C 25th International Montessori Congress

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Opening Ceremony

Thursday 14 July 2005

12:00 Congress Registration
14:00 Indigenous Welcome

Richard Green of the Darug People - Welcome to the Land 

“DARUG BYALLA”
Richard Green © Darug Dullai  

Way-bo-in-ya gnee-ee-de goray. Jumna ngara! Tah ulla talling,
Bulla iy-ora butu & toolah muyllah wan in mai tah Biiame.
Give me your ears. We hear! It is one tongue, one people black and white on the eye on god.

Jumn al-lo-wan pyalla, bwo-me & tan-na. Ngara gi!
Jumna al-lo-wan, yenwere & mat-tong.
We remain speaking, breathing & laughing. Hear please! We remain, he is strong & brave.

Diam-o-wau? E-e biall.
Where are you? Yes and no.

Jumna nin bulla iy-ora, yen-no-ra byalla nganawa?
We the one people walking and talking to whom?

Biiame nin Bullwarra, tah goomadah.
God the trinity, it is spirit.

Nin talling tah pyalla ew-ing, nin dooroow nin beanga.
The tongue it is speaking truth, the son the father.

Nyah mirung Darug, Ngia pyalla Daruk.
I belong to the Darug, I speak daruk.

Yagoona, Nghoti; branye. Wan in mullin-oo-owl, minyaba & min-minyaba?
Today, evening; tomorrow. On the morning, when & where?

Nin coomerah yen-mow tah boo-rai-ya, yen-ma kaoui jumna, gnee-ee;
Gnee-ee-de wa pemul.
The afternoon I am walking it is all of us singing, walk this way, you; yours on earth.

Doonooch Dance Company

The Doonooch Dance Company showcases unique performances which combine traditional and Aboriginal dance.  The group has toured nationally throughout Australia and internationally to many countries.  Their performance is electrifying – energising to any person who watches their live ceremony.  In 2000, the Doonooch Dancers were part of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and were feature performers at the World Indigenous Forum in Noumea.  The company was founded in 1991 by singer-songwriter and traditional lore keeper Robert (“Bobby”) McLeod (Monaro and Tomakin/ Wandandian), who initially established programs for Aboriginal men and youth which recognised culture as the touchstone of Indigenous wellbeing.

“The basis of healing and learning is through the spirit of belonging and self-respect.  As an Aborigine, this means participation in the birthing and restoration of our entire cultural heritage through the origin lore of the Mother.”  (Doonooch Lore Keeper)

14:20 Congress Welcome
Greg MacDonald and Pamela Nunn
Welcome to Congress participants on behalf of the Congress hosts, sponsors and supporter.
14:30 Government Welcome
Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC, Governor of New South Wales, welcomes delegates to this vice-regal occasion, the 25th International Montessori Congress.
14:45 AMI Welcome and Official Opening
André Roberfroid, President, Association Montessori Internationale
15:00 Montessori’s Cosmic Vision
Mary Hayes
“It is a vision of an indivisible unity made up of energy, of sky, of rocks, of water, of life, of humans as adults and humans as children… This cosmic sense pervades all of Montessori’s work, both her thinking and her educational approach for all the different planes and stages of development of the human being… This cosmic vision belongs by right to the whole of the Montessori movement: it is indeed the key which gives us all a shared direction and a common goal in our work.”
(Camillo Grazzini, Paris Congress 2001)
15:40 The Totality of Montessori
Annette Haines
Montessori is a BIG IDEA. More than a method of education, Montessori principles are “rooted in a social movement intended to champion the cause of all children, in all strata of society, of all races and ethnic backgrounds, within and beyond the context of educational institutions.” As we become aware of the interconnectedness of the cosmos, we are stretched in our responsibility towards the world and its inhabitants, particularly the weak and the small. As we are privileged to be with these new children, we become better adults, stretched to exert our own maximum effort by the dawning understanding of the possibility for happiness in this life and the potential for peace in this world. The Totality of Montessori spins around the universe and comes back to rest at home, within our heart.
16:20

