Organizing a Glass Classroom Event: Notes from the 2013 International Montessori Congress

Download PDF: Congress Glass Classroom Handbook

montessori-classroomThe 2013 International Montessori Congress and Montessori Northwest presented “Montessori in the Square,” a public glass classroom event held in the heart of downtown Portland.

This celebration of Montessori education featured three large interactive classrooms: Assistants to Infancy (ages 0-3), Primary (3-6), and Elementary (6-12), and included activities for children and infor­mation for parents. Trainers and guides were on hand to assist viewers with questions.

Thousands of people passed by the model classrooms to watch the children work in their beautifully prepared environments, and many were in disbelief that even in such a public venue children were focused and working as normal!

The inspiration for this event came from Dr. Montessori herself. During her second visit to the U.S. in 1915, Montessori was invited to participate in the World’s Fair Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco. She set up a classroom at the Exposition, where spectators watched twenty-one chil­dren, all new to the Montessori Method, behind a glass wall for four months in what has since become known as “The Glass Classroom.”

Because of the interest in this component of the 2013 International Montessori Congress, and its great success, Congress organizers have assembled this handbook to provide readers with valuable informa­tion they can use to organize a similar event of their own.

Here is a link to a brief overview of the original Glass Classroom.