AMI 29th Congress: Bangkok Thailand

This past August, my husband and I travelled to the South Pacific to participate in the 29th AMI Congress in Bangkok, Thailand. The congress was opened by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. The Princess granted Awards of recognition to contributors to “Education for a New World”.

The 2023 logo, symbolizing the theme “Education for a New World,” is inspired by traditional Thai art. It combines elements of the magic of technology and traditional values, transforming or world in which humankind must find a balance between our natural power and the supernatural concept.

Shannon Helfreich is one of the world’s most experienced and admired teacher trainers in Montessori education. She led us in a reflection on the definition of Education for a New World and spoke to how Dr. Montessori revolutionized our understanding of the child and the educator. It was Maria Montessori who said, “Children are the hope for a different kind of future.” We need to take advantage of natural spontaneity within the child. We cannot predict what the world of tomorrow will be like, just look at the past 4 years, no one was ready for a global pandemic! Montessori education believes that through supporting the young child’s development today, we are setting the stage for the future.

How do we do this?
1. Wisdom: what we get from our life experiences
2. Ability: the skills that allow us to function, think, judge and problem-solve
3. Coordinated Movement: The hand is the instrument of the mind. Our hands have allowed us to transform throughout history.
4. Task/Purpose: The power of coordination
5. Sense of Dignity: a confidence achieved with independence, allows us to contribute to our community.
6. The Power of Extraction: Free the child’s mind, problem-solving
7. Develop Strong Will: The need and ability to follow through.
8. Social Development: Learning how to behave, how to belong and be a part of a community, integrate spontaneously and allows them to live in peace and harmony.
9. How to Choose: Understanding the changing needs of our world

Education is a natural process; it occurs through experiences in the environment not through words. We educate the children of today but prepare the minds of tomorrow.