Montessori Passages
Video produced by Australian AMI Alumni Association and NAMTA
Dr. Maria Montessori’s own written passages take you through a lyrical presentation of the successive planes of education, intended to inspire a holistic understanding of Montessori education which unfolds as separate stages of development.  The uniqueness of each stage is portrayed along with a sense of the flow and continuity of the child’s growth within the unity of the prepared environments.  (2005, 15 minutes)

16:35 Children’s Welcome
Congress delegates have travelled here from approximately forty countries around the world.  In their honour, Sydney Montessori students will welcome them in the national dress, and bearing the flags, of those countries.
16:45 Congress Reception
Participants are invited to enjoy a reception overlooking Sydney’s beautiful Darling Harbour. Complimentary drinks and refreshments will be served. This will be a lovely opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.



The Essence of Education

Friday 15 July 2005

9:00 Introductory Remarks
Pamela Nunn
9:10 The Foundation of the Human Being
Dr. Silvana Quattrocchi Montanaro
From conception to three years old is the time that the foundation of the human personality is established.  Understanding the vital inner directives of the child during this time and providing environments that respond to these needs will enable the extraordinary potentialities of the human being to unfold.
10:00 A Change Within - Removing Obstacles to Development
Lynne Lawrence
The reform of the adult is an essential step to be taken when considering both the education of children and our interactions with each other.  The adult is often an obstacle to the child’s development and we may be unaware of the impediments and prejudices we carry.  The ‘change within’ is not just a one-off preparation, but a lifelong process of self-reflection to continually assess our moral and ethical compass – to bring ourselves to a level of development where we can look outwards, move past our own concerns, and be of service to the community. We must focus on the integrity of our work.  This integrity must stem from our own integrity and our ability to ‘live’ our principles of belief rather than holding them as an intellectual construct.
10:50 Queensland Morning Tea Break
Refreshments and atmosphere courtesy of the State of Queensland
11:30 Reverence for Life
Maria, S. Matsumoto
Montessori is best defined as ‘Education as an aid to Life’. The child’s day-to-day interaction with the world around him builds up impressions.These impressions form the child and form the way in which the child in later years will relate to himself, to others and to the environment. If these impressions are based on a reverence for life then education can foster a sense of wonder and awe, an acute sensibility, an abiding interest, and profound respect for the world around us. Drawing from many years of training experience, this presentation will also focus on how the Japanese education system has been affected by the Montessori method in the last 30 years.
12:20 Work: A Vital Instinct
Baiba Krumins
Montessori’s cosmic vision of the world puts work on a grand scale - the work of sun, air, land and water; the work of animals and plants; the work of human beings such that all act within a cosmic plan according to their inherent roles, interests, sensitivities, and instincts respectively. When it comes to human beings, there is the work of the adult and that of the child. The child’s task is ultimately that of constructing a person who will build peace, a person adapted to the world in which he lives. Human growth involves self construction and normalisation, the organising and strengthening of the intellect, the development of character and will, all of which come about through work. This is work which links hand and mind; which leads to the concentration that comes from total engagement; which takes the form of maximum effort, ever continuous and never tiring on the part of the child and adolescent. Work is a vital instinct; it lends vitality, meaning and intensity to the human enjoyment of life. But even more important, the human capacity for work must be attached to a “great vision” revealing a “final aim” in mapping out the destiny of human life in harmony with the planet.
13:10 Lunch with Speakers and Delegates
NEW ZEALAND theme in celebration of our international neighbours
The Congress will feature extended lunch breaks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Lunch will be held in the ballroom with beautiful meals served to each table. There will be the opportunity to chat informally with Congress speakers, AMI trainers and board members. Tables will be signposted with the individual speaker’s or trainer’s name. Over the three days this will give Congress participants a chance to ask questions or discuss ideas in more depth. Tables will also be signposted with other areas of interest (eg. EsF, 0-3, parent education, Indigenous projects, Bergamo graduates) so that people can meet and discuss projects and similar areas of experience or interest.
14:10

OPTIONAL Video Presentation

Optional presentation during lunch break for interested delegates.

