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date: 29 February 2024

Systemic Supports for Antiracist Practice in Montessori Classroomslocked

Systemic Supports for Antiracist Practice in Montessori Classroomslocked

  • Whitney M. HegsethWhitney M. HegsethEducational Leadership and Higher Education, Boston College

Summary

When considering how to (re)build educational systems for equity, one might explore the potential of a system’s supports to facilitate changes in perceptions and pedagogy in classrooms, so that both become increasingly antiracist. A disciplinary incident in a Montessori elementary classroom in Washington, DC helps illustrate how the Montessori system’s educational infrastructure supports teachers in (re)framing problems and solutions in their classrooms. The infrastructure that supports such (re)framing includes (a) teacher training; (b) system standards around class size and composition; and (c) system guidance around community relations, paired with standards around the structure of the school day. Though the Montessori system is not yet an antiracist system, its highly elaborate infrastructure already supports a transformation in perception and pedagogy for Montessori teachers. This existing infrastructure, then, has potential to help Montessori teachers and schools move toward increasingly antiracist practice. Exploring such synergy between infrastructure and antiracist practice may help the Montessori system, and other educational systems, in their efforts to (re)design system supports to redress long-standing inequities in schools and society.

Subjects

  • Alternative and Non-formal Education 
  • Educational Systems
  • Educational Administration and Leadership

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