Each year we aim to choose a congress theme that is not only relevant for the Montessori theory and practice but also for contemporary society. In recent years we had socialization as our theme in 2015 and responsibility in 2016. These themes - the competence to form a relation with others and the ability to take responsibility for your own life - we can now use as build-up for the congress theme of 2017, children’s rights.”
All children from 0-18 have rights and these were first stated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1924. We are all familiar with basic rights such as the right to education, health, family life and freedom of speech. These rights are still unattainable for many children.
Not only should we as grown-ups fight for these rights, children should be aware of them as well. In Montessori education the topic of children’s rights fits in with the principles of taking responsibility and taking care of yourself and others. How do we introduce children’s rights into our classrooms? What do we do to make children aware of their rights? And are children’s rights fully realized in our country and, if not, what can we do to improve this. And of course there is also the larger context of a world full of violence in which children’s rights are endangered. Can we do anything to help children in these bad circumstances? After all, all children want to feel safe and long to develop themselves in a trusted and challenging environment.
Hopefully we can inspire each other with our ideas during the congress!
I am looking forward to seeing all of you at next year’s congress at the Haags Montessori
Lyceum (HML) in the Hague. The HML is centrally located in the City of Peace and Justice. In our educational programme debating about human rights is well embedded. Therefore we plan to contribute to this congress not only by hosting you, but also by connecting our pupils directly to the pro gramme. It is worthwhile to explore the ways in which Children’s Rights are connected with the Montessori concepts and ideas we share.
The Hague is an interesting place to visit because of the cultural and social economic diversity that is part of the character of our city. As an energizer you can visit the beach in between meetings and workshops: it is only a 20 minutes cycle tour away from our school.
Principal of Haags Montessori Lyceum