The institute has been set up through the Montessori St Nicholas charity partnering with Leeds Beckett University’s Carnegie School of Education and aims to be a world leading research centre on early years and Montessori education.
The development of the institute is in the early stages but over the next five years, the institute plans to offer dedicated degrees, masters and PhDs in Montessori education. It will also hold a series of research projects and academic events, alongside the courses.
The institute will appoint the world’s first Professor of Montessori Education and hopes to put the UK on a par with the USA, where the majority of Montessori research currently originates. The institute said it would do this by focusing on quality research and embedding Montessori methods into mainstream education to further enhance the academic status of early years education.
Aptly, the partnership was agreed at the end of August on what would have been pioneering educator Maria Montessori’s 150th birthday. This symbolises the institute’s commitment to continue her legacy of providing all children with quality education, it said.
James Archer, centre director of the newly formed International Montessori Institute and course director at the Carnegie School of Education, said, ‘Two years after the Montessori method reached English shores, in 1913, the Carnegie School of Education moved into its permanent home in Headingly. Since then both the School of Education and the Montessori movement have worked tirelessly for over a hundred years to transform the lives of children.
‘It therefore seems fitting that our partnership will enable us to join together in this important work. We are therefore truly thankful for and excited about the opportunities that our new partnership will bring.’
Leonor Stjepic, CEO of the Montessori Group, commented how collaboration is a hallmark of Montessori education.
‘The launch of the Institute is a momentous milestone in Montessori history,’ she said. ‘One that makes perfect sense in the current climate, with a national drive to “build back better”, a need to support our early years sector to ensure its survival, and parent’s desire for an education system more focused on children’s personal development.’