Saturday, July 26, 2014

Announcing Course Dates for AMI 3-6 Diploma 2015–2017



We are delighted to announce the course dates for the AMI 3-6 Diploma course starting this summer!

Summer Format

The course will consist of 3 summers (24 weeks) during January & February 2015 – 2017, plus 10 weeks of observation and teaching practice to be completed in environments designated by the Director of Training and in accordance with AMI.

Course Dates


Monday 5th January to Friday 9th Januaryclip_image002[6]

Monday 12th January to Friday 16th January

Monday 19th January to Friday 23rd January

Tuesday 27th January to Saturday 31st January (26th Jan. Auckland Anniversary)

Monday 2nd February to Thursday 5th February (6th Feb. Waitangi Day)

Monday 9th February to Saturday 14th February

Monday 16th February to Saturday 21st February

Monday 23rd February to Thursday 26th February

2016 clip_image002[4]

January 4th 2016 – 26th February 2016


January 3rd – 24th February 2017

(MMEF reserves the right to make minor date changes)


Exciting developments are underway regarding the venue with accommodation on site.

Further details re: venue, faculty and course fees to be announced shortly. Watch this space!

Keep an eye on for updates and news as it happens!

Ka kite ano,


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Maria Montessori Education Foundation News– May/June 2014

 Assistant Certificate Course – Auckland


31 enthusiastic and enquiring students recently gathered for a 9-day Assistant Certificate Course at Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

Philippa Romig, Auxiliary AMI Trainer travelled from Switzerland and Carol Potts, MMEF, delivered the lecturers and guided many a thought provoking discussion.

MMEF’s thanks and appreciation goes to Philippa Romig for succinctly and interestingly conveying Montessori theory and practice and to AUT for their support with the provision of an expansive and ideally facilitated space for the course.

Dr Steven Hughes Returns to New Zealand!

Many of you will have received this exciting news by post – it’s true! MMEF and AUT will be hosting a public address given by Steven Hughes - ‘Igniting the Flame – Montessori Education and the Development of the Self’ on Thursday September 11th at AUT at 7.00-9.00p.m.

The event will appeal to anyone with an interest and belief in the enormous potential of children.

Tickets - only $10!! - can be purchased from

Another event is currently being arranged in Warkworth/Matakana for Wednesday 10th September. For more details email

The ‘Pearls’ at the Asian 3-6 Seminar Series

     All the pearls!

In May,  21 trainers in training – affectionately named the ‘Pearls’ - from 7 countries re-gathered for the 2nd seminar of the AMI Asian 3-6

Seminar Series in the land where the daily greeting for many is Namaste.

The definition of this greeting seems to succinctly convey the spirituality

of the people and the warmth of the land said, New Zealand’s trainer in

training, Carol Potts.

I honour the place in you where Spirit lives, I honour the place in you which is of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, then we are One.

“The atmosphere and significance of being in India, a place where Montessori finally formulated her ideas on the Human Tendencies, is both palpable and poignant.

Hyderabad is a sensorial delight of smells, tastes, sounds, sights and textures. We all thrived on the intensity of the study (the food!) and the philosophical discussions!” said Carol.

The photo depicts participants of the 2nd AMI Training of Trainers

Asian Seminar hosted in Hyderabad, together with seminar leader Janet McDonell and AMI trainer Ruby Lau.

The 1st seminar was led by Dr Annette Haines.

4th Assembly of Educateurs sans Frontières – Thailand

In respect of the current political situation in Thailand, we deeply regret to inform you that the 4th Assembly of Educateurs sans Frontières stands cancelled this year. It has been postponed to 2015.
This was a difficult decision, and one that was made only after careful consideration, consultation with local sources in Thailand, and monitoring of travel advisories posted on governmental websites. Based on the travel warnings issued by the various governments, the continuing political uncertainty, and the restrictions on internal movements in the country, it was determined that travel to Thailand is not advisable during this period.
The Assembly is now rescheduled for July/August 2015, to be held at the in Thailand at the same venue: Hotel Inpawa in Khon Kaen. More details will be sent to you when they become available.

Please email with your comments, thoughts and suggestions.

