Montessori Europe Congress 2018

5-7 October 2018

Sofia, Bulgaria
Sofia Hotel Balkan

Inside the Montessori classroom inspiring best practices

The next Montessori Europe congress will take place in Sofia from October 5th to 7th, 2018 and will be organized in co-operation with the Association Institute Montessori Bulgaria.

Dr. Maria Montessori’s work was not aimed at creating accelerated learning, better grades, or precocious children. Her desire was to support the development of the whole child, the whole human being – not to isolate certain cognitive powers of the human being and build an educational system based solely on these.

Building up on the brilliance of the Montessori education for supporting the children’s development, Montessori Europe devotes its next congress to the best practices of Montessori classroom. The main objective is to gather, share and exchange experiences and ideas and to extend the people knowledge of Montessori education. The theme this year chosen for this Montessori event is “Inside the Montessori classroom – inspiring best practices”.

The annual event of Montessori Europe will be highly valuable for extending people’s knowledge of Montessori education and exchanging experiences and ideas. Aiming strengthening the community across Europe, providing networking opportunities, inspiration and refreshment, the forthcoming event will be a European forum for sharing and conversation of best practices inspired by the Montessori practice.

The program includes research-based knowledge presented by internationally recognized scientists, the expertise of world-class trainers and inspiring educators. As part of the forthcoming event will be covered all the aspects of classroom practice, such as managing the group, facilitating individual and small group activities, providing effective and accurate feedback and practicing observation skills. Experiences of teachers and research results will be presented. Meetings, forums and discussions will focus on practitioners’ experiences at all age levels of Montessori education. This European forum will discuss how to support the development of children with special needs. The debates will concern all participants of the education process: pupils, teachers, parents, teacher trainers.

This year in Sofia (Bulgaria) Montessori international event will be organised by Montessori Europe in partnership with Association Institute Montessori Bulgaria, affiliated to AMI. Montessori education in Bulgaria is still very young and the Montessori Europe congress will hopefully be supportive in strengthening the position of the Montessori pedagogy in Bulgaria.

About the organiser

It is Montessori Europe’s mission to be a hub for Montessori education in Europe. Montessori Europe organizes networking, collaboration, exchange, mutual support and wants to create synergy and to increase motivation.

About the hosting organisation

Institute Montessori Bulgaria is the only national organisation in Bulgaria that is affiliated society of Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), founded in 1929 by Dr. Maria Montessori as custodian of the history of the Montessori movement, responsible for articulating Montessori philosophy and practice clearly.

Partners and Supporting organisations

About the Congress

Learn more about the program here.

Program highlights

Break-out sessions

Break-out sessions are large group activities dedicated to topics of broader interest. Many of them are connected to the keynotes.


MMUN teachers’ workshop

The MMUN teachers’ workshop runs parallel to the congress and is partly integrated in it. The workshop sessions run from Friday to Sunday;  Sunday morning a MMUN simulation will be integrated in the congress. Attendees of the MMUN workshop will be able to attend some of the activities of the congress (opening and closing sessions, workshops and evening events).


Keynotes, workshops, break-out sessions

You will find all the necessary information on the various subpages.
Please note that there is an option to pre-select workshops, but this is not mandatory and choices can be changed later. The final workshop registration will be in September.


School visits

The Friday morning school visits will focus on Plovdiv. There will be a bus starting from the venue in the morning. Monday will be focused on Sofia. School visits will start in the morning and last until afternoon.


Working group meetings

Working group meetings will be Friday afternoon. Results of the working groups will be presented in the AGM. The Research group MERGe will lead a panel discussion Saturday afternoon.



This year there will be a longer AGM, focused on topics from the ME agenda. The AGM will be Saturday from 11.45 to 15.15 , parallel to the second break-out sessions slot and the first workshop slot. There will be a lunch break from 12.45 until 13.45. More information about the AGM will be on the website at the end of June.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact us

Speakers of the educational conference are international scientists, practitioners and world-famous trainers, writers, experts developing human potential.Among the presentations, the conference program offers panel discussions with teachers, parents and representatives of the institutions, which enable a constructive debate on science-based research and methodologies.KeynotesFriday 5 October 17.30 – 18.30Ginni Sackett

Ginni Sackett is AMI trainer, lecturer, consultant, and examiner with over thirty years of experience in Montessori education. She holds an AMI primary diploma, a B.A. in history and an M.A. in Asian studies. After 12 years as a classroom teacher, Ginni joined the staff of the Montessori Institute Northwest in Portland, Oregon as a course assistant in 1994. She soon joined the AMI Training of Trainers Program and achieved the status of AMI trainer in 2002. She has been director of primary training since then at the Montessori Institute Northwest and now co-directs the primary course with Sarah Werner Andrews. Ginni frequently presents on a variety of topics at regional, national, and international workshops and conferences. Her articles have been published in AMI Communications and the NAMTA Journal, and she is the author of two pamphlets published by AMI/USA.

