Kathmandu Montessori Training Centre
As part of his Montessori training with Montessori World Educational Institute (MWEI), Gavin McCormack, one of our Stage 3 teachers visited the Kathmandu Montessori Training Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal. Gavin spent 12 days working in the heart of the country’s capital, learning how Montessori functions in the third most polluted city on earth.
Gavin worked alongside two Cycle 1 (Stage 1) Montessori trainers to understand how the sensorial materials are used to establish the foundations of education in schools that lack the space and funding that we in the developed world have at our fingertips. He also practised delivering materials in the cosmic education sector of the curriculum, such as The Great Stories.
In Nepal, where funding is scarce, classrooms are not equipped with the kinds of luxuries we have here in Australia. Firstly, it’s important to say that instead of having all materials in every class, materials are usually kept in one central office. These materials are then borrowed, used, and returned after use. This obviously puts a strain on the system as a whole and limits the amount of choice that the children have. After discussions with the teachers and trainers in the centre, Gavin was asked to demonstrate some of the materials we have here in Australia. A material, which the teachers liked very much, was the use of ‘three part cards.’
Gavin explained how the use of three part cards in subjects such as history, science and geography allows the children to demonstrate their prior knowledge before engaging in a subject. Ultimately if a child has a great deal of knowledge on a particular subject when using three part cards, it allows the child to become the teacher and enhances the confidence and teamwork amongst children.
In Nepal, where resources such as laminators and printers are rare, materials like three part cards allow schools to create simple resources that not only empower the students but the school as a whole. Gavin also demonstrated the use of materials in English, which was something the teachers and trainers liked very much.
How can we all support these schools?
During the trip, Gavin travelled to the Indian border and made contact with a local Montessori Preschool which is severely lacking in equipment. He is returning to the small village where the school is located in early July, to deliver materials, undertake renovations and advise some of the staff there. He is currently raising funds to buy materials to support this. Donations are welcome.