Ka Kite,




Thursday, January 30, 2014

Here’s to a Peaceful & Prosperous 2014!


*Happy New Year * Te Tau Hou Hari *
 *Xin Nian Kuai Le*

Now that you're back to school, you may be refreshing, reflecting and reducing some of those extraneous materials that crept onto your shelves at the end of 2013. To bring you back to what is important and what needs to go back to the storeroom – here’s another article by Angeline Lillard entitled  'How Important are the Montessori Materials'. It’s a timely read for this time of the year.

A.M.I. Assistant Certificate Course – April 2014
A reminder that the Early Bird Discount for the A.M.I. Assistant Certificate Course ends on February 28th, don’t miss out! 
Visit to register on-line.We’ve received many enquiries, several from potential attendees looking for accommodation in the area. If you’re from out of town,planning to attend and looking to share accommodation send us an email  and we can put you in contact with each other.

An Interesting New Website to Browse
This website was launched at the beginning of the year by AMI USA. I would recommend a visit to the site to watch some priceless snippets of quality Montessori in action at the different age levels 0-3, 3-6, 6-12. These short videos could be a perfect starter for discussion at your staff meetings;)

Have a fabulous start to 2014!

Please email with your comments, thoughts and suggestions. 

Ka Kite, 


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Good weather, great energy!


Dear Maria Montessori Education Foundation Supporters

When more than 70 enthusiastic Montessori souls come together there’s bound to be a great energy. Last weekend was no exception as Carol Potts (Maria Montessori Education Foundation) and Amy Kirkham (Australian Centre for Montessori Studies) led a 2 day workshop on:  Observation Recognising and Supporting Spontaneous Activity at Howick Primary School in Auckland.

Sumptuous a.m. & p.m. teas and lunches fueled us sufficiently to listen, watch and discuss ways to support children’s spontaneous activity. The message that one of the attendees came away with was,

We must first build up stamina and prepare ourselves for the art of observing. At first begin with a few minutes each hour and gradually increase until we hone our skills sufficiently to prepare work curves for all of the children in our environment”.

We hope that everyone left the workshop with a toolkit of essentials with which to start their observations.

Thank you Carol, Amy, MANZ, MMEF and Montessori@HowickPrimary for making this possible.

Photo: Last weekend was busy for many Montessori teachers in New Zealand. Over 70 teachers attended the MANZ-MMEF Observation workshop led by Carol Potts (Maria Montessori Education Foundation) and Amy Kirkham (Australian Centre for Montessori Studies. Many thanks to all the teachers who worked all week, attended the two-day workshop and were back at work putting their new learning into action on Monday morning. Many thanks also to the parents at Montessori @ Howick Primary for the wonderful lunches and afternoon teas.


A.M.I. Assistant Certificate Course, Tuesday April 22nd April – Friday May 2nd 2014


MMEF are offering the 4th Assistant Certificate Course in April next year!

This Course is aimed at those in an assisting or supporting role in a Montessori environment. It includes the philosophy needed to work effectively in this position and a whole host of practical skills useful in the environment.

The Course is also of help and interest to: ECE teachers working in a Montessori school, Montessori school owners, administrators and to parents and childcare professionals from other fields. It is also the perfect introduction to those considering studying for the 3-6 Diploma in the future.

For your ease we are also delighted to announce that on-line registrations for the 9 day course are now available! Go to  and click on the link to register on-line.

Venue:  Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

Presenters: Philippa Romig, AMI Auxiliary Trainer, London &

Carol Potts, MMEF Faculty, Auckland.

Avoid disappointment, book early!

Please email with your comments, thoughts and suggestions.

Ka Kite,

Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne


Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Little Something for the Mind and the Soul plus a Diary Date!

 A New Article - Playful Learning and Montessori Education

Dr Angeline Lillard,  professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, author of Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, as well as several academic articles on Montessori, and Montessori speaker and advocate, has a new article in the American Journal of Play: Playful Learning and Montessori Education. It’s a must read!

David Ayer on the blog gives an excellent summary of the article, he says,

Because the world of public education depends on academic studies and research, the article has all kinds of implications for the expansion of Montessori [ECE] to many more children.  It also offers a lot of theory and data for conversations with curious or skeptical non-academics.  This one should be on the coffee table in the admissions office at every Montessori school out there.