Montessori for All Children – The Montessori Magnet School of Hartford
Introduced by Tim Nee, Principal of the Montessori Magnet School of Hartford and
by David Kahn, Producer
The Hartford community shows exemplary teamwork as they collaborate on a Montessori “magnet” school designed to attract urban and suburban families to attend the same school.  This AMI school’s unequivocal commitment to quality Montessori in the public sector is conveyed by the video’s interviews with parents, teachers, school administers and state officials.

At Home with Montessori, Introduced by David Kahn
After twenty-five years, NAMTA has remade its classic film, A Child’s Home Environment, in the form of a partner video/DVD to its booklet. At Home with Montessori.  Seven families and their young children demonstrate the importance of thoughtful parenting utilizing Montessori principles. These adults are in love with parenting and naturally include their children in household and leisure activities.    (2004, 15 minutes)

15:10 Reality: The Most Powerful and Integral Key to the World
Silvia C. Dubovoy, Ph.D.
Reality is a fundamental key to unlock the creative powers of the mind. Reality is a crucial prerequisite for optimal development during the first six years of life. Constant influence from a range of media may generate pollution of the minds of young children, in many ways that we suspect, and some that have yet to be realised. An education based on reality prepares the child to perceive his environment in a precise and accurate manner. Reality is the material required by the child’s imagination to fulfil his task in the cosmic plan.  “The mind that works by itself, independently of truth, works in a void. Its creative power is a means for working upon reality. But if it confuses the means with the end, it is lost.” (Dr. Maria Montessori, The Advanced Montessori Method)
16:00 Liberty: Spiritual Freedom and Moral Responsibility
Eduardo J. Cuevas G.
There cannot be spiritual freedom, or for that matter, any other freedom, without the fullest development of both the intelligence and the will.  Only then can the individual reach the degree of moral responsibility which would allow humanity to leap into a superior realm of existence altogether. Dr. Montessori proposes the regeneration of humanity as the only hope for a peaceful and fulfilling coexistence. Education must address this issue of the rebirth of humanity by identifying and establishing pedagogical means that nurture intelligence and the will in the hope of promoting the long awaited evolution of our species. “But when we leave the child ‘free as man’ in the palaestra of his own intelligence, his type changes entirely.  It is of this type we must form new conceptions in discussing the question of ‘liberty’. He will be free when he has sufficient knowledge not only to distinguish the good from the bad, but to understand the social utility of each.” (Dr. Maria Montessori, The Advanced Montessori Method)
16:50 Closing Remarks
Greg MacDonald
18:30

Launch of the Montessori Children’s Foundation
(Sofitel Wentworth Hotel, 61 Phillip Street, Sydney)
Optional participation.  You are warmly invited to attend. The Foundation has been established to champion the cause of all children and to support the work of Montessori educators serving disadvantaged children in Australia. Please join Renilde Montessori and André Roberfroid, AMI President, who will be special guest speakers at the launch. Tickets for dinner and launch are $195. If you would like to attend, please ask at the Registration Desk.




The Essence of Service

Saturday 16 July 2005

9:00 Montessori’s Vision of Service
André Roberfroid
The talk will take Maria Montessori’s own words as a starting point when considering Montessori’s Vision of Service….“not in the service of any political or social creed should the teacher work but in the service of the complete human being….”
Keeping in mind that in life we are constantly learning from each other, then, every adult who crosses the “development path” of the child can be considered a “teacher”. Each of us in our own way can be “in the service of the complete human being” wherever we are and in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. This can be achieved through personal preparation, observation and an overall understanding and appreciation of Montessori’s vision of nurturing human life and the human spirit from birth to maturity.
Through simple acts of service Montessorians everywhere can propagate Maria Montessori’s vision and show a way of fulfilling her mission.
9:30

The Education of Tibetan Children in Exile
Mrs. Jetsun Pema (presented by Tenzin Choegyal)
The Tibetan Children’s Villages care for over 15,000 children and youth. This talk will cover the education that has been given to the Tibetan children in exile, mainly focussing on what has been done in the Tibetan Children’s Villages over the 43 years of their existence. It is an inspiring story of service and a testimony of hope for the future of Tibetan culture.

