|A group of 25 people from around the world spent Thursday touring Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter School.|
The visit was organized through the American Montessori Society, which is holding its national conference in Washington, D.C., this week. Groups from the conference visited Montessori schools throughout the area.
The honor of being a host school is a big achievement for her charter school, which started seven years ago, said Principal Marilyn Horan.
“It has evolved and grown from this big idea and a big vision, and to now have people from around the world to say look at this … is truly a gift,” Horan said.
Montessori schools follow a series of guidelines created by Dr. Maria Montessori, a 19th-century Italian physician. The model is student-led, self-paced and provides students the freedom to explore their own interests. Carroll Creek has 318 students, from 3 years old to eighth grade, Horan said.
Simon Wang, an administrator with the Weiming Montessori Education Centre in Beijing, said he was hoping to learn a lot from his visit.
“We want to learn how the Montessori teachers and students do it in America,” Wang said.
Wang said his organization oversees 45 schools, 10 of which are Montessori. He wants to convert more to official Montessori, he said.
Xia Wu, a principal in Suzhou, said through an interpreter that she was impressed with the student-teacher relationship at Carroll Creek.
Sandra Stevenson, assistant photography editor for The New York Times and a member of the American Montessori Society’s board, shared a presentation with the children of Carroll Creek about her career. She included stories from her transition to print news from television.
The local tours help different schools share best practices, Stevenson said.
“I think it’s motivating for schools to visit other schools,” she said.