Last October, Beth Bronsil took her in-depth knowledge of Montessori education to China and Taiwan where she visited government-run kindergarten and elementary schools in Suzhou and Shanghai and a private school in Qingdao. The government schools follow the Montessori philosophy, which stresses hands-on learning adjusted to each child’s needs using materials developed by founder Dr. Maria Montessori.
Bronsil, who as director for Montessori education oversees undergraduate and graduate-level studies and the Montessori lab school, was invited by 2004 Xavier graduate Sharon (Yu-Chuan) Chang, director of the Trillium Montessori Teacher Education program in Taiwan. In China, Bronsil presented a workshop to teachers and gave a talk to a group of early childhood educators at Beijing Normal University. In Taiwan, she was the opening speaker for an international seminar on early childhood programs worldwide. She worked with teachers at Trillium Montessori Institute and presented to two groups of early childhood majors at Shih Chien University in Taipei.
“There is work to do in China,” Bronsil says. “Montessori education is in the beginning stages in that country.” Bronsil expects the Shanghai minister of education to bring a group of educators to visit Xavier and Cincinnati-area public Montessori schools in March.