10:30  Western Australian Morning Tea Break
Refreshments and atmosphere courtesy of the State of Western Australia
11:20

The Resiliency of the Human Spirit
Reverend Bill Crews
Reverend Bill Crews is concerned with the welfare of homeless and abandoned youth and other people experiencing disadvantage and hardship in our society. He and the Exodus Foundation serve while maintaining the dignity of their clients by respecting their individuality and by understanding how to restore a sense of worth. Hope and resilience are rekindled through education, love and respect.

12:10

One Person Can Make a Difference
Cheryl R. Ferreira
We as Montessorians must work for a better tomorrow, placing all our hope in the child. We must strive to assist all humanity through the child. To build a New World around the child. We can each of us do this via our work as educators in the classroom/prepared environment in which we work by ensuring conditions that assist each child to achive Normalisation. We as Human Beings - whatever our calling in life - must work together, each of us contributing our mite to generate a mighty force that works to create a better environment - an environment where our children can grow up surrounded by, experiencing and participating in the day to day workings of a harmonious cohesive society.

13:00 Lunch with Speakers and Delegates
ASIAN theme today in celebration of our international neighbours.




Congress Expo

Saturday 16 July 2005, 2:00pm - 5:00pm

Congress participants are invited to visit the Congress Expo.  The Expo provides time outside the Congress program where participants can browse various exhibitions, attend optional breakout sessions, watch a video or two or simply take an afternoon off to visit the sights of Sydney.

0 to 3: Montessori in the Home Environment
Expo features a demonstration home environment.  Join AMI Assistants to Infancy trainers and teachers who will be available to answer questions about this prepared environment showing how to meet the needs of the 0-3 child.  The home environment will be open throughout the Congress giving participants ample time to visit it.

3 to 6: Panel of Trainers
AMI 3-6 trainers will be available to answer questions and discuss issues regarding implementation of the Montessori approach for young children.

6 to 12: Panel of Trainers
AMI 6-12 trainers will be available to answer questions and discuss issues regarding implementation of the Montessori approach for the child.

AMI Diploma Courses
This is ideal for anyone thinking of taking an AMI Diploma course.  Join AMI trainers who will provide information about Montessori teacher training.   AMI trainers will be present to answer questions.  Information will also be available regarding AMI Montessori training centres throughout the world.

Educateurs sans Frontières
The Educateurs sans Frontières (Educators without Borders) display will offer a variety of ways to learn about what has been done in the field to champion the cause of all children.   Members will be on hand to answer questions and encourage your involvement.

SCREAM
Supporting Children’s Rights Through Education, the Arts and the Media

UNESCO’s Associated Schools Project Network
The UNESCO’s Associated Schools Project Network (ASPNet) was created in 1953 to provide an opportunity to share experiences and promote innovative approaches to education based on the United Nations themes, and UNESCO in particular.  Today over 7,500 schools, ranging from kindergarten to teacher-training institutions, participate in this UNESCO network.  Come and learn how you can help children collaborate with others to build partnerships for a more peaceful, sustainable world.

Montessori Material Displays
The Congress has on display an extensive range of AMI-approved  Montessori materials.

Books and Publications
A complete range of Montessori books as well as classic Australian children’s literature and cultural books   are available for sale throughout the Congress. Manufacturers will be available to discuss the materials.

Indigenous Culture
Indigenous art and cultural objects will be displayed and available for sale.

Art Raffle / Silent Auction
Consistent with the theme to “Champion the Cause of all Children”, throughout the Congress, there is an exhibition of art items of which some will be raffled and others offered in a silent auction – in aid of two current Montessori projects for children; first, assisting Montessori in Thailand; and second, supporting Indigenous Montessori projects in Australia. Click here for more details.

