Sharon Caldwell is a teacher, teacher trainer, writer, and speaker. She was the founder of Nahoon Montessori School, a radical experiment in student empowerment embodying the pedagogy and vision of student liberty encouraged by Dr Montessori, but also inspired by the model of student self-governance exemplified in schools within the Democratic and Free School tradition. She has experience working with children in a Montessori context from 2½ to 15
years and has taught in conventional high school, as well as homeschooling her sons from age 13.
Sharon has key-noted and presented at conferences in India, the USA, Australia, Indonesia, Honk Kong and in South Africa. She has consulted and conducted Montessori teacher professional development in Tokyo, Hanoi, Beijing and Dakar as well as South Africa. She has contributed to two books on school innovation (Turning Points: 35 Visionaries in Education Tell Their Own Stories! and The Directory of Democratic Education) and co-authored and edited teacher training materials for the Centre for Guided Montessori Studies. She is a regular guest lecturer for the Montessori Campus, a Montessori teacher training program in South Africa, as well as running her own professional development seminars for Montessori teachers.
She served on the Executive Committee of SAMA (South African Montessori Association), and for two years was CEO of that association. She is currently the General Secretary of SAMA and represents the Association on NAISA (National Alliance of Independent Schools Associations), on which she holds the ECD portfolio.
For a number of years, she mentored Montessori school leaders for the Montessori Foundation, and has designed and written three short online courses for the Montessori Leadership Institute. She has been a regular contributor to Tomorrow’s Child Magazine and Montessori Leadership, magazine of the International Montessori Council, of which she was Assistant Editor.
In 2014, she was invited to begin an Adolescent programme at the Montessori School of Tokyo, after completing the AMI/NAMTA Orientation to Adolescent programme. In 2015/16 she was employed as Curriculum Coordinator and Director of Professional Development at the same school, during which time she led the school through the IMC (International Montessori Council) Accreditation process.
She is currently working as an independent consultant supporting South African Montessori Schools.