SOURCE: American Montessori Society

American Montessori Society

February 08, 2012 13:19 ET

Montessori Conference in San Francisco to Revive Spirit of Historic "Glass Classroom"

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 8, 2012) - The American Montessori Society will celebrate the highly acclaimed Montessori "glass classroom" from San Francisco's 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) at its 2012 Annual Conference (, to be held March 15 - 18 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.

On Friday, March 16, AMS will showcase a Demonstration Montessori Elementary Classroom, inside the hotel's atrium, where conference attendees will observe students from Valley Montessori School of Livermore, CA, as they carry out activities typical of their school day. The classroom will spotlight hallmark features of Montessori education, including mixed-aged classes (students will range in age from 6 - 9), specially designed learning materials, and self-directed learning. The Demonstration Montessori Elementary Classroom pays tribute to the glass-walled classroom created inside the Palace of Education and Social Economy at the PPIE, which drew crowds of onlookers and garnered worldwide attention for the Montessori educational model.

"It is fitting that we host our conference, which carries the theme 'Montessori: The Bridge to Learning for Every Child,' in San Francisco," said Richard Ungerer, executive director of The American Montessori Society. "With its backdrop of magnificent bridges, the city is the perfect setting to build our own connections and move forward to strengthen and grow Montessori for our children."

This year's conference is expected to draw more than 2,500 educators, researchers and child advocates from around the world. The conference's opening event, on Thursday, March 15, will honor AMS 2012 Living Legacy Chandra Fernando, who has devoted herself to the Montessori Movement for more than 3 decades. Fernando will pay tribute to the ideals of volunteerism and to those who practice it. A volunteer effort particularly close to Fernando's heart has been to develop Montessori classes for Sri Lankan children orphaned by the tsunami that devastated her homeland in 2005.

Also on the 15th, the AMS Peace Committee will lead attendees in a Day of Service, starting at Larkin Street Youth Services, where the group will lend a hand in sorting donations, preparing meals, and assembling care packages. Later, at GLIDE Memorial Church, they will serve dinner to San Francisco's needy.

The conference will also feature keynote speakers Drs. Brené Brown, Ann Lieberman, and Brian Swimme, esteemed scholars who will offer insights and strategies sure to resonate with Montessorians.

Throughout the long weekend, more than 100 workshops, networking sessions, and exhibitors will target the specific needs and interests of all who attend.

A foremost advocate for quality Montessori education, the American Montessori Society works to ensure that the Montessori approach is a positive and growing force in education throughout the world. AMS promotes the highest standards through its accreditation of Montessori schools, affiliation of teacher education programs, and creation of professional development resources. In addition, AMS advances Montessori education through research, leadership on public policy, and developing a global community of education professionals, families, and policy makers. The organization was founded in 1960 by educator Nancy McCormick Rambusch, PhD, with the backing of key parents from Whitby School (Greenwich, CT). It is headquartered in NYC.

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