Oceania
This display will feature ways to represent Oceania in your Prepared Environment including language cards, geography cards, pictures, objects and books.  Many of the items will be available for sale.

Exhibits complimenting the Montessori ethos
Various initiatives which compliment Montessori ideals and the Congress theme are included in exhibits during Expo such as SCREAM, Sister Schools, Exodus Foundation.

Video Presentations
Introduced by David Kahn

Adolescent Great Work
A solid demonstration of Montessori theory into practice is portrayed when the Erdkinder Appendices are put to the reality test at the Hershey Montessori Farm School experiment.  An ethnographic approach, this video portrays an overview of the Farm School’s staff and students as they actualize Montessori’s land school vision without voiceover, special effects or titles.    (2003, 31 minutes)

The Hershey Montessori Farm School, Residentially Speaking
This partner video to Adolescent Great Work portrays a developmental perspective of adolescents living together in an Erdkinder-like farm community.  Stages of bonding, assuming responsibility, the perfecting of relationships, and the strengthening of character show how daily life, in the context of both study and work, matures everyone involved including the adult. (2005, 17 minutes)

Montessori Education:  Doorway to Lifelong Learning
Utilizing the research of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Kevin Rathunde, NAMTA presents a video/DVD in which adolescent students speak candidly about their school experiences. Montessori students of all ages at Post Oak School in Houston, Texas, interact with Montessori materials, with their teachers, and with one another. The reflections of the interviewed adolescents and teachers are juxtaposed and correlated with the research conclusions. The students are positive and straightforward about the supportive atmosphere of the school and their high levels of motivation.    (2004, 15 minutes)

The Developmental Continuum: Hershey Montessori School
Specifically made for Hershey Montessori School (Concord Twp., OH), this video/DVD demonstrates the full range of possibilities when a Montessori school begins with the parent-infant class and extends to the adolescent farm school. As a long-range planning tool, this program can invite parents and boards to see the advantages of adding a young children’s community, an elementary, or an adolescent program as it communicates the richness of social life throughout the planes of education.    (2004, 15 minutes)

Starting From Year Zero
Japanese children are depicted in prepared environments demonstrating the fullest potential of infant-toddler communities. This video makes an excellent parent education film as well as a documentary about the Takane Nursery and the Narkita Children's House.   (1991, 40 minutes)

What Is Montessori Preschool?
A companion video to be used with the booklet by the same title, this video conveys in a short time the essential characteristics of a Children’s House prepared environment. (1997, 11 minutes)

What Is Montessori Elementary?
A companion video to be used with the booklet by the same title, this video conveys in a very short time the essential qualities of a Montessori elementary classroom. (1997, 11 minutes)

At Home with Montessori
After twenty-five years, NAMTA has remade its classic film, A Child’s Home Environment, in the form of a partner video/DVD to its booklet At Home with Montessori. Seven families and their young children demonstrate the importance of thoughtful parenting utilizing Montessori principles. These adults are in love with parenting and naturally include their children in household and leisure activities.    (2004, 15 minutes)                          

Montessori for All Children - The Montessori Magnet School of Hartford
The Hartford Community shows exemplary teamwork as they collaborate on a Montessori “magnet” school designed to attract urban and suburban families to attend the same school. This AMI school’s unequivocal commitment to quality Montessori in the public sector is conveyed by the video’s interviews with parents, teachers, school administrators and state officials.  (2005, 18 minutes)




Day 2  -  Saturday 16th July 2005  -  from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

at Banquet Hall of Sydney Convention Centre, North

All Congress participants are invited to attend the Congress Gala Event which is included as part of the registration fee.   This will be an unforgettable evening where we bring the best of Australia directly to you at the venue!

Attire is up to you – anything from informal to dressed-up will be appropriate.  Some will try to match one of our themes of beach, bush or backyard and others will enjoy an opportunity to be elegant.  The choice is yours!