The scientist in the classroom: The Montessori teacher as scientist

The Montessori adult supports the development of creativity and scientific innovation in children through the integrated approach known as Montessori education. But in order to implement this integrated approach, we must ourselves be first and foremost scientific practitioners – implementing a method which Montessori described as characterized by “experiment, observation, evidence, recognition of new phenomena, and reproduction and utilization of the new phenomena”. Together we can explore our work as scientists – scientists who use our creativity and our practical skills to generate knowledge and discover the truth about the children in our care.


Saturday 6 October 9.00 – 10.00

Steven Arnold

Steven Arnold holds various Montessori credentials including AMI 3 -6, 6 – 12 and AMS 12 – 15, 15 – 18. He also holds the AMI Assistant certificate in 0 – 3. He has a master’s degree in education – Montessori Integrative learning and is also currently adjunct faculty on the TIES Masters programme. Steven has worked in a variety of Montessori settings including Early learning centres, elementary schools, secondary schools and as a senior lecturer at University where he taught Montessori papers. Steven is currently the director of PEACE EXPERIMENT which is a Montessori secondary education programme that he founded in 2017. He believes firmly in the role of Montessori education in the future of our planet, and the role of the adolescent emerging as the new human. Steven lives in New Zealand, with his wife, and has two adult sons. Steven is an education consultant and enjoys theatre and travel.

The 21st century belongs to the adolescent; what are you doing about it?

This keynote uses a case study of establishing a Montessori secondary programme in Auckland New Zealand, as an example of how we can prepare for the unknown and unknowable future. The emerging New Human that Montessori talks of will be found through a Montessori setting. We do not own the Earth, we did not inherit it from our grandparents, we borrow it from our children. We, the adults, decision makers, and stakeholders, do not know the way; the best thing is that we try to get out of the way. The adolescents are coming, ready or not. In a time of uncertainty and change, akin to the likes of the pace of changes witnessed in technology, society and evolution of industry of the early parts of the 21st century – we need: • individuals with strong resilience, and belief in self. • communities with cohesion, communication and capability of rapid response. • The Earth to be nurtured through have immediate and mindful action, to limit, and replace harmful practice. The adolescents of today will be the decision makers of tomorrow. The shape of the future of humanity falls to them, in a way unprecedented in human history. Until now the future has been shaped by traditions and heritage from the past, over generations and sometimes millennia. From now on the future will be decided in the present, in a matter of hours, months or weeks. This keynote invites you to a world where we can offer the adolescent through radical Montessori education the individual freedom limited only by the vision of the individual, their community and our environment. Welcome to Peace Experiment:


Sunday, 5 Oct 2018, 9.30 – 10.30

Baiba Krumins Grazzini

Baiba Krumins Grazzini is director of elementary training at the Fondazione Centro Internazionale Studi Montessoriani (Bergamo, Italy), an AMI Traning Centre which was founded by Mario Montessori in 1961. She has been involved with Bergamo’s AMI elementary training course since 1975, became an AMI elementary trainer in 1986, and a director of training in 1992. Baiba Krumins Grazzini trained in London with Hilla Patell and Muriel Dwyer, in Bergamo with Eleonora Honegger Caprotti and Camillo Grazzini and, as part of her Training of Trainers Programme, in Washington with Margaret Stephenson and Fahmida Malik. In addition to her work in Bergamo, she has lectured in Spain, Ireland, India and in Japan, where she gave the first elementary training course. She is a seminar leader of the Elementary Training of Trainers Programme, and served on the AMI Pedagogical Committee (now the Scientific Pedagogy Group) from 2004 until 2013.

Cosmic Education
We live on Earth, our planetary home that is made up of land, water and air (lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere) and is populated by all kinds of living beings (biosphere) including ourselves, the human being (psychosphere). Yet Earth exists, can only exist, within the context of the Universe and the grandest vision any of us can acquire is that of “Man in the Universe”. This is the vision offered in cosmic education, an educational approach which was developed by Dr Maria Montessori and her son, Mario Montessori, in response to the specific needs of children aged six to twelve.

Simultaneous translations will be provided.

Break-out sessions

Saturday 6 October 10.00 – 11.00

Jenny Höglund

Jenny Höglund is an AMI Elementary (6-12) Trainer. She holds AMI Primary (3-6) and Elementary Diplomas. Jenny co-founded the ‘Montessoriskolan Lära för livet’ in Sweden in 1995 and has taught elementary and adolescent students for over twenty-three years as well as serving as head of school since 2006. She has also lectured at the Bergamo Centre in Italy since 2006.

The peculiarity of the age 12-18

The child is entering the adult world. It is the birth of the social young adult. This is a period of changes. It makes the adolescent very fragile and un-secure. During this plane the young adult is created, the adult for new generations.

