13/02/2015

Annual Montessori Schools Association conference – Technology and Montessori in the 21st century

The Montessori Schools Association Annual National Conference takes place on Saturday 21 March 2015 ‘Technology and Montessori in the 21st Century’ at The Institute of Education. It represents the largest gathering of UK Montessorian’s with attendees from the MSA’s 679 school and 3,888 individual members.

Dr Stephen Tommis, Chief Executive of Montessori St Nicholas charity says, I am delighted to preside over my first Montessori Schools Association Annual Conference. As educationalists, we need to be aware of how we can adapt technologies to the learning needs of young people.

This years conference was influenced by a statement in Dr Maria Montessori’s Education and Peace, We have come to realise that intellectual progress is not at odds with technical progress, but rather goes hand  in hand with it.”

The conference will spark discussion and encourage delegates to examine the benefits and challenges of technology.

The conference has an inspirational line-up of speakers, including: Professor Lydia Plowman, University of Edinburgh and Dr Christine Stephen, University of Stirling who will present on Play and Learning with digital media in the early years. Lydia is Chair in Education and Technology and Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange in the Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh. Christine is a Research Fellow in the School of Education, University of Stirling.

Both speakers have been conducting research that focuses on children aged five and under and technology for fifteen years. They will provide an overview of a series of case studies that investigate the role of the family in supporting play and learning with digital media at home. They will then consider ways in which educators can support children’s play and learning with technologies in early years settings.

Other speakers include, Mr Noureddin Khassal on E-safety guidance for teachers and parents and Dr Paul Epstein from the US who will present a paper entitled, ‘If I-Pad, will I-Touch Tablets’?

The conference also celebrates the work of the MEAB accreditation scheme, which is raising  standards within the Montessori Schools Association and puts ‘best practice’ at the heart of what it does. There are now around 175 accredited Montessori schools.