20th-22nd May 2017, the 7th “Asian Montessori Conference”, under the theme of “Harmonious Montessori Education of Nature and Human”, was grandly held at The Education University of Hong Kong. Wisdom International Education Group, which highlights on the professional development of Montessori teachers, sponsored the Conference and sent its team of experts and teachers from NIME, MSB, and JDM to attend it.
At the opening ceremony of the Conference, the former President of American Montessori Society (AMS) Prof. Joyce Pickering, Prof. Allan Walker from EdUHK, President of Hong Kong Montessori Research and Development Association Ms. Yongsi Lau, President of The Association for Childhood Education International (Hong Kong & Macau) Prof. Baolian Lau, and General Director of Hong Kong Montessori Research and Development Association Mr. Zhenming Qiu delivered grand speeches.
Main guest speakers (including Prof. Joyce Pickering, Prof. Marlene Barron, Dr. Angeline Lillard, Prof. Michelle Lane, Prof. Elizabeth Jones and Prof. Jayne Osgood) and over 40 Montessori experts and preschool educators from all over the world contributed to the three key-note speeches and 44 lectures, where they engaged in in-depth discussion with all participants about their understanding of Montessori philosophy, practical experience, and innovative insights
After the two days conference, organizer and participants together paid visits to the Montessori schools, kindergartens, workshops, and children community in Hong Kong. Another 4 exhibitions were organized about Montessori standard classrooms for children aged 3-6, research achievement on Montessori theory and practice, “moments of feelings” photo exhibition, and “awakening” art exhibition, offering the participants an opportunity to have an in-depth understanding of the rapid development of Montessori education, the shared aspiration about Montessori education among different cultures, and the enhanced exchanges among Montessorians around the globe.
Ms. Diana Yu from JDM, WIEG, said “as a Montessori teacher of 15 years experience, I am really impressed and touched by the Conference. Montessori education is a philosophy created a century ago, but there have been ongoing development on its theory and practice all the time, making it keep updating with time and diversified cultures.”
Diana also said, Montessorians always kept committed to its “child-centered” value, willing to accept and share knowledge and new ideas, and enjoying the shared improvements through exchanges of views. The Conference provided us with various lectures about latest development of Montessori education where participants could find what they are interested and in need. The multi-languages simultaneous interpreting provided by the Conference also served as a bridge bring people from different backgrounds together. This is what its theme “harmonious education between nature and human” is about. I felt like so refreshed by this Conference, and I hope more of the teachers could have the chance to attend conferences like this for a better and in-depth understanding and experience of Montessori education.
The “Asian Montessori Conference” was initiated in 2009 when a group of Montessorians organized the first conference in Taipei with their passion and the support from AMS. “Asian Montessori Conference”, which has been successfully held in six cities in Asia, aims at building on the development of Montessori Education, promoting the Montessori practice under Asian culture and in Asian community, and creating peace in families, schools, and the world.