Vanessa Fichtl

Vanessa Fichtl is a mother of two daughters, works, and lives in Dortmund, Germany. While trying to find childcare for her eldest daughter she was introduced to the Montessori Educational System and found her own beliefs mirrored many of those found within the pedagogical method. She started to work in Montessori schools in 2007 and holds an AMI Assistants to Infancy Diploma from The Montessori Institute Denver since 2009. She regularly attends conferences, workshops and trainings over the Montessori Pedagogy, including Paediatrics and Neurological Research on a regular basis. In 2013, Vanessa opened her own Montessori Children’s House in Dortmund. Her wish to actively promote the Montessori Pedagogy for children under three years of age while making it more accessible in Germany helped her along the path to founding the AMI Certified Montessori Training Centre – Montessori Institute Dortmund.

Building strong foundations – how to make an infant community work

Saturday 6 October 11.45 – 12:45

Baiba Krumins Grazzini

AMI trainer, lecturer and examiner, Baiba Krumins Grazzini is director of elementary training at the Fondazione Centro Internazionale Studi Montessoriani (Bergamo, Italy), an AMI Traning Centre which was founded by Mario Montessori in 1961. She has been involved with Bergamo’s AMI Elementary training course since 1975, became an AMI elementary trainer in 1986, and a director of training in 1992. Baiba Krumins Grazzini trained in London with Hilla Patell and Muriel Dwyer, in Bergamo with Eleonora Honegger Caprotti and Camillo Grazzini and, as part of her Training of Trainers Programme, in Washington with Margaret Stephenson and Fahmida Malik. In addition to her work in Bergamo, she has lectured in Spain, Ireland, India and in Japan, where she gave the first elementary training course.
She is  a seminar leader of the Elementary Training of Trainers Programme, and  served on the AMI Pedagogical Committee (now the Scientific Pedagogy Group) from 2004 until 2013.

Cosmic Tales, also known as the Great Stories

The great stories give grand vision. They are stories of truth that offer a vision of the whole. Told in a fantastic way to speak to the imagination of the child, all great stories have a common and specific aims.
With this educational approach, tailored to the developmental needs of children in elementary school, the children cannot only acquire a vision of the greatest possible “whole” but also have the possibility of relating to and connecting with any and all knowledge that they have acquired, are acquiring and will acquire. In this way, education truly becomes an aid to life, a preparation for life.

Ginni Sackett

Ginni Sackett has been AMI trainer, lecturer, consultant, and examiner with over thirty years of experience in Montessori education. She holds an AMI primary diploma, a B.A. in history and an M.A. in Asian studies.
After 12 years as a classroom teacher, Ginni joined the staff of the Montessori Institute Northwest in Portland, Oregon as a course assistant in 1994. She soon joined the AMI Training of Trainers Program and achieved the status of AMI trainer in 2002. She has been director of primary training since then at the Montessori Institute Northwest and now co-directs the primary course with Sarah Werner Andrews. Ginni frequently presents on a variety of topics at regional, national, and international workshops and conferences. Her articles have been published in AMI Communications and the NAMTA Journal, and she is the author of two pamphlets published by AMI/USA.

Creating a well-managed classroom through grace and courtesy

A well-managed Montessori classroom is based on children who manage themselves. In this session we will first review some key components of Montessori classroom management; then explore and experience how the Practical Life activities known as Grace and Courtesy provide opportunities for children to develop the self-regulation, self-direction and social harmony which are at the heart of an authentic, high-functioning Montessori environment and create the foundations for future moral development.

Sunday 7 October 10.30 – 11.30

Jenny Höglung

Jenny Höglund is an AMI Elementary (6-12) Trainer. She holds AMI Primary (3-6) and Elementary Diplomas. Jenny co-founded the ‘Montessoriskolan Lära för livet’ in Sweden in 1995 and has taught elementary and adolescent students for over twenty-three years as well as serving as head of school since 2006. She has also lectured at the Bergamo Centre in Italy since 2006.

Learning, collaboration, accessibility – European Adolescents’ Network


Dorothy Paul

Dorothy Paul is the Program Director for Duhovka Montessori Teacher Education Program and Methodologist for Duhovka Preschools in Prague, CZ.  She currently serves on the American Montessori Society Board of Directors, as well as the AMS Global Task Force. During the 20 years as an Early Childhood classroom teacher she earned both her Master’s degree in Elementary Education, and an Education Specialist degree in Early Childhood Education. Dorothy holds Montessori diplomas in 2.5-6 and 6-12, which are affiliated with AMS and credentialed through Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). In 2010  she expanded her involvement in teacher training when she moved to Prague, CZ to join the system of Duhovka Montessori Schools. Dorothy  also serves on AMS/MACTE verifying teams around the world, supporting quality  standards in Montessori Education. She gives workshops on teacher development, subject areas, school design, curriculum, and creating a new school, in the US and abroad.

