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Renilde Montessori, Greeting to Students

Letter of Greeting from Renilde Montessori for those who are considering undertaking AMI Teacher Training

Those of you who decide to take the AMI Training Course are assured of an enriching year. You will learn many matters about Montessori educational principles and practice in a classroom environment, which is what most students expect to learn when they apply for Montessori training. But then, to your amazement, you will find that while acquiring a store of useful facts, the quality of your learning will elevate you to a realm of revelation and enlightenment, a fine-honed awareness of your world, yourself, others, and above all, children. Not because there are esoteric or mystical ideas woven into the course content, quite the contrary. The ideas discussed have their origin in the luminous common sense of a great scientific mind.

Also, when you complete your course and if you decide to pursue Montessori as a vocation, you will be joining a movement of many dimensions.

In the past decades, particularly since Education with a capital E has become so important a social and political issue on a global scale, Montessori Education has been included among a large variety of teaching methods available in the world today. Teaching methods as such aim to provide education that will prepare children and young people to function in their society, within the context of whatever streams of consciousness and political movements prevail.

Montessori pedagogy is not, has never been, a teaching method. It is a pedagogical approach based on a scientist's careful scrutiny of the developing human being and conclusions reached after many years of observation and experience, dictate how best to help the child learn all the matters it is driven to learn by powerful inner directives.

The success of this pedagogical approach has been spectacular to the point of obliterating its original thrust. The world has largely forgotten that in the beginning of the century Maria Montessori's vision of education became the foundation of a movement created to uphold the rights of the child, to protect the child, to serve the child so that it will grow to fulfil its potential for the betterment of humanity.

In a quote from "To Educate the Human Potential" Maria Montessori says:

"Not in the service of any political or social creed should the teacher work, but in the service of the complete human being, able to exercise in freedom a self-disciplined will and judgement, unperverted by prejudice and undistorted by fear."

The quote has been repeated over and over again by Montessori lecturers, put up on boards in Montessori conferences, printed on banners in Montessori congresses.

How many listeners, how many participants have stopped to analyse this remarkable synthesis of what the Montessori movement is about? Of the few who have, most shrugged it off as unrealistic, highfaluting rhetoric, irrelevant to our school, our parent community, our mandate as Montessori teachers. Yet if we substitute the term 'educators' for the term 'teachers', the statement acquires the force of a proclamation on behalf of all children, within and outside our schools, within and outside our families, within and beyond political and social creeds.

The AMI was founded to ensure that, after her death, Maria Montessori's extraordinarily farsighted guidelines would continue to be applied, unadulterated, by those who believe that in the child's unfathomed potential lies the future wholesomeness of the human species.

AMI invite you to join us either as professional Montessorians or benevolent participants in a magnificent adventure. Maria Montessori called it "Education as an Aid to Life".