Montessori St Nicholas and Leeds Beckett University commit to the future of Montessori education with the International Montessori Institute
The new Institute, based at the Carnegie School of Education at LBU, has been fittingly named in honour of Maria Montessori and is also set to home the world’s first Professor of Montessori Education.
With a focus on quality research and embedding Montessori methods into mainstream education, the Institute will put the UK and Europe on a par with the USA, where the majority of Montessori research currently originates from.
The Institute will further enhance the academic status of Early Years Education. It will have the UK’s first dedicated undergraduate and PhDs in Montessori education and be a centre for quality research into Early Years and the Montessori approach.
Montessori, an Italian physician born in 1870, applied her medical training and engineering expertise to revolutionise early education. The new partnership was agreed on what would have been Montessori’s 150th birthday which demonstrates the UK’s commitment to honouring and continuing the pioneering educator’s legacy of bringing science-led, quality education to all children.
Leonor Stjepic, CEO of the Montessori Group, which is one of the world’s leading Montessori organisations, said: “The launch of the Institute is a momentous milestone in Montessori history. One that makes perfect sense in the current climate, with a national drive to ‘build back better’, a need to support our Early Years sector to ensure its survival, and parent’s desire for an education system more focused on children’s personal development.
“Collaboration is a hallmark of Montessori education and we like to think Maria Montessori would welcome a birthday present that continues her legacy for years to come.”
The partnership holds particular significance for the North of England and for Yorkshire. Margaret McMillan, nursery school pioneer and champion of free school meals, who was significantly influenced by Montessori, also worked extensively to improve education in Bradford.
Now, in 2020, historic ties are renewed as the Institute brings a new cohort of Montessori practitioners and academics to the area.
Professor Damien Page, Dean of the Carnegie School of Education at LBU, said: “We are thrilled to launch this partnership with the Montessori St. Nicholas charity which will bring together the best of research and practice and act as a focal point for international collaboration in Montessori education.
“As one of the leading schools of education in the UK, this new Institute will continue our tradition of innovative collaboration that improves the life chances of children and we look forward to working with our new colleagues.”
Carnegie School of Education moved into its permanent home in Headingley. Since then both the School of Education and the Montessori movement have worked tirelessly for over a hundred years to transform the lives of children.
“It therefore seems fitting that our partnership will enable us to join together in this important work. We are therefore truly thankful for and excited about the opportunities that our new partnership will bring.”
The International Montessori Institute will professionalise Montessori education and further enhance the academic status of Early Years. It will offer the UK’s first dedicated degrees, masters and PhDs in Montessori education; where, at present, it is an add-on to other early years programmes.
In addition to the Higher Education courses, the Institute plans to publish regular research, journals, and textbooks that support, guide, and inform the education sector, further solidifying the role of the Montessori approach in the UK. The Institute will be formally set up in the coming months and based at the Carnegie School of Education’s Leeds campus.
Andrew Howat, Chairman of the Montessori Group, said: “This is a really exciting step for Montessori education in the UK. The new Institute promises to secure Montessori Higher Education for years to come and commits to futureproof the values of Montessori – a love of learning, and a respect for self, others, our world and our environment”.
, Head of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Carnegie School of Education at LBU, said: unique opportunities for students and our diverse partnerships. We hope to further enhance our contributions to education, and we are thrilled to be working with our Montessori colleagues in this.”