Teacher transformation – how to become a passionate Montessori teacher

Send your questions to the speakers via e-mail:

There are more than 20 workshops integrated part of the program of the event what will present best practices for supporting the child development and education from birth to maturity.

Workshops Program

Saturday, 6 October 13:45 – 15:15

W 1 : GrooveLab и музиката в Монтесори обучението W1: “GrooveLab“ and Montessori music education

Andreas Kopfmann

The pedagogy of Maria Montessori and education in the area of pop & rock music are getting really close in the teaching concept “GrooveLab“, presented in this workshop by Andreas Kopfmann. Work-shop participants will find out about kindergarten kids (aged 5–7) and about pupils, aged 8 – 18 who are learning and practicing popular music. Previous knowledge is not required. (All age groups) Andreas Kopfmann, 54, is a full-fledged musician as rock, pop & gipsy guitarist, guitar-instructor and Montessoriteacher at an urban music school in the South of Germany.


W2: What are the must haves to start up a Montessori school 0-18 Cristina Preda 

Cristina Preda

Cristina Preda is co-founder of the Montessori Institute of Bucharest, Romania and Founder of Echilib-ria Kindergarten. She is an AMI Educator, level 0-3 years.


W3: The Montessori Guide – transformation, love and endless trust

Diana Manova

This workshop will help the participants understand the role of the guide in the prepared environment in relation to his/her work with children, (assistant–)teachers and parents. The workshop will deal with topics such as: • The guide’s discipline • Facing difficulties • Further learning/improving

Diana Manova has a Master’s degree from the University of Sofia, with a major in the Bulgarian lan-guage and literature and post-graduate training and qualification in teaching English to pupils and stu-dents. Diana completed a programme of teaching English to adults with the University of Cambridge and holds a DELTA (diploma of teaching English to adults). In 2008 she obtained her AMI training (3-6) from the Montessori Training Centre of Minnesota and an M.Ed. in Montessori Education from Loyola University Maryland. Since then she has been working with children and conducting lectures and workshops for parents not only from her school, but open to the whole community. She ahs also assisted in lecturing on forums on the Montessori philosophy in Bulgaria.

W4: In the beginning: practical tips for new teachers in a 3-6 environment

Hanna Herklotz

The workshop will begin with introductions of the participants and brief reports about the issues they are experiencing in their classrooms. This will be followed by a short theory session (about 10-15 minutes) with an accompanying slideshow in which the traditional role of Montessori teachers in a normalized classroom will be contrasted with Maria Montessori’s writing about the teacher’s role in a non-normalized classroom. We will highlight how different these two roles are. Participants will then be broken into groups based on their struggles and will brainstorm on concrete solutions based on the theory they have just reviewed. These solutions will be then presented to the group in order to ex-change ideas (30/35 minutes). Finally, participants will receive a prepared handout with specific sug-gestions for a successful yearlong transition from a student of theory to a practitioner. Hannah Herklotz completed her Bachelor’s degree in English and German educational studies in Min-nesota, USA in 2009. After teaching preschool children abroad and in the USA for three years, she completed her AMI Primary diploma with Molly O’Shaunessy at the Montessori Center of Minnesota in 2013. In 2014 she received her Master’s of Early Childhood Education from Loyola University. Since 2014 she has lived in Dortmund, Germany with her family and worked at Nido Kindergarten. Her pu-blications include “Die Drei Såulen in der Montessori-Pädagogik und der harmonische Beginn einer BerufsanfängerIn” in Das Kind 61, 2017. She speaks English and German.

W5: Adaption and attachement in the 0-3 childcare settting: Trust as key, practical steps for settling in and delevoping trust between parent, child and caregiver

Jessica Scrimes

The workshop will present how, from 2010 a combination of Home Visiting, Orientation processes, the ‘Berliner model’ for developing attachment in a childcare setting and the Montessori principles has be-en used. It will describe the concrete steps, theoretical background and practical experiences of the model that has been developed by the Montessori House of Kids team. Also parallels and differences between the age groups 0 – 18 months, and 18 months – 3 years will be clarified. Jessica Scrimes holds an AMI 0-3 Diploma, a BA (Social Welfare) and is currently halfway through her 3-6 AMI Diploma training in Zürich, Switzerland. Jessica is Australian and has previously worked in the Montessori community in Australia and Thailand. Since 2008, Jessica has been working in Zürich, Switzerland, raising three children with her husband who is a Montessori 6-12 teacher. (0-3)


W6: Yoga for children balance

Kristine Høj

Johnson Kristine will present a yoga workshop for teachers and parents. This workshop will focus on: • The benefits of yoga in a Montessori classroom • Yoga in circle time – Silence game • Mindful/peaceful arts and crafts activities • Peaceful poems and relaxation exercises • Yoga songs and storytelling – breathing exercises • Sun prayers and yoga stories • Relaxation and yoga song Kristine Høj Johnson is headteacher and yoga teacher at two Montessori preschools in Copenhagen, Denmark. She became an AMI Montessori Teacher in 2005, graduating from the Montessori Educati-on Centre of Arizona. She worked as the headteacher at the Montessori school in Mesa, Arizona until moving back to Copenhagen in January 2008. She has been with Montessori International Preschool since the very beginning when it opened its doors in August 2011. She is a qualified yoga teacher for children and teaches two yoga lessons a week at the Valby Preschool.


