Barbara Gordon recently visited our school to lead an event for our parents entitled “The Silent Journey & Discovery” (J&D).  Ms. Gordon is well know in Montessori circles; she is the founder of the Barbara Gordon Montessori School, an AMI school in Texas, and now travels the country helping schools to implement the J&D with their parents.

The J&D is a powerful and emotional event for  many parents.  Unfortunately, most parents did not attend a Montessori school as a child; although they can read about Montessori philosophy, attend parent nights and observe the classroom, it can be difficult, at times, for them to really understand the experience that their child has every day at school.  The J&D provides and opportunity for parents to explore the entire continuum of the school and experience first hand, just like their children, the amazing things that an authentic Montessori program has to offer.

Rather than write a long winded post about the experience, I though that it might be a nice change of pace to post  pictures of the event with brief captions.  Just as the purpose of the J&D is to help parents experience Montessori, I hope these beautiful images help you to feel the spirit and energy that existed in our school during the event.

I did record an audio interview with Ms. Gordon about the creation of the J&D and her storied history as a Montessorian.  Look for that to posted on the site in March.

Matt Hillis
Executive Director
Bergamo Montessori School

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Barbara arrived at our school a day in advance to observe the classrooms and meet the teachers.

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The teachers prepared the environment for the event by displaying a variety of lessons throughout the classroom.

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Barbara met with the group for about 40 minutes when we started on Friday night.  Most parents contributed to our discussion about their educational experiences and their perception of their child’s experience at our school

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After the discussion ended, the group was led into each classroom environment (about 15 minutes each) with strict instructions not to speak.  An questionaire was provided for each environment and participants were invited to write their observations to share with the group at the end of the “Silent Journey”.  The group met and discussed their observations before going home for the evening.

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After a group breakfast on Saturday morning, Barbara met briefly with the group.  Participants were instructed to choose work of interest among the jobs and lessons that were displayed in advance by the teachers.

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The group went to work!

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Each material had a associated card – some had instructions, others said “Ask for a lesson!”

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After spending 45 minutes in the Primary, we moved to the Lower Elementary.

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We finished the “journey” in the Upper Elementary classroom.

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After finishing in the Upper Elementary, we came back to the group to process our experience.  Many participants were deeply moved.  Most parents indicated it was the most important Montessori “parent education” event that they had ever attended.