I first started using the expression Advocacy for Equity several years ago. With efforts in a number of states, it was becoming increasingly clear that policies and regulations were impacting all aspects of our community. And those impacts were not so different for public or private Montessori schools, diverse economic and cultural groups, or the different national Montessori organizations. The specific issues differed a bit between early childhood (birth-6) but there were many more similarities than differences.
In one important sense, the concept of Advocacy for Equity is based on the need to bring all of our community together- to understand our common goals, our similarities, and to truly support one another while respecting our interpretations of those commonalities.
What are our common goals? What are the Essentials we can agree on?
- Montessori credentialed lead teachers who understand the philosophy and pedagogy
- Mixed age groupings based on developmental stages
- Full use of the research-based curriculum and materials
- A schedule that provides an extended, un-interrupted work cycle
We can have our “internal family” discussion about just what “high-fidelity” and “fully implemented” really looks like- but with the non-Montessori world of state agencies, it is really important to present an inclusive, accepting and unified set of common goals.
As our community moves Montessori forward, we each have a role to play- national organizations, state Montessori organizations, public and private Montessori schools, and school leaders, teachers, and parents. Let’s acknowledge and benefit from each role we individually play as we come together to support our common goal- quality and equity in Montessori for all children and their families.
Montessori Essentials- www.montessoriadvocacy.org