DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION
The Montessori School of Englewood was founded on the practice of Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT). This is an educational pedagogy that centers the lived experiences of the community a school serves. Specifically, it acknowledges the norms, beliefs and behaviors passed down from one generation to the next, and considers how cultural differences — be they between two students, or a teacher and a student — might impact a child’s learning experience.
CRT goes hand-in-hand with the Montessori Method, as both pedagogies center each student’s individualism and self-confidence. Students who feel their culture is respected and understood by their peers and teachers will feel more confident at school; self-confident children pursue their intellectual curiosities and learn independently. CRT is an excellent way to close the achievement gap.
What does integrating Culturally Responsive Teaching into a Montessori classroom look like? It means really getting to know students’ families to understand each the context in which each child is raised. It means studying Black history not just in February, but year-round. It means not shying away from conversations about race, gender and socio-eceonomic status at school. And while multicultural understanding is core to CRT, we challenge our students to join together as one community, celebrating each others’ differences.
Our commitment to CRT also led us to found the Montessori Residency of Chicago, our in-house teacher training center. With this program, we cultivate a diverse cohort of educators specifically equipped to work in urban, public Montessori schools. You can learn more about TMROC here.