Montessori National Curriculum
In 2011, Montessori Australia received official notification from the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) that the Montessori National Curriculum (MNC) has been recognised as an alternative national curriculum framework to be included on ACARA's Recognition Register. This is a fantastic achievement and has positive implications for everyone working in Montessori classrooms, not only in Australia but also worldwide. ACARA established a very rigorous recognition process to determine the extent to which a well-established alternative national curriculum can deliver comparable educational outcomes for students to those based on the Australian National Curriculum. ACARA have advised that our curriculum aligns with the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, meets the particular principles and guidelines in relation to the Shape of the Australian Curriculum V3 Dec 2010, and allows for broadly comparable educational outcomes in English, mathematics, science and history by the end of Year 10. The recognition is almost completely unqualified and further acknowledges our different approach to learning, the different approach to ICT in the early years, that our history programme begins with the universe following through human civilisations to the local level, and notes the role of Montessori materials and activities in delivering the curriculum.
We could not be happier with the level of recognition attained and the understanding ACARA has gained of the Montessori approach. Many individuals have been involved in the initial development of the MNC and ongoing refinement, discussions and negotiations with ACARA. This includes members of the National Curriculum Advisory Committee who without their input the Montessori National Curriculum would not have been formulated. Special thanks needs to be extended to the ongoing contributions of Dr Jean Miller, David Kahn from NAMTA and Dr Susan Feez from the University of New England. Jean, David and Susan's incredible grasp of essential Montessori principles, deep pedagogical knowledge and professionalism have contributed to a document of great integrity of which we can be proud.