W7: A Story of Building Strong Montessori Programs in the Czech Republic (with great help of EU funding)

Mirka Vlckova 

Montessori Institute Prague

This session is not a workshop. This session it is a simple sharing of how we have been working toward building strong Montessori programs and vital Montessori community in the Czech Republic. You will not learn techniques or leave the session with a list of advise how to do the same in your country. You will leave having heard a story of a mother who established a Montessori mother and child program for her son, later a Montessori Primary School, after that Montessori Elementary school, later an AMI Affiliate Montessori Association, and AMI Montessori training centre; who is now building a Montessori adolescent program, and who, in the meantime, organised the International Montessori Congress in Prague where 2 000 Montessorians gathered. If you think a life story like this could be of inspiration to you, I will be most honoured to meet with you at my session and I look forward to learn about your own Montessori stories. 

My name is Mirka Vlckova, I am a mother of four children. I am not a teacher. I am not Montessori trained. I love Montessori and I am called to create opportunities for children to grow into self-fulfilled, responsible adults who know what is their life task and are able to fulfil it. I look forward to meeting you. 


W8: Practical life activities from the “Casa dei Bambini” to the elementary school: “best practice” in Italy 

Monica Salassa 

Management assistant, Digital data and content manager at CISM-Fondazione Centro Internazionale Studi Montessoriani, Bergamo, Italy

The workshop main objective is to show participants three different “best practice” models of setting up Montessori practical life activities in the learning environment. The first model has been set up in the “Casa dei Bambini” while the other two have been realized for the elementary school children. These best practice experiences have been deeply investigated by the workhop leader and they will be discussed through images taken by her during her research work. 


W9: Best practices in introducing Montessori education in public schools Stefan Stoyanov, Reneta Veneva

Stefan Stoyanov, Reneta Veneva

The main objective of the workshop is to share how Montessori pedagogy is introduced into municipal kindergartens and schools with an initial stage of education. We are witnesses of significant changes that occur in the modern world. The Plovdiv Municipality considers the necessity of a change in educa-tion and directs its efforts to create conditions for education that best meet the contemporary require-ments. The introduction of Maria Montessori’s method provides an alternative to the traditional me-thods. The implemented reform is among the largest in the Balkan Peninsula and Eastern Europe in terms of Montessori education. Stefan Stoyanov is the vice mayor of Plovdiv and has been responsible for education, business devel-opment, European policies and international cooperation since 2011 His activities include launching a number of educational programs and reforms in schools in Plovdiv, electronic reception in kindergartens and schools, an innovative school programme, a technical assis-tance programme for the educational process, and in 2016 – for the first time in Bulgaria – a pro-gramme to introduce the Montessori pedagogy in public kindergartens. From 2016 onwards he has been deputy chairman of the Management Board of the Plovdiv Foundation 2019. From 2011 until September 2014 he headed the team preparing the candidacy of Plovdiv as the European Capital of Culture in 2019. Reneta Veneva is a psychologist and holds an AMI Diploma. She has been a professor of pedagogy since 2000, part-time lecturer at NBU – Bulgaria, referent of IAER and THS, Munich. She was a spea-ker at the Third Interdisciplinary Scientific Conference “Multifaceted View on Child Development” on 7-8 April 2017 in Plovdiv with the topic “Montessori therapy in working with autistic children”.


W10: Gratitude practices in elementary school

Vanessa Callaghan

This workshop examines effective tools and best practices for bringing gratitude into the elementary classroom in order to go beyond good manners and the cultural routines of grace and courtesy to cre-ate a deeper understanding and self-awareness of emotions while strengthening relationships. Work-shop attendees are guided through several research-tested gratitude lessons, current positive psycho-logy research, and various gratitude and SEL resources. Attendees transform knowledge into action through reflection, planning, group discussion, and by experiencing several of the gratitude practices firsthand.


W11: How to aid your child’s natural development from birth to maturity

Paul Pillai

Paul is co-founder and Director at The Montessori Place, a school in England offering antenatal classes, a parent-infant programme, Infant Community, two Children’s Houses, two 6-12 Elementary communities and an Adolescent community. He has 12 years of Montessori experience, AMI diplomas at the 0-3 and 3-6 levels, and the AMI Orientation to Adolescence.


