Each year, the Association of Indonesian Montessori Schools organizes a conference for the benefit of the Indonesian education community and Montessori educators alike. At the end of this year’s conference, those associated with the Indonesian education community walked away with a greater awareness of how Montessori educational methods could address the current educational needs in Indonesia, while the Montessori educators in attendance left inspired with insights that could make them more effective in their teaching careers.
Ari pictured here with Christine Harrison, President of MAF
This year’s conference was held at Media Nusantara University in West Java over the weekend of October 17. To achieve the conference goals, keynote speakers from Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia were invited to unravel the basic tenets of Montessori education, share their educational experiences, and illuminate current issues and trends in education. Christine Harrison from MAF (Montessori Australia Foundation) shared how the natural synergy between the Montessori approach and traditional practices of the people of Torres Strait, Australia had resulted in an increased percentage of their children passing national tests. Aisha Abdullah from the Montessori Association of Malaysia discussed child protection issues in our modern society and Ibu Suminah from the Department of Education of Indonesia talked about Indonesian education curriculum, specifically focusing on the growth of childhood education in Indonesia.
The Breakout sessions that followed the presentations provided an excellent opportunity to gain valuable insights about topics ranging from Montessori materials and classroom management skills to effective communication with parents and specific childhood issues. Mahmud Halim and I, representing Montessori Bali at the conference, participated in several interesting group discussions which, among others, included; “Multiple Intelligences” led by Shareen Ratnani from Kiddie Planet Montessori, “Sensorial Materials as Precursor for the Mathematics “ led by Carol Engmann from Jakarta Montessori School and “Teachers, What Parents Need to Hear From You”, facilitated by Rozana Daecyanti, the chairperson of AIMS.
It was an enlightening and inspiring event for the many who attended. After many years watching children bloom in a Montessori environment, the shared experiences and insights of the conference only served to strengthen my belief in the value of Montessori education.