  • The evening will feature a buffet banquet reflecting the unique flavours of Australia in fine native foods served with a selection of premium Australian beers and wines. 
  • This is an opportunity to experience a variety of different aspects of life in “Oz” – at the beach, in the bush and in our backyards.
  • In keeping with Montessori, the Gala provides a prepared environment with cultural and sensorial experiences to enjoy.  And, movement is encouraged as there will be displays and interactive exhibitions.
  • Australiana will be represented by a range of skilled persons from weavers and wood turners to Bondi Beach surf lifesavers.  There will be items to admire or purchase such as pewter, pearls and gems; beach, bush or backyard Aussie clothing; artworks; and unique Australian essential oils.
  • On the night, ‘Let stalk Strine’; that is, ‘Let’s talk Australian’.   Have fun with the local lingo – learn some new idioms, pronunciations and rhyming slang.
  • Special treat of the evening will be our unique flora and fauna.  The Aussie wildlife that you didn’t have time to see at Sydney’s zoo will be on show at the Gala.

The Gala Australiana is aimed at showing, and enjoying together, many of the aspects of the life we live in the Land Downunder!




The Essential Mandate

Sunday 17 July 2005

9:00

Working Together to Combat Child Labour
Maria Gabriella Lay
Child labour, rooted in poverty and in unjust social systems, deprives children of education, health and safety. Abolishing child labour has thus been a priority for ILO action since its founding in 1919.  On the first World Day Against Child Labour - 12 June 2002 - the ILO launched a large scale programme, Supporting Children’s Rights through Education, the Arts and the Media (SCREAM) to promote children’s participation and ensure their outlook is reflected in mainstream world affairs. This approach corresponds closely to Montessori’s understanding of children’s intrinsic need for “movement” and “action” to develop harmoniously through purposeful activity.  While using their intelligence and will in such creative “real-life activities”, children and adolescents also deepen their ethical development with others worldwide in artistic, uplifting endeavors. 

9:40

Montessori Erdkinder: The Social Evolution of the Little Community
David Kahn
The “Erdkinder” idea is neither a school for farming, a laboratory for ecological study, nor solely a boarding school.  The core focus is engagement around community.  It is a microcosmic social experience.  It is a stepping stone to the supreme reality of adult society in the context of nature and supra-nature in a modern search for spiritual human development through balance of inner human needs and external social conditions.  Given the difficulty of predicting what skills and knowledge will be useful to the next generation of productive adults, Montessori education looks to certain values, attitudes, and understanding of how natural and human systems interact evolving towards higher levels of human solidarity and world cooperation.

10:30 Victorian Morning Tea Break
Refreshments and atmosphere courtesy of the State of Victoria
11:15

Montessori in Indigenous Cultures
Panel: Don Anderson (presented by Ian Mackie), Jean Little

The panel will present a first-hand account of a Montessori Indigenous project in Northern Queensland, highlighting the unique collaboration between Indigenous and Montessori communities and government agencies in service of the child.  Indigenous communities in the far north of Australia face great challenges due to the disruption of their culture – with life expectancy and quality of life far below the rest of Australia.  Coming together to champion the cause of children has led to mutual understanding and revelation.  Indigenous communities appreciate Montessori’s respect for their culture, common sense approach and the freedom to learn afforded their children.    The Montessori community has found an understanding of the relevance of Indigenous culture in modern times – a missing piece, an enlivening of the spirit, and a deep concern for people, the land and all children.  The presentation will include video footage of Montessori Indigenous projects in Australia.

Montessori – A Vital Approach to Education for Children and Potential Teachers in Remote Areas of Australia - Jean Little

In the Horse or On It - Ian Mackie

Montessori and Indigenous People: We Share Our Dreams
Video produced by Australian AMI Alumni Association and NAMTA
The video shows beginning interaction and development between Montessori education and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.  Emphasis is placed on how the values of Indigenous culture mesh with Montessori philosophy as represented by projects and principal advocates in Cairns West (QLD), Redfern (Sydney, NSW), and Wadja Wadja (Woorabinda, QLD). The desire for Montessori education by indigenous peoples is documented through interviews on location.   (2005, 15 minutes)

12:15

The Century Past:  The Montessori Revolution in Retrospect
Monte Kenison
A pictorial overview of the first century of the Montessori Movement.

