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Keynote [clear filter]
Friday, March 23


Keynoter: Rick Steves
"The Global Classroom"

Iconic traveler Rick Steves joins us to share his thoughts on how the creativity, conflict, friendship, faith, art, customs, and cuisine he has witnessed and enjoyed over a lifetime of globe-trotting have led him to adopt a broader, more compassionate, view of mankind, and a belief that travel can be a force for peace and understanding in the world. From pondering fascism in Mussolini-era buildings in Milan, the intersections of Christianity and Islam in Istanbul’s Hagia Sofia, and morality among matadors in Seville’s bullfighting rings, Rick Steves will show how our planet makes the perfect classroom, providing a venue to build lessons across a variety of curricular areas.

Whether you are making the grand tour inside your classroom, or hopping a flight, students in tow, to destinations abroad, Mr. Steves will deepen your appreciation of cultural studies. He’ll inspire you to guide your students to experience the world “through the back door,” by leaving ethnocentric viewpoints behind, becoming cultural chameleons, and treating travel as a political act. He’ll encourage you to use culture and place to tell the story of today’s people, and help us see that we’re much more alike than we may seem on first appearance. You’ll come away with renewed appreciation of cultural studies as a core element of the Montessori curriculum and an investment in your students’ abilities to create a better, more peaceful world.

Friday March 23, 2018 10:30am - 12:00pm
Plaza Ballroom Plaza Concourse Level
Saturday, March 24


Keynoter: Anna Deavere Smith
"Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education"

Are the American school system and the American incarceration system intertwined? For far too many of our nation’s children these two institutions intersect in ways that serve to derail lives and erase human potential. In this towering keynote—part performance, part lecture—actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith will dissect the school-to-prison pipeline and portray educators, parents, and victims of childhood trauma. Using their own words, drawn from interviews she conducted, Ms. Smith will inhabit this diverse group of people who have witnessed the problems facing disenfranchised children. Their words, and Ms. Smith’s ruminations on education and criminal justice, will shine a light on how school culture can make a lasting difference in the lives of young people. You’ll leave inspired to engage colleagues and students alike in discussions of peace and social justice, consider different perspectives, and reminded of the cosmic principle that all human life is connected and unified.

Saturday March 24, 2018 10:30am - 12:00pm
Plaza Ballroom Plaza Concourse Level
Sunday, March 25


Keynoter: Dale Dougherty
"We Are All Makers"

Our innate love of learning is fueled by the desire to create, engineer, invent, and make. So believes Dale Dougherty, our closing keynote speaker, and father of the Maker Movement—a growing community of students, teachers, tinkerers, techies, hobbyists, and other DIY enthusiasts, who are passionately at work inventing and bringing their ideas to fruition. With homage to the Montessori belief that we are all naturally curious, lifelong learners, Dale will go one step further and explain how at heart we are also all makers, and reveal how a simple question—“Can I do it?”—can be the genesis for discovery and innovation. He will introduce you to a variety of makers and their unique creations across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance, and craft, which are expressive of the diversity of the human mind. He’ll explain how, by marrying STEAM disciplines with audacity, verve, and a radical spirit, makers exert control over their environment through innovation and creation.

By learning how to harvest ideas, materials, and tools from all aspects of your environment, you’ll come away with new ideas for creating and sustaining makerspaces in your schools—collaborative work environments for making, learning, exploring and sharing, which will ignite a passion in your students—and in yourself—for innovation and joyful creation.

Sunday March 25, 2018 8:00am - 9:30am
Plaza Ballroom Plaza Concourse Level

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