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Conference Launch: Discovering the Child

Join educators, parents and caregivers online June 25-26. Learn from experts and connect with attendees from across the globe
Conference Launch: Discovering the Child

On June 25-26, the Prepared Montessorian will hold an online conference to gather educators, parents and caregivers who are interested in education, childhood development, and the Montessori Method. There will be 50+ global speakers, 60+ content-rich sessions, and 15+ live workshops.

Discovering the Child is a reference to Maria Montessori's book, The Discovery of the Child, which shattered preconceived notions of childhood development when it was first published in 1948. In the book, which continues to inspire educators today, Maria Montessori explores the origins and development of her teaching methodology, known as the Montessori Method. She argues that her most significant discovery was not a new and perfect way of teaching, but of the child himself; the child in his truest, most authentic form — which is only revealed to us once we stop oppressing him.

This conference honors Maria Montessori's scientific spirit, which is what made it possible for her to approach the subject of childhood development with an objective, inquisitive mind — and what eventually led her to discovering the true character of young children. It brings speakers from the fields of psychology, philosophy, medicine, and education to consider current issues in education and to address some of the concerns related to the future of education. We hope to carry on Maria Montessori's legacy as we continue to observe, experiment, and share our findings.

What to expect

The conference will take place over a whole day from 6pm EST June 25 to 7pm EST June 26. Presentations will be available in English, Chinese and Spanish. Drop in and attend as many sessions as you like!

The sessions will cover a number of timeless, universal education themes as well as locally informed, current topics.

The schedule contains content-rich sessions, presented by a broad range of education professionals. There will be hard-hitting talks — like the World Bank Group's discussion on childcare investment — as well as practical workshops and fun activities, like yoga and wine tasting.

The sessions are designed to offer attendees opportunities for deep thinking and introspection. There will also be a printable workbook to fill in as you go, so you can take this conference beyond the screen.

You’ll be able to socialize and make new contacts with people from around the world through our virtual speed networking. Just because the conference is online, doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to mingle.

And keep your eyes peeled, as there will be plenty of free giveaways!

Featured sessions

Keynote Address: Investing in Childcare to Build Human Capital

Frances Beaton-Day, World Bank Group 

This research-led discussion will take a deep dive into the role of childcare within society as a whole — how it increases female employment, improves child development outcomes, and ultimately has the power to lift families out of poverty and increase equity. 

Webinar: Montessori's Vision of Peace

Judith Cunningham, Founder of Montessori Model UN 

This webinar will explore Maria Montessori's own activism and social work, which was deeply rooted her desire for peace. It will also offer some ideas about what Maria Montessori's advice would be in the face of modern-day challenges, such as threats to human rights and the rise of nationalism.

Webinar: Following the Child

Barbara Isaacs and Wendelien Bellinger, Board Members of Montessori Europe

Join this informal Q&A session where education experts will discuss the meaning of Montessori in today's world. Discover the meaning of famous Montessori phrases, such as "Following the child", "Nurturing the spirit", and "Giving children voice and agency."

Interview: Humanistic Principles in Education 

There is a different kind of antiracism training available for schools and companies that want to create a diverse and inclusive culture, known as The Theory of Enchantment. Learn more the origins and principles of this unusually compassionate approach.

Workshop: Montessori Parent FAQs

Ashley Yeh, Hapa Family

Hapa Family on YouTube has introduced Montessori to thousands of parents. Learn more about the "aha" moments that get parents hooked on Montessori, and find out answers to common Montessori questions from parent and educator, Ashley Yeh. 

Activity: Wine Tasting

Melissa McElhill, AMI-certified educator and former wine buyer 

This wine tasting draws upon the key principles of Montessori pedagogy to deepen your understanding of wine. It emphasizes independence, values individuality, and is presented by a teacher whose job is to guide, not lead.

Learn more about the speakers at this year's conference.

Who should attend?

Parents and caregivers, teachers, educators, tutors, professors, researchers, curriculum developers, program directors, school leaders, administrators, counsellors, child psychologists, social workers, homeschool consultants, policymakers, and anyone with a background or interest in childhood development.

The conference has been designed to enhance and deepen the understanding of every attendee. Whether you are new to childhood education as a subject or have been studying it for years, you will find plenty of sessions that suit your level of expertise. At the end of the conference, you can apply for a free professional development certificate.

Stay tuned for more updates, including new speakers, sponsors and giveaways!