13:00 Lunch with Speakers and Delegates
SYDNEY theme today in celebration of our host city.
15:00

The Century Forward: A Vision of the Montessori Movement for the Next Century
Molly O’Shaughnessy
“Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.” – Jonathan Swift
Dr. Montessori was an artist capable of seeing the invisible. In order to keep the Montessori movement alive and vibrant, we too must see not only what is behind us, but also what is in front of us, what may be beyond our own comprehension.  Vision requires faith, commitment and work – execution requires the same. We must remind ourselves, Dr. Montessori’s work – this great work—is still in its infancy. She herself states this “Although it is quite true that man as an individual can improve and that society can be based on principles of justice and love, all of us are aware that these goals do not constitute a reality just beyond our grasp but rather an aspiration whose fulfilment lies far in the future.” (Education and Peace xi)
We have a choice. We can degenerate or we can carry the vision forward. It is our duty and honour to carry it forward. It is our greatest hope for humanity.

16:00

Our Essential Mandate
Renilde Montessori
It is a Montessori principle to take as a point of departure the whole and then study its components; to contemplate the general and then investigate its particulars; to consider the large vision and then scrutinise its details, always returning to the whole, the general and the large vision for orientation. Educators cannot be honest educators unless they look to the vast enigma that is our universe, to our modest solar system within it, to our planet and its many and varied inhabitants, to our species as one among them and finally, with greatest glee, to our children. Then it becomes incumbent upon us to stand very still and contemplate with delight the interplay between their individual uniqueness and the universal characteristics common to all young perpetuators of the life form known as man. Maria Montessori said educators must be scientists dedicated to the study of the child. To what end? To learn how best to help and encourage the wholesome development of its human potential. This implies unceasing, assiduous observation of children within the context of their physical, intellectual and spiritual milieu. It also implies thorough familiarity with the developmental phenomena common to all children, and a high level of alertness to the elements pertaining to the children’s environment. Perhaps the most astounding revelation when observing children is the quality of their observation of the environment. In them it is an essential, vital function, following a powerful inner directive that underpins the entire process of their self-construction. The awareness of this phenomenon brings with it a happy sense of complicity between ourselves and our children, allowing us to carry out with vigour and joy our essential mandate ~ none other than absolute dedication to Education as an aid to Life.

16:30 Closing Ceremony

Sydney Declaration, André Roberfroid

SYDNEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE CHOIR, Director Christopher Bowen
“The Prayer”  

Music and lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager and David Foster; Italian lyric by Alberto Testa and Tony Renis

I pray you’ll be our eyes and watch us where we go,
And help us to be wise in times when we don’t know.
Let this be our prayer, when we lose our way
Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace to a place where we’ll be safe.
I pray we’ll find your light and hold it in our hearts
When stars go out each night, eternal light will shine
Let this be our prayer when shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place.   Guide us with your grace.
Give us faith so we’ll be safe.

We’re dreaming of a world that has no violence
Sognamo un mondo senza piu violenza              

A world without injustice, war and hunger
Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza

Where neighbours give a helping hand to strangers as a sign of friendship, brotherhood and love
Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino simbolo di pace, e di fraternita

We ask that life be kind and watch us from above.
We hope each soul will find another soul to love.
Let this be our prayer.
Just like every child needs to find a place,
Guide us with your grace.  Give us faith so we’ll be safe.

And now with this faith which is in our hearts, we can feel that we’ll be safe.
E la fede che hai  acceso in noi, Sento che ci salvera.

SYDNEY COLLEGE CHOIR and AUDIENCE
“Dona Nobis Pacem”

2007 Centenary Announcement, André Roberfroid

Children’s Closing