2020 AMI Annual Report

Saturday 10th April 2021

2020 – A Year of Resilience and Connection

As we look back on 2020, we feel an overwhelming sense of pride in the collective resilience of the AMI community. While the year started as usual, we very quickly had to adapt to a new normal, which enabled us to rethink all of our interactions and connections.

What the experience showed us was the incredible resilience of the AMI community, wherever they live and work across the world. The foundations which have been built over many years between trainers, educators, affiliates, schools and community groups gave us all a firm base from which to review our world, and work on ways to adapt as quickly as we could for our students, our children and our elderly communities.

As the pandemic took hold, our immediate attention was drawn to the continuation of AMI training wherever possible, and sharing as much best practice and free resources as we could to support our global community. Not only did we learn how to adapt, we were reaffirmed in acknowledging the power of the strong network our global community has.

While keeping our work to support the AMI community going, we also introduced new communications to wider audiences in the form of a free weekly digest newsletter, which spread knowledge of Montessori, and articles to help parents and teachers with ideas for home schooling.

While schools were closing and reopening at different times during the year across the world, one factor united everyone – the ability of Montessori children to work independently, creatively, and to adapt to their new pandemic classroom environments. We heard from schools, training centres and affiliated societies, from South Korea to South Africa, from Colombia to China, from the USA to the UK, from Argentina to Australia, in short, our friends and partners from all over the world shared how they were supporting education in the home and making provisions for the safe and hygienic return of children and educators, all of which served to show the world of education how well prepared a Montessori child already was to adapt.

Perhaps paradoxically, 2020 was a year to demonstrate to the world what the Montessori approach to education can achieve, in a year when the pandemic exposed the true flaws in education provision for our children on a global scale, we acknowledged Montessori’s approach for its ability to put the child at the centre and to lead with the fundamental respect for the rights of every child.

It was a year in which human rights across the whole of society were brought into the spotlight, with the power of the Black Lives Matter movement and the efforts of UNESCO to highlight child inequality and injustice to the devastating impact on our elderly community.

2020 WAS A YEAR TO DEMONSTRATE TO THE WORLD WHAT THE MONTESSORI APPROACH TO EDUCATION CAN ACHIEVE

It was therefore significant that in 2020 we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birthday of Maria Montessori – the pioneer, scientist, educator, advocate for children’s rights, and founder of AMI.

While the pandemic prevented us from face-to-face celebrations, we marked her amazing legacy by honouring her work virtually, through online events, social media, access to otherwise unseen archival material, and by amplifying the message of what Maria Montessori’s work was about.

We highlighted her commitment to working with disadvantaged children, her her vocal support for women’s rights and her unwavering work to bring her knowledge and understanding of the development of the whole human being to a global audience.

As we work through 2021 and continue to face the challenges of a world attempting to recover from the pandemic, we are grateful to our AMI community for their continued resilience, creativity and support in communicating the true value of Montessori’s work, and why this is more relevant today than ever.