The International Montessori Congress is the most significant event and gathering in the Montessori world. Founded in 1929 by Maria Montessori and marking the birth of AMI, and held every four years or so since that time, the Congress is an international gathering of Montessorians of from all backgrounds and trainings. The four day event in Portland, Oregon (July 30 through August 3) features keynotes from Brian Swimme, Judith Snow, Paul Hawken, and Vandana Shiva, three days of breakouts, a Gala celebration, museum exhibits, school tours, nature outings, and more.
2013 is the centenary of Montessori’s 1913 1st International Training Course in Rome, and the Congress will feature a museum exhibit of artifacts from the course. In addition, the Congress website has announced the publication of two exciting documents, available at the event:
- Dr. Montessori’s diary from her 1913 transatlantic voyage from Naples to New York City
- The lectures from the 1913 Course
This last is particularly exciting. In 1913, Montessori was know worldwide for her method, which had been adopted all over Europe and was spreading to Asia and North America. Her first book, The Montessori Method had been translated into English and was popular in the U.S. But the book, while including sections which describe the materials and their use, is a mixture of theory and practical direction that adds up to a tantalizing glimpse of Montessori’s classroom practice at that time. These lectures, including 13 theory lectures and 9 practical lessons offer a rare look into the development of the method.
Congress registration is still available here. It’s $545 plus travel and lodging, but it’s not something that’s going to come around again next year. If you can make it, I urge you to go. I’ll post more about the speakers and events in the next few weeks.