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A Montessori Approach to Workforce Development and Future-Ready Adult Learning

Younes, Rania (2023) A Montessori Approach to Workforce Development and Future-Ready Adult Learning. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Younes, Rania

This research explores principles from the Montessori method to inspire a guiding framework that can be employed to enhance the delivery of adult upskilling and re-skilling initiatives. Humanity is witnessing a technological revolution and recovering from the ongoing global pandemic that began in 2020. The effects of COVID-19 extended far beyond physical health, impacting labour market conditions and exacerbating stresses on labour shortages and labour skill gaps. This means that workforce innovation will be critical for economic recovery. Workforce innovation and development involves testing, sharing, and implementing new approaches to employment and training initiatives.

More than 100 years ago, amidst the rapid social and economic change that was taking place across Europe, Maria Montessori envisioned a new kind of education that could play a part in a broad social innovation program. She opened the first Casa dei Bambini (Children’s House), aiming for the recovery of an entire community in San Lorenzo, Rome. At the time, San Lorenzo was known as the “shame of Italy”; with the introduction of the Montessori method, it soon became a beacon of hope for the community and the world. The Montessori Method was built on six primary principles: observation; freedom with limits; respect; hands-on learning; independence; and a prepared environment that is designed for children to choose freely from several developmentally appropriate activities. For Montessori, education (which she conceived of as active learning experience in the form of work) was integral to the growth of the child and the formation of a new world. This core philosophy is not restricted to children, however; Montessori’s core principles have been explored in adult learning; as part of designing and delivering healthcare programs for older adults around the world; and in language and social programs for adults at risk of social isolation in Europe. This major research project will focus on exploring how the core principles of the Montessori Method can be applied to support future-ready adult learning to inspire workforce innovation and development in Canada.

With a goal of supporting upskilling and re-skilling design innovation, and of prioritizing skills-training and development offerings for groups who face the greatest number of barriers (including racialized women and skilled recent immigrant talent), this study uses a heuristic inquiry approach to explore the question of how employment and skills training programs might learn from, and leverage the core principles of, the Montessori method to respond to and meet the skills gaps and labour shortages in Canada. Through a literature review and Causal Layered Analysis (CLA), this research project offers a Montessori-inspired, principle-focused guide to supporting future-ready adult learning environments.

Date: 18 January 2023
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Strategic Foresight and Innovation
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2023 14:26
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 14:26
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/3968

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