Saturday, 6 October 15:30 – 17:00

W12: Art in a toddlers’ community

Anna Pugacheva

Art activities in a toddlers’ community: why and how should we start to offer them? What do we mean by art for small children? Are toddlers capable to understand and produce art works? How does art influence the development of children under 3 years? Participants will learn about the Montessori approach, appropriate materials and rules for presenta-tions of the art activities for toddlers. They will also try to make some art works which are the best for this age group. Anna Pugacheva is executive director of the Montessori Public Fund, AMI Affiliate in Russia. She is AMI trainer in TOT Program (0-3 Level) and holds a AMI Assistants to Infancy Diploma (2008, Den-ver, USA). She is head of the Russian AMI training center (The Higher School of the Montessori Method) and academic director of the Montessori school (St. Petersburg, Russia). She also has a degree in Psychology (St. Petersburg State University, Russia).


W13: Learner autonomy in foreign language acquisition: inside secondary Montessori classrooms

Camilla Miller, Anika Albrecht

The objective of this workshop is to share best practices and lessons learned from European Montes-sori secondary classrooms with examples from Berlin (Germany) and Drammen (Norway), focusing on foreign language acquisition practices in secondary education (ages 12-18). We will provide concrete examples of student work and assessments/documentation as well as practical tips for the organizati-on of work cycles and guide impulses in mixed-age learning communities and material. This will inclu-de examples directly from students through video, art, posters, reflection notes and other written work as concrete examples for self-expression fostering self-construction of the adolescent’s personality through the means of language. Camilla Miller has 16 years of experience as an educator and school administrator and has led educa-tional workshops, professional forums and plenary sessions in both Europe and the USA. Since 2014 she has been a mentor and a teacher of English and Social Studies at Heltberg Private Gymnas Drammen in Norway which practices Montessori methods for ages 15-18. Her educational background includes undergraduate studies in Liberal Arts from Pacific Lutheran University, Applied Sciences from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, teaching credentials for adolescents and adults from the University of Oslo as well as graduate studies in mentoring and coaching within the teaching professi-on, also from the University of Oslo. Camilla Miller is a member of Montessori Europe’s working group on secondary education. Anika Albrecht has 15 year of teaching experience in planes 1-3. She is a world languages material author for different publishing houses for young learners and adolescents. She holds one Montessori diploma for 3-12 year olds (IfgL, Kaul ), a German Montessori diploma for adolescents (Kegler and IfgL, Kaul) and partook in the AMI/NAMATA Adolescent Orientation at the farmschool in Ohio. Her further educational background includes basic studies in Sociology and Social Psychology, she holds a German diploma for interpretation and translation and is mediator. Anika Albrecht is a member of Montessori Europe’s working group on Secondary education and of the IATFL Learner Autonomy Special Interest group.

W14: Cultivating Individual Growth: A learning environment for adolescents.

Camilla Dahl Hansen, Hanne Marie Sorense

W15: Emergent Literacy; Do you like reading books with children?

Els Mattijssen, Ward van de Vijver

Professionals (teachers and guides) know how to use strategies to make books interesting. Interactive book reading puts children more than a year ahead compared with children who do not have this op-portunity. In this workshop we will present results from practice and research that reading aloud to children pro-motes the emergent literacy. We have noticed that children listen more actively, ask more questions, use more words (vocabulary) and get more knowledge about reading and language. In our interactive workshop we will illustrate the theory of emergent literacy in a presentation we will demonstrate how to use reading aloud. Therefore we ask the participants to bring their favourite book (with pictures and text) for young children. Drs. Els Mattijssen is a Master in Pedagogy and registered in Health Care Netherlands as psycholo-gist. She has a private company for psychological assessment: “Praktijk voor Psychodiagnostiek“ and is a partner of VIVID Onderwijs. From 1963 to 1969 she worked as a Montessori teacher with children from 4 to 12 years. From 1969 to 2006 she worked as a professor and Montessori teacher trainer at the Hogeschool Leiden. Next to this she wrote many articles for the Dutch Montessori magazine about child development and she developed two child monitoring systems, one for regular schools and one specifically for Montessori schools. She has coached school development in the Netherlands, Belgi-um, Ukraine, Russia and Germany for more than twenty years. At this moment she also participates in the development of a project in the Netherlands called ‘A new approach to mathematics in Montessori education’. She is a board member of the NMV (Nederlandse Montessori Vereniging). Drs. Ward van de Vijver is Master in Pedagogy. After a career as teacher, headmaster, coach and consultant in the inner cities of The Hague and Rotterdam, he educated teachers at the Hogeschool Rotterdam. He trained school management staff. His company ’Vivid Onderwijs’ specializes in the in-novation of education for inner city schools and school development. The work for school development was rewarded with a national price (Mommers-prijs). He is interested in evidence-based principles of Montessori education and observation and brought them in into the training: Montessori education in the 21e century. He has published about school development, orthography, arithmetics, and motivati-on. He is a consultant for schools on management, reading, language and arithmetics to get better results.