I encourage readers to read take the time to read the whole thing. Here’s the executive summary:

  • Play, as opposed to didactic learning, is a big deal in the world of Early Child Education.
  • Montessori has been generally considered anti-play (when it is considered at all).
  • Which seems strange, since freely chosen, open-ended activity is what we do!
  • In fact, Montessori has many of the elements identified as part of playful learning (to wit, structure, objects, interactive lessons, free choice, peer interactions, intrinsic rewards, and fun).
  • What Montessori doesn’t do is pretend play, such as dress-up, toy kitchens, and fantasy.
  • When you look at the research, the evidence for pretend play (as opposed to play in general) isn’t all that strong one way or the other.
  • Consequently, we don’t really know if adding pretend play to Montessori environments would help or hurt.
  • But we can look to see if the other elements of “playful learning Montessori style” is helpful to children’s learning.
  • This can be problematic because Montessori is practiced under a range of interpretations.
  • But if we control for certain elements of “high-fidelity” Montessori, we see improved social and cognitive outcomes”

Here’s the link to download the article yourselves

Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of  the Pentatonic  Scale at the World Science Festival in 2009.

Thanks to Connie Black presenter at the Montessori Aotearoa Conference in April 2013 – we were delighted to this wee gem:

Assistant Certificate Course – April 2014

We promised we’d give you lots of notice for the next Assistant Certificate Course – well here it is!

Tuesday 22nd April – Friday 1st May 2014 (9 days)
Friday 25th April - Anzac Day -& and Sunday 27th April will not be study days

Venue- Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

We are delighted that Philippa Romig AMI 3-6 Auxiliary Trainer will be delivering the course.

Philippa, born in Britain, raised in New Zealand and Australia, discovered Montessori just after  completing her BA in California, USA. She spent a year as an assistant in a 6-9 environment before taking the 3 – 6 training course at the Maria Montessori Training Organisation, London.

She worked for many years at the International School of Geneva before starting a small bi-lingual Montessori Children’s House in 1996. This school has recently expanded to take children from 18 months to 6 years of age.

Philippa trained with the Association Montessori Internationale to become a Montessori trainer. She has participated in Montessori training courses in London, Ireland and Geneva.

Philippa and her husband raised their family - and now live - in Switzerland.

She is a board member of the Association Montessori (Suisse) romande et italienne.

Registration forms will be sent to schools later in the year.

Please email with your comments, thoughts and suggestions.

Ka Kite,

Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Memories of the AMI Assistant Certificate Course – July 2012

Dear Supporters of the Maria Montessori Education Foundation

We were blessed  indeed, with 9 days of fine, crisp weather during the recent AMI Assistant Certificate Course in Auckland last month.

MMEF aimed to facilitate a learning environment which was conducive to understanding some of the key tenets of the Montessori philosophy plus having time to reflect constructively on the practical aspects of an assistant’s role in the Montessori environment.

Here is a combination of two of the students’ perspectives for those of you considering studying with MMEF in the future.Assistant Course July 2012

  “ The AMI Assistants course was an intense nine days during the school holidays but I came away with ideas and resources that I could use as soon as I returned to school.

The course was packed full of information, I felt that I came away with a much better understanding of the Montessori philosophy, in particular how everything links together, for example; the physical and the psychological – I feel like a have a much better understanding of what holistic actually means. I found the practical side very beneficial and now feel confident in pulling groups of different ages together.

The trainers, Vikki Taylor and Carol Potts, gave us individual support and made the information that they were imparting relevant and interesting.

One of the highlights of the course was the camaraderie of the group and being able to share ideas.

I recommend the course to anyone wanting to find out more about the Montessori philosophy or those who need a refresher and rejuvenation! “

Thank you ladies for your insights and comments!

Dr. Adele Diamond to speak at the 2013 International Montessori Congress! 

To those of you who are tempted to head to Portland next July for the International Montessori Congress ‘Montessori Guided by Nature’ – stay abreast with developments as they unfold. Here is the latest newsletter from the organizing committee……

Adele Diamond, Ph.D., is the Canada Research Chair Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia.

