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Montessori Institute Receives Innovation in Education Award

Education, Featured

An empty montessori classroom. | Image by rusak

Alcuin School, the family of Edwin L. Cox, and the Berry R. Cox Family Foundation created the Ann R. Cox Innovation in Education Award to be given out to an individual or organization every year. This year’s winner is the Montessori Institute of North Texas (MINT).

According to a press release, “This award is given each year to an individual or organization that has demonstrated innovation in education and vision for what school should be. This award was given to recognize MINT’s work to create schools that produce innovative thinkers and passionate learners.”

MINT is a teacher training center established in 2004 for those who will pursue “Montessori-teaching” in the near future. This institute is connected to the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), which was created by Dr. Maria Montessori “to preserve the authenticity of her work.”

MINT’s website shares a quote from Dr. Maria Montessori, “The real preparation for education is a study of one’s self. The training of the teacher who is to help life is something far more than the learning of ideas. It includes the training of character. It is a preparation of the spirit.”

According to the press release, the teaching style for Montessori education is a “hands-on, self-paced approach that builds strong skills in academics, leadership, self-discipline, responsibility, and independence in a peaceful and collaborative environment.”

Research has indicated that education with Montessori teachings has leveled “the playing field for low-income students and erases the income achievement gap while leading to higher ratings in academic achievement, social cognition, and school enjoyment.”

The award given out each year is in honor of Ann R. Cox. According to Alcuin School’s website, in 1964, Cox was an “innovative thought process” lead supporter who gained the interest of Father Taliaferro.

With her help and guidance, both financially and emotionally, Father Taliaferro created Alcuin School by integrating Montessori education. Ann became the Vice-President of the Board of Trustees, along with Father Taliaferro. She bought the land where the Churchway Hill campus stands to aid Father in his journey of Montessori teaching.

Montessori Institute of North Texas received this award by establishing a new system to train the Montessori teachers. The press release mentions that the institute has worked on “diversity, opportunity, and equity in Montessori teacher training.” MINT has also focused on children who attend public schools to offer Montessori education.

Public Montessori Principal, KaLinda, is a graduate of MINT. She stated, “I commend the pioneers of MINT for recognizing a need, sharing a collaborative vision, and for being courageous enough to take the risks to do what is necessary to meet the needs of the growing Montessori community that is desperate for knowledge.”

Lead Montessori Teacher, Ruoxue, is another graduate from MINT. “I feel like I’m standing at a turning point of Montessori history to have these wonderful discoveries be accessible to more people. I am truly impressed by how brave MINT is to take this initiative to create something new and promising. I believe this small group of people can change the world in the future.”

Montessori Institute of North Texas has a mission to help children reach better lives while being involved in programs from the institute for Montessori teacher training. Their website states, “MINT’s vision is to enable children to reach their full potential through Montessori education, leading to a more peaceful and harmonious world.”

When talking about civil and human rights, the website for MINT notes, “We recognize that to create change, each one of us has work to do on a continuous basis. We recognize that even as we look deeply within ourselves, we must support all individuals in our organization — faculty, staff, and students alike — in doing the same.”

They mention that “MINT seeks diversity at all levels of its operation and student body.”