W16: True colours – developing emotional intelligence in the Montessori lower elementary class-room (6-9) 

Eszter Zimanyi

In the workshop we will discuss strategies, activities and games that help children improve all five elements of emotional intelligence (EQ). The workshop will focus on group activities in the lower-elementary Montessori classroom that develop children’s EQ. In the first part of the workshop (20 mi-nutes), there will be an introduction of the research on EQ. In the second part (50 minutes), we will list, discuss and try a variety of group games and activities that develop all elements of emotional intelli-gence. We will then have a Q&A session and a discussion about the participants’ experiences and ideas (20 minutes). Eszter Zimanyi has worked as the director on the Eszterlánc Hungarian-English Montessori Kindergar-ten in Budapest Hungary for 6 years. In September 2017 opened the Eszterlánc Hungarian-English Montessori Learning Group, for children aged 6-10 ( Apart from being a director, she is the head of the learning group and the coordinator of international relations. Eszter completed the Helen Doron English teacher training course and worked with this method for 2 years before ac-quiring the Montessori Diploma for the age group 3-6.

W17: The method of Critical Incidents Observation (CIO) as a tool and self- development approach

Jarosław Jendza

Teachers in all educational environments experience various incidents and situations everyday. Some of them quickly disappear in the minds of educators. CIO is an approach that help teachers to be more sensitive to the situations that seem usual or ordinary but in fact – if analyzed in a specific way – could serve the students and the teachers very well. Creating a simple tool, consisting of a series of „lenses” through which a given situation might be seen in a completely different and quite often unexpected perspective, turns a Montessori classroom into a laboratory of the teachers’ continuous professional development as well as an environment more effectively adjusted to the need of each and every child. The participants of the workshop will have the opportunity both to get to know more about this ap-proach as well as have a try in using the technique on the basis of the ready-made examples of the tool provided by the leader of the workshop. Jarosław Jendza (PhD) comnines the academic and practical worlds of education. From 2009 he has been employed at the University of Gdańsk (Poland) in the Education Department, where he first got his Master’s degree in Early Education and Teaching English and then the Doctorate in the theory of education.He has been a consultant for Montessori schools since 2011, head master of a primary Montessori school (2016- 2017), as well as teacher trainer. His areas of expertise include: alternative pedagogy, educational research methods, Montessori theory, personalized education and academic tutoring. He is the author of more than twenty scientific articles on education (including the Montessori method), member of the editorial board of the Journal of Montessori Research and Education, mem-ber of Montessori Europe and other scientific societies and organizations.

W18: How do we finetune the expectations of parents and ourselves?

Karin de Jong, Bea Koekenbier

The interaction between parent and teacher plays an important role in the optimal development of the child. Research on different levels has shown that the quality of the interaction between parent and teacher has a positive effect on the entire development of the child. The assumptions of Montessori education show us that (naturally) this is part of Montessori education. What do parents already know about Montessori education? What do teachers expect of the parents and is it clear for the parents what those expectations are? How does the school communicate its expectations to its parents?

W19: Learning to self-regulate in the Montessori classroom

Jacqueline Bentlage, Marielle van der Heijden, Patrick Sins
This workshop will help Montessori teachers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the importance of supporting students’ self-regulated learning in their classrooms by reporting on two action research cases. Jacqueline Bentlage has been a teacher for 36 years and a Montessori teacher for 20 years. In her teaching she focuses on younger children and language learning. Currently she is enrolled in a master course Learning and Innovation (with Montessori specialization) at Saxion University of Applied Scien-ces. In her master she is actively engaged in doing design-based action research.Patrick Sins is professor of Reform Education at the Schools of Education of Saxion University of Ap-plied Sciences and Thomas More University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. In his research Patrick focuses on developing and optimizing innovative perspectives on education based on critical scientific syntheses, on the one hand, and on conducting practice-based scientific research, on the other. Patrick has published several scientific articles in international scientific journals and chapters in scientific books on education. He has produced over 80 additional publications such as conference papers, and internal and external research reports. He is coordinator of the thematic field, European Diversity, in the EC funded VOICE of European TeacherS (VOICES) network. In addition, he is invol-ved in the organization of the Montessori Europe Research Group (MERGe) and the Dutch Montessori Research Group (NMO).

W20: Developing a growth mindset in the Montessori Classroom

René van Engelen
Why is Carol Dwecks’ growth mindset already present in Montessori education? What can we learn from Dwecks’ insights when taking a closer look in the Montessori classroom? The relation between child and adult is crucial in education. What kind of influence does an educator have on the child’s well-being? How can you take a look at your own communication and relation? We will take a closer look at mirror neurons, relationship, Leary’s Rose and reflection.

