Montessori Plus School

2011 MIA Conference Brief

Posted on: May 6, 2011

The biannual conference, “The Science Behind the Genius,” of the Montessori Institute of America (MIA) was held on April 29-30 at the Bellevue Embassy Suites. More than 150 Montessori teachers, students, and practiioners from Greater Seattle Area, other states of the U.S., and from abroad, attended the Conference.

The purpose of 2011 MIA Conference was to provide research information, support and encouragement for MIA teachers in the US and around the globe. MIA invited Angline Stoll Lillard, PhD., the author of “The Science Behind the Genius,” as the keynote speaker who shared a thorough overview of core Montessori concepts and tied them to interesting statistical researches. She also encouraged teachers to read, consider, and share her research with parents and other interested persons.

Dr. Lillard, the daughter of Paula P. Lillard, started out her presentation, reminiscing her childhood when her mother was writing her book, “Montessori: A Modern Approach,” the book now well-known among Montessori educators, and how her life experience eventually led her to researching and studying Montessori philosophy. As Dr. Lillard herself said, her morning presentation was an overview of her research on basic Montessori tenets as found in her book. The eight main principles discussed were:

1. Movement and learning go together

2. Choice brings positive motivation

3. Child’s interest brings positive motivation

4. Extrinsic rewards have a negative effect on learning

5. Peer learning is positive for learning

6. Learning with meaning brings positive results

7. Meaningful adult support brings positive learning

8. An orderly learning environment supports the child’s orderly mind.

In addition to the keynote speaker’s presentation, other presenters at the Conference were Al Hirsch who shared interesting ideas and examples of musical activities that can be organized during “circle time,” and science educators from Pacific Science Center who engaged the audience with exciting scientific activities. Participants were, indeed, enthused with the presenters’ demonstrations these two-days of the Conference.

Another fun activity on the Conference agenda was the drawing where the lucky winners received the product samples from the vendors at present. Gift cards, customizable picture frames, movable alphabet sets, and children’s books were some of the favorites by the audience.

To end 2011 MIA Conference, the Board summarized the operations for the past year and shared organizational news. Currently, there are more than forty schools in the USA, as well as training centers in Philippines, China, and Korea, aside from its individual members. The  MIA Board thanked everyone – the keynote speaker, presenters, and participants – for attending the 2011 MIA Conference.

To learn more about MIA, please visit Conference pictures are available on Montessori Plus School’s Facebook. Thank you!


1 Response to "2011 MIA Conference Brief"

I was exploring and just saw your blog about the conference you had this spring! I had no IDEA about this! How can I get on your mailing list:

Paula Bond
Geiger Montessori School
6501 South 10th Street
Tacoma, WA 98465

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