Her recent work, including a paper in the journal Science, researching executive functions of the prefrontal cortex in children--functions supported by Montessori educational principles--is affecting early education practices around the world.

She created and organizes the immensely popular international "Brain Development and Learning Conference: Making Sense of the Science" in Vancouver, which presents exciting scientific findings in neuroscience and child development in ways that parents, teachers, doctors, social workers, and others -- can understand, see the immediate relevance of, and use.

Adele Diamond also reminds us that there is a reason dance, play, storytelling, art, and music have been part of human life for tens of thousands of years and are found ubiquitously in every culture, that perhaps we have discarded the wisdoms of past generations too lightly.

The 2013 International Montessori Congress in Portland, Oregon USA will bring together some of the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers. They will discuss and present on a myriad of topics both directly and indirectly related to the Congress theme "Montessori: Guided by Nature."

Subscribe to the Congress newsletter by clicking here or go to

Please email with your comments, thoughts and suggestions.

Ma te wa,

Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne

Monday, May 7, 2012

AMI Assistant Certificate Course – July 2012 – Early Bird Registration ends May 25th!


Dear Maria Montessori Education Foundation Supporters

We loved seeing so many of you at the MANZ Conference last month, thank you for stopping by the MMEF stand to say hello!

MANZ Conference 2012

 Here’s a wee reminder of a few forthcoming dates for your dairies……

The Montessori Australia Foundation (MAF) 1-day Conference & Whole School Refresher in Sydney on June 8th, 9th & 10th promises a line-up of excellent speakers to appeal to Assistants, Administrators, 0-3, 3-6 & 6-12 Diploma holders alike. Click the link below for the programme and for details of how to book. We look forward to seeing you there!


And closer to home - the AMI Assistant Certificate Course commencing July 5th – 14th, 2012 (with 8th July off in between!) We’re very excited about this.  There has been much interest following the MANZ Conference, and we are delighted to offer this course again this year. You will see from the programme of work that it will be a fairly intensive 9 days, requiring a firm commitment to attendance—hence good sleep and a positive attitude to work will be  necessary pre-requisites!

Those attending the course previously --both parents and those working with children--found the AMI Assistant Certificate Course to be a great source of inspiration. We trust it will be for you too. We look forward to seeing you in July!

What: AMI Assistant Certificate Course

Presented by: Vikki Taylor, AMI 3-6 Auxiliary Trainer, from the Maria Montessori Institute, London

When: Thursday July 5th – Saturday July 7th & Monday July 9th – Saturday July 14th 2012 (9 days)

Where: Quaker Meeting House, 113 Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden, Auckland

Time: 8.30- 5.30p.m

Diploma Awarded: A.M.I. Assistant Certificate

Early Bird Registration Ends: Friday May 25th  Don’t miss out!

Email for a course registration form.

And finally, I would recommend you all to watch the beautifully crafted video entitled, ‘Building The Pink Tower’


 Building the Pink Tower is a feature-length documentary film that opens our eyes to what Montessori education means today. With the help of educators, neuroscientists, families, and children, it answers our most challenging questions about what children need.

Most of all, Building the Pink Tower will allow us to see how the building blocks of rigorous teacher training, carefully prepared environments, deep respect of children, and warm and inclusive communities, fit together to support children in our changing world.

From this solid base, we can work to build education that inspires children and prepares them for life.”

Please email with your comments, thoughts and suggestions.

Ka Kite,

Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Year and New Adventures!

Dear Maria Montessori Education Foundation Supporters

We have good news and bad news this New Year. First, the bad news: MMEF were unable to secure funding at the end of last year therefore, the course that was planned for 2012 is unable to proceed as planned. 

The good news is we’re not going away. We will see many of you at the MANZ Conference in April. Come and see us at the MMEF stand to find out what’s in store from MMEF this year – plans are already afoot.

We can tell you that we’re planning to offer an AMI Assistant Certificate Course later in the year – we’ll have details for you at the Conference! Do continue to keep us informed of your interest in AMI Training and when there’s a real demand in New Zealand – which there really hasn’t been to date – we can make it happen!

