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AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM MSCA – PART 2

Updates to the Australian MNC

As stated in Part 1, MSCA was formed at the request of the Montessori community and as such we are working for the future sustainability and authenticity of Montessori in Australia. When necessary, we will advocate for appropriate procedures, integrity, and the rightful protection of community documents such as the Montessori National Curriculum (MNC).

MSCA recognises the importance for the Montessori community to have an updated curriculum which is reviewed by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). MSCA believes that a proper consultation and review process will include suitably qualified, Montessori-trained professionals in each of the curriculum areas (0-3, 3-6, 6-12, and 12-15), as well as a review conducted by the Scientific Pedagogy Group prior to submission to ACARA.

MSCA does not wish to stand in the way of important progress and we fully support the MNC being updated and approved by ACARA. MSCA seeks to protect the integrity of any updates to the MNC to ensure that what ACARA eventually assesses is a legitimate, Montessori-expert and community-approved document. As a representative body for many Montessori schools and centres, we do expect valuable Montessori resources to be maintained with integrity and will advocate for such practice.

MSCA wants to ensure that MNC updates are conducted as part of a legitimate process that both the Australian curriculum and other alternative frameworks undergo. Based on these examples we have outlined key recommendations which would see the Montessori Curriculum Review to be in the same league as other alternative curriculums in Australia. These recommendations include the following:

  • Introduction with intent.
  • Terms of Reference for the MNC Consultation including Aims, Scope and decision-making process with criteria for change.
  • Period of review ie. Every 3 years for each subject or every six years for the whole curriculum etc.
  • Detailed timeline of the consultation process, assessment, and implementation.
  • Key consultation groups detailed including:
    – trainers and teachers and their required qualifications;
    – representatives from every cycle or stage;
    – representatives from every subject area for the adolescent program;
    – independent and government schools and centres in all states;
    – international experts or groups, such as AMI’s Scientific Pedagogy Group;
    – Torres Strait Island and Western Desert representatives;
  • The decision-making groups and their required qualifications.
  • Template of questions and feedback information required.
  • Review process for comparison with other Montessori curriculums.
  • Final format of the updated MNC with rationale.

MSCA is pleased to see that a form of community consultation has commenced, however, we believe the above recommendations are required to ensure that the review process proposed and any updates to the MNC are completed with the utmost care and professionalism.

MSCA is unwavering in its position on the following:

  • That the rights of the original authors and copyright owners  are maintained and acknowledged where appropriate;
  • That the MNC remains freely available to the whole Australian community, not bound by subscription or membership to any such organisation;
  • Important Montessori assets such as these should be maintained by an independent group of “Montessori Custodians” comprising, at the very least, both AMI and Montessori Institute trainers, representatives from MSCA and MAG, and other appropriate personnel such as experienced Montessori educators and representatives from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities.
 
*First published in 2021; updated in 2024.
Updates to the Australian MNC. and important message from MSCA - part 2

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