W21: Montessori teachers as researchers, inspiring best practices through teacher-led action re-search 

Tania Hurter

Understand the basic principles of action research and Dr. Montessori’s contribution to the field of ac-tion research. Understand how action research is particularly suited to Montessori classrooms and Montessori teachers. Understand how action research can be used to improve practice as well as uni-te, educate and inspire other teachers within an individual school and within the wider Montessori community. Demystify research and help teachers to see that they can both conduct research and contribute to the body of research. Have a basic knowledge about how to conduct action research, where to find further practical information and what to do with the research when it is completed. After studying Sociology at Roanoke College in the United States, Tania Hurter completed her AMI 6-12 diploma and Master’s in Education at Washington Montessori Institute and Loyola University. For 12 years, she taught in elementary classes afterwards completing her AMI Assistants to Infancy dip-loma at The Montessori Institute in Denver. She has been working at La Maison des Enfants near Montpellier, France for over 7 years as the English-speaking guide in the toddler class in the morni-ngs, as well as working in the 6-12 classroom in the afternoons and as a coordinator for bilingual edu-cation at the school. Simultaneously, she earned a Master’s degree from Paul Valery University in France, studying children growing up with two first languages. She is working on finishing her PhD, creating an online community for Montessori bilingual education using action research.

W22: Inspiring best practice in inclusive education: how to help children with special educational needs and disabilities to get the best from their schooling

Уенди Барбара Фидлър
Wendy Barbara Fidler Learn new skills and strategies to support ALL children to access their education at school. Discover the impact on children’s education when their attention, balance, movement, coordination or sensory integration is disordered. Explore how to support children with dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, Down syn-drome and more. Practice the therapeutic use of the Montessori sensorial materials as used at MEfA Montessori. Wendy Barbara Fidler is an award winning Montessori teacher, trainer and author, and has lectured extensively across six continents. Her training courses, seminars and workshops focus on supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities, and the adults who live and work with them. Wendy is the academic director of the charity Montessori Education for Autism (MEfA), which is head-quartered in London, UK. MEfA Montessori School runs therapeutic classes for babies, toddlers and children of school age. The flagship programme is the Montessori Moles, an after-school nurture group for children with autism and other special needs, and children otherwise ‘missing education’

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Please note: You register as a person, not as an organisation. You will receive a purchase receipt by e-mail which you can present to your organisation for reimbursement where necessary. We do not issue separate invoices. Attendance is limited by the capacity of the congress location – please register by 30 September 2018 at the latest.

This year we have a new option, which is the MMUN Teachers’ Workshop. The MMUN Teachers’ Workshop includes a number of congress activities: opening and closing event, reception and dinner, one workshop, one break-out session. There is a limited number of 25 places on a first come, first served basis. Please register by 15 June 2018.

ME members, Eastern Europe attendees and students can register at the reduced rates specified.

Early Bird Rebate
The Early Bird rates reduced by € 30 apply up to 15 June 2018.

To be eligible for the Early Bird rate, your payment needs to be completed by this payment deadline. Otherwise the congress fee increases automatically to the regular fee.

You can state your workshop preferences when you register for the congress. We will respond to these requests in September.

School Visits
You can declare your general interest for school visits during registration for the congress. Sign-up and information for school visits will be communicated in September 2018.

There is only a limited number of places per school visit available, allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. A fee of € 10 applies per school visit, paid in Sofia.

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In you need to cancel your attendance, please send us your cancellation by email to Requests for congress fee refunds must be received by Montessori Europe e.V. no later than 15 September 2018. A cancellation fee of € 75 will be deducted from your refund.If you paid by bank transfer, please include your bank account (IBAN + BIC).

In case of the congress being cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control, we ask for your understanding that there is no entitlement to reimbursement of the congress fee.

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Organisation Team

The members of the Programme committee

Mirjam Stefels, President of Montessori Europe
Dr. Beata Bednarczuk, Vice President of Montessori Europe
Christian Grune, Board member of Montessori Europe and Chairman of the Montessori Foundation in Berlin
Anna-Mariya Yotsova, Founder of Association Institute Montessori Bulgaria, affiliated to AMI

The members of the local congress organisational committee

Mirjam Stefels, President of Montessori Europe
Anna-Mariya Yotsova, Founder of Association Institute Montessori Bulgaria, affiliated to AMI
Anna Goumas, Cofounder of Association Institute Montessori Bulgaria, affiliated to AMI
Dima Chakarova, Cofounder of Association Institute Montessori Bulgaria, affiliated to AMI
Diana Manova, Principal and Cofounder of Montessori Children’s House, AMI guide
Antoniya Gerasimova, AMI Primary guide, Montessori Children’s House
Veselina Stoicheva, Principal of Montessori Hi Pre-School
Miroslava Ivanova, Montessori teacher
Miroslava Nikolova, Head teacher Primary Program of Otkrivatel Montessori School, AMI guide 3-6
Tsveta Borisova, Principal of  Tsvetna Gradina Montessori
Elena Dimitrova, MCI Montessori teacher

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