Montessori schools to celebrate centennial

'Glass Classroom' demonstration to be held Saturday at mall

Posted: Friday, January 05, 2007

Juneau parents, teachers and students are joining colleagues around the world Saturday to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Montessori education.

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The Southeast Alaska Friends of Montessori planned a daylong "Glass Classroom" demonstration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Nugget Mall.

It was 100 years ago on Jan. 6 that Maria Montessori, an Italian pioneer in medicine as well as education, founded a school with an innovative approach.

Instead of dictating curriculum like public and private schools of the day did, she allowed children to choose their activities.

From the first Montessori school, "Children's House" in the Roman slum of San Lorenzo, the method has expanded to 22,000 schools in more than 100 countries. Juneau has two Montessori schools.

"Montessori believes that every child deserves to be treated with respect and consideration," said Juneau Montessori school director Lupita Alvarez.

The philosophy holds that children will learn to be respectful by being given respect.

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