Friday, November 3, 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Flourishing: Think Outside the [Gender] Box
As Montessorians, we are taught to respect the child, to value each individual’s personality, interests, choices, and needs; we honor their thoughts and ideas. We are open to seeing them as individuals. But are we really that open? Are we truly seeing our students as individuals?
For most of us, the moment we see a child or, more often, read their name for the first time, we instantly locate them in a stereotypical box: girl or boy. This box determines how they talk, act, and dress, the activities they enjoy, their preferred playmates, favorite topics in school, and so much more.
We did not create these boy and girl boxes, but we do perpetuate them, usually without even realizing it. Gender assumptions and biases vary, but they exist in every country and in every culture.What does this mean for us – as educators and as people? Can we look honestly at gender roles? And how can we do what is best for children without becoming involved in political or religious debates we do not wish to enter?
This keynote will take a closer look at gender roles: what they are (and are not), their impact, and how they affect us all. You’ll get up-to-date information to better understand this fundamental human concept as well as concrete suggestions about what you can do, now, to help every child flourish. Plus there might even be a few laughs involved.
E Scott Osborne
Lawyer, Writer &
Gender Equality Advocate
Scott Osborne has been a teacher, lawyer, non-profit director, writer, and gender equality advocate. She is currently President of Through Women’s Eyes, a gender equity organization. Her first teaching experience was with the Peace Corps in West Africa, and subsequently she has worked primarily with international development organizations, living in seven countries on four continents.
Most recently, she lived three years in India, working with small NGOs and teaching English. She has Montessori Elementary I and II certifications as well as a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, a JD from New York University, and an MPA from Princeton University. Her writings on Montessori have appeared in Montessori Leadership and Tomorrow’s Child magazines.
Saturday, November 4, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Seven Steps toward Montessori Global Wellbeing
We, as Montessorians, speak of peace and acceptance. We speak of our spiritual preparation and transformation. Yet, how do we advocate and implement effective practices from the organizational level to the school, family & child level that will result in a sense of well-being and flourishing throughout the world.
International Montessori Council
Kathy Leitch has been involved with Montessori education for over 40 years. She taught at the infant, toddler, and primary levels for 20 years and founded Renaissance Montessori School serving as Head of School for 27 years. She retired from the school in 2019 to focus on her current position as Executive Director of the International Montessori Council (IMC). Additionally, Kathy serves as Director of the CGMS Infant-Toddler Program and Co-Director of the Leadership Credential Program. These positions provide Kathy the opportunity to support Montessori schools and adult learners throughout the world. In addition, she is passionate about assisting Montessori schools with improvement plans, professional development, and accreditation.
Kathy continues to be active in Montessori education as a Montessori Teacher Trainer, International Workshop Presenter, and School Consultant. Kathy graduated from Barry University and earned her Montessori Credentials from the American Montessori Society for 0 – 3 & 3-6. Kathy is also a certified Parenting Instructor and Stress Management Facilitator.