CARLA FOSTER | Montessori Education for Social Change


The basis for peace

AMI Director of Training at Montessori Training Center Northeast (MTCNE), USA

Carla Foster is one of the current AMI Directors of Training at Montessori Training Center Northeast (MTCNE), USA.  She also works permanently at the University College of Vestfold in Norway.  Carla holds degrees in Social Anthropology, Old Icelandic Literature and Norwegian Literature from UC Berkeley.  She has AMI 3-6 and 6-12 diplomas respectively from the Maria Montessori Training Organisation, in London, and the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee, USA. She has worked with children at the levels 3-6, 6-9 and 9-12 in both private and public Montessori schools.  She has lived and taught in Norway since 1995, and has been an elementary trainer since 2011. She enjoys speaking about all subject areas in Cosmic Education, but has given a number of workshops on storytelling and drama.

"I am looking forward to meeting everyone in Prague.  The theme of peace within oneself, with others in a community and in the society at large demands the best of us.


The Abstract

The path from Bussiness to Leadership in the Elementary classroom

The task of the children in the 6-12 is to construct themselves as contributing members of a society. One of the practice arenas for that is the classroom. What is the material for that? Interaction with others in purposeful work. When there is purposeful work, there are goals and visions to be realized. Wherever the vision or goal originates, energy has to be mobilized to coordinate the maximum efforts of the members of the group. Enthusiasm has to be turned into action.

Many strengths of character are needed for this process, and they may not all come from one person. Where does bussiness come from? How can it be transformed into leadership through the opportunities we can give for true collaboration? There are many characteristics of the second plane child that are specifically focussed on aspects of group life: justice, self-evaluation, hero worship, and morality. The intellect too, in its quest for the truth behind the facts, tries to understand the social contract, hierarchies, and the effects of an individual’s actions on the group.

How do we, the adults help the children to identify and work towards collective goals as well as individual goals, for it is only through identifying and working towards collective goals that leadership can be fostered.