UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
February 1, 2016 -- Several Milwaukee-area Montessori schools will soon get professional training thanks to a state grant to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Montessori Program.
Melina Papadimitriou, the Montessori Program coordinator for UWRF's College of Education and Professional Studies, said the $124,933 grant will fund highly interactive, hands-on workshops that models the Montessori philosophy and pedagogy. The grant will enable teachers in schools serving a high-need population — Lloyd Barbee Montessori, Craig Montessori, Highland Community School and MacDowell Montessori — to learn and practice new skills and techniques for addressing areas in math and literacy. The city of Milwaukee has the most public Montessori schools in the nation.
Beginning in April, 40 teachers, under the guidance of ten university instructors and eight specially trained mentors, will work to develop skills in Montessori teaching methods, with an emphasis on literacy and mathematics. The mentors will support the teachers throughout the year as they work to implement the new teaching strategies into their classrooms.
"Our goal is to impact education in Wisconsin and beyond in a significant way," Papadimitriou said. "Helping such large schools can serve as the beginning of us going into other school districts and supporting them."
The Montessori method is based on the research of Italian educator, anthropologist and physician Maria Montessori in the early 20th century. She developed her methods after observing children in learning environments.
Funding for the workshops was awarded through the Wisconsin ESEA Improving Teacher Quality Program in a competitive application process. The program has the potential to receive a total of $323,000 over a three-year period.
The Montessori graduate program is supported through the Office of Outreach and Continuing Education.
For more information, contact Papadimitriou in the UW-River Falls College of Education and Professional Studies at 715-425-0601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.