching at Peabody and is illustrated by Peabody undergraduate, Cynthia Vu. She authors Montessori Daoshi, a daily blog for parents and teachers interested in Montessori education.


IMG-8031Preeti Patel - Head of Education

After fifteen years practice in a Montessori day-care nursery as Nursery Manager and an Early Years Educator, Preeti took on the role of Academic Placement Tutor at Montessori Centre International (MCI). She is now our Head of Education.

Preeti holds a BA (Hons) Degree, Montessori International Diploma and an Early Years Teacher Status. Preeti has been involved in Safeguarding training and has delivered many CPD training sessions to colleagues over the last few years.



Dr. Amira Mogaji, President of the American Montessori Society

Dr. Amira Mogaji is the President of the American Montessori Society (AMS) Board of Directors and a Montessori for Social Justice Board of Directors founding board member. Amira serves as an AMS Board liaison for the AMS Peace and Social Justice Committee, Chairs the AMS board executive committee, and is a member of the directorship committee. Amira served as CEO/Head of School of Philadelphia Montessori Charter School, the principal of an AMS accredited Northglade Montessori Magnet School within an urban school district as well as the chief academic officer City Garden Montessori School, an anti-bias, anti-racist (ABAR) focused Montessori school. She has served as a Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) facilitator, served as a member of the school district's Anti-Racism Team, and is a member of the ERACCE: Eliminating Racism and Creating/Celebrating Equity board of directors in Kalamazoo, MI. Dr. Mogaji currently serves as a District Transformation Coach (DTC), supporting school principals in educational equity and systems planning in an urban school district in southwest Michigan. Amira is a Montessori parent and an ABAR educational consultant. AMS-credentialed (Administrator).



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