Article by WHS Area Manager Lamisse Kazzi
Montessori is a transformative educational model that can make a significant contribution to the educational outcomes for children from all social, cultural, and economic backgrounds.
The Montessori Methodology works particularly well when it is adapted for Aboriginal children, or when it is used to implement Indigenous Studies, as part of the Montessori Curriculum.
At Montessori Academy we understand that the Montessori Method of teaching benefits Indigenous students based on its multi-sensory approach to learning, and its strong connection to nature, which is linked to Aboriginal spirituality.
The core principles of Montessori Education, incorporating independence, peace, tolerance, and respect for the individual and the environment, also align strongly with Aboriginal goals for education.
Across all Montessori Academy childcare centres, we strive to incorporate Indigenous Studies as an important component of the Cultural Curriculum.
One way that our students learn about the Aboriginal Culture is through group learning experiences where the children learn to recite an ‘Acknowledgment of Country.’
An Acknowledgment of Country involves the children and their Educators acknowledging that they are on Aboriginal land, and paying respects to Aboriginal Elders, past and present.
An extension of this exercise is teaching the children to sing the Australian National Anthem and learning about the Aboriginal flag.
Within all Montessori Academy childcare services an Indigenous Education Officer is appointed to promote Aboriginal Education.
Key activities include:
• Implementation of respectful, meaningful, and informed learning experiences regarding Indigenous Australia;
• Ensuring that Indigenous events are celebrated throughout the calendar year, such as NAIDOC Week and Reconciliation;
• Facilitating experiences that encourage inclusion and inclusion support;
• Assisting Educators to develop a sound understanding of shared history between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians; and
• Welcoming Aboriginal Elders into our services.
Montessori Academy’s ongoing commitment to Indigenous Education is part of our philosophy to uphold the rights of the child, and promote the role of children, in helping to achieve a sustainable, peaceful, and progressive future for our society.
By utilising learning materials constructed from raw natural elements, as well as focusing on the importance of nurturing the natural environment, we are teaching our students the basic Montessori principle of care for the environment.
This belief is one that we share with our Indigenous Ancestors, and is a sustainable approach to educating young children about the world in which they live, and their role within it.