Education for a New World

“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.”
Education and Peace, Maria Montessori

The 29th AMI International Montessori Congress is inspired by this theme of hope and inspiration.

In 2020 the world faced a disruptive challenge with COVID-19, a challenge which has raised new questions, new thoughts, new practices and an abundance of ideas on how we can best support the development of each person. The fundamental educational principles so brilliantly identified and developed by Maria Montessori remain not only relevant, but also a guiding light for contemporary educators around the world. The 29th Congress promises to be a completely different experience from any other event you have attended and will energise participants to rise to the challenges of our rapidly changing world, and offer newfound vigour to bring home to their communities with a resolve to act.

You can download the programme theme file here.


Sawadee Thailand, the Land of Smiles, welcomes Congress participants to this event.

In the traditions unique to this culturally rich Southeast Asian nation, the Congress will be officially opened by representatives of the Royal Family of Thailand.

The word “Sawadee” is the Thai greeting that extends warmth, love and a welcoming smile to all.

The Congress theme, “Education for a New World”, will unfold when the Congress commences as we prepare Congress participants for the rich experience awaiting them.

The Universal Child – In a World of Diverse Cultures (The Child and Culture)

Day 1

“If education is to be reformed, it must be based upon the children.”

The theme of the congress “Education for a New World” places a high importance on the great potential inherent in children. Maria Montessori observed this potential and provided us with an education model that nurtures a child’s healthy and natural development. She also honoured the significance of the child’s role in the construction of a peaceful and harmonious society.

Difficult times ask for extraordinary measures. Education stands as a hallmark strategy as we strive to educate for a new world. Montessori wrote: “If salvation and help are to come, it is from the child, for the child is the constructor of man, and so of society. The child is endowed with an inner power that can guide us to a more enlightened future.”

We embrace the concept of the universal child within the vast and diverse world of humanity and nature. Children grow up surrounded by rich and diverse cultures, developing themselves in ways that reflect a common human culture as well as very specific cultures and traditions found in their families and communities. The universal child is at one with herself while at the same time at one with others. A child interacts with others as both a teacher and a learner, and brings to us a great opportunity as well as a source of joy. Childhood is the opportunity to create loving acceptance and appreciation for self and others, to overcome society’s long-established attitudes of racism and prejudice, and to regard the human race to be as one with nature. Our understanding of growth and development in our rapidly changing world has emphasised the importance of sound educational principles and supporting children to reach adulthood as adaptable human beings.

The universal child carries a responsibility that we prefer not to be placed in a burdensome way. The adult supports this universal child as a provider on a pathway for growth. Everyone contributes to this pathway, be it the teacher, the parent or other community members. The universal child is our inspiration for the new world.

Presentations and opportunities include:

● The Nature of the Child ● Exploration in Social Cohesion ● Celebrating Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Equality ● Examination on how children acquire culture ● Understanding the rights of the child and human rights ● Culturally inclusive practices found in schools ● Montessori’s deep pedagogy supporting our understanding of culture ● A neuroscientific perspective of the child and culture ● Multilingual learning and development ● The mathematics of culture ● Overcoming discrimination and disadvantage based on race, culture, language

Showcase Exhibition ideas:

● Child development and education initiatives ● Montessori in public education ● Multi-cultural education ● Multi-lingual education ● Indigenous education

Embracing the Future – Innovation and Sustainability (The Future is Now)

Day 2

“We then become witnesses to the development of the human soul; the emergence of the New Man, who will no longer be the victim of events but, thanks to his clarity of vision, will become able to direct and to mould the future of mankind.”
The Absorbent Mind –Maria Montessori

The future is now. What we imagined just a few years ago could hardly match the realities we see today. We live in a time of rapid change, relative uncertainty about the future, and are faced with enormous challenges that we collectively must overcome. Our planet is not well, and we’ve suffered a major global pandemic that has altered the way we live. Instead of progressing with fear of what may lie ahead, we embrace the possibilities before us and envision a world of immense possibilities. Well-equipped with our knowledge and admiration of this universal child, we turn our attention to what we may achieve in the years ahead.

What does an education for a new world look like? Will we rise to the challenges in front of us and create better ways of supporting the development of children and young adults, efficient and sustainable systems to combat the effects of climate change, to build the kind of future deserving of an enlightened new generation?

This is the time to talk of big ideas as we address the future needs of our society. In line with Montessori’s regard for our cosmic task, a seed is planted within the child as one who becomes the “hope and promise for mankind”. That unknown future will be filled with all its opportunities and with all its challenges.

Let us explore the ways in which we can achieve new heights, greater understanding and much needed optimism about the world our children and young adults will eventually live in as productive participants.

Presentations and opportunities include:

● Sustainable education models ● Engaging children, young adults and communities in change for a better world ● Sustainable systems for living with and caring for the planet ● Economic and social development (UN Sustainable Development Goals) ● Building compassionate leadership in adolescents ● The future of Montessori education

Showcase Exhibition ideas:

● Projects and endeavours combating the effects of climate change ● Sustainable models of education and community development ● Innovative examples of schools and programmes.

Education for a New World – Impact and Growth (A Call to Action)

Day 3

There is no better time than now to prepare for the future.

Each participant who becomes inspired by what is learned at this international congress will plant the seeds of change. They will take back to their home a firm commitment to act. This is the day when we share practical tools, easily adopted strategies, and new ideas to return home with to implement.

Our universal child facing a future of possibilities is now ready for what lies ahead. Our support will empower all to embrace a call to action. This call may transform thinking, align efforts and bring to our communities the nutrients needed for a world hungry for positive solutions when faced with such difficult challenges. We know the potential lies in the child, but we also know there is an untapped resource in our youth who have become our ‘forgotten citizens’.

We also know we can provide help to the vulnerable, or support to the elderly in societies. We can offer a hand to communities struggling to support families in raising their youngest members, inspire the educators with new ways support natural development, and foster the highest respect and regard for our natural world. We are already doing much to create a sustainable future.

Undoubtedly, there is more we can do to make this world a better place. Education for a new world is for all, and begins when we decide to act. This is the day when we call for action!

Presentations and opportunities include:

● The transformation of the adult ● The renewal of the teacher ● The child as an agent for social change ● Empowering the child ● The new adolescent fully engaged in society ● Finding our common vision ● Projects around the world building a better future ● Intergenerational approaches to education ● Montessori for the aged

Showcase Exhibition ideas:

● Transformed learning environments ● Programmes and projects ● Montessori building designs and patterns ● Community structures for sustainability.

We invite you to be a part of this Congress.

You can download the programme theme file here.