Aid to Life Website – a message from Montessori Australia Foundation

We are delighted to announce that the Aid to Life website for parent education is now live.
The Aid to Life Initiative is founded on the idea that children develop optimally when they are brought up in an environment that supports their natural development, with an adult who understands how to connect them to positive activity and then allows them enough time to grow and develop according to their own pace and rhythm.
It aims to give parents clear, simple, straightforward advice in a format that is easy to understand and apply.
At the moment this website addresses the child between birth and three but its aim eventually is to address the needs of the child and the role of the parent with children all the way through to adolescence.
In addition to the website, a series of leaflets, booklets and DVDs have been created based on the Aid to Life initiative. These offer a useful resource for parents and anyone wishing to run parent support groups. These can be ordered from the Montessori Australia Foundation by email
WE recommend circulating the website address to all parents of 0-3 aged children. And here it is: www. aidt

0-6 Training in Japan – a message from Susan Stephenson

See if you can access this page, and if you can feel free to share it with any interested parties.

It is the announcement of the AMI Montessori course that will begin in the Osaka/Kobe area of Japan in September. It will be given over an 18-month period, 4 sessions (13 weeks, 15 weeks, 11 weeks, and 9 weeks). Lectures will be in English with Japanese translation so people from all over the world are invited to apply!

Please email with your comments, thoughts and suggestions.

Happy Term 1,

Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne

Thursday, December 22, 2011

‘Tis the Season to Reflect and be Jolly….

 Dear Maria Montessori Education Foundation Supporters

Thank you for your on-going support throughout the year. 

We look forward to sending your more MMEF News next year and in the meantime wish you all a joyful Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous 2012!

MMEF Trustees – Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley & Lynne

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A One-off opportunity – be an AMI student for 3 weeks….

Dear Maria Montessori Education Foundation Supporters

Picture this – have a fabulously relaxing Christmas and New Year with family and friends, then re-connect your neural pathways and join the students of the AMI 3-6 Course for a three week introduction to Montessori’s unique yet profound approach to child development.

What you will experience during these short three weeks underpins EVERYTHING we do in the Montessori 3-6 environment. This is THE core Montessori experience, delivered by AMI trainer Cheryl Ferreira—one of the world’s leading Montessori trainers.

We cannot emphasise its value enough…!

These three weeks offer a unique opportunity for  Montessori school owners, parents, prospective parents, and ECE teachers working in Montessori environments –everyone, really—to understand the enormous potential of young children.

One of the already enrolled attendees said,

“I am neither a Montessori teacher nor a parent, yet, but I don't want to miss the opportunity to learn about child cognitive development and the Montessori method from one of the world's leading Montessori educators.”

You do not want to miss this.  Follow the link to download your registration form and send it to us with your deposit by November 28th:

Now, for students aiming to make Montessori their career, we remind you  that MMEF will hear  next week about our application for TEC funding, the success in which will enable you to apply for student loans. A final reminder, therefore: ALL applications for the full AMI 3-6 Course for the next year must be processed by November 30th. Simply text Carol on 021 2601802 and she’ll look out for your application.

Ka Kite,

Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley & Lynne – MMEF Trustees

Sunday, November 6, 2011

We did it with minutes to spare!


Dear Maria Montessori Education Foundations Supporters

We did it, at 4.45p.m with a deadline of 5.00p.m on November 1st , thanks to your wonderful letters of support and overwhelming encouragement: to be precise, MMEF submitted our funding application to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)!

Why does this matter? Because with TEC funding, WE can offer the course in 2012, and YOU can apply for a student loan and enrol!

You can sense why we're so excited.

A huge and resounding thank you to every one of you for springing into action when it really was needed the most.

And a special thank you to Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand for so promptly providing us with the facts and vital statistics to tie up all the loose ends.

Now then, for those of you keen to study for the AMI Diploma in January, even while waiting to hear of the outcome of our funding application, we urge you to complete your application and send it in today.

We say this because we must process all student applications before the end of November, and this will involve an interview, reference reports and a police check, which all take time.

So please don't delay. Please download your application form from, complete your application, and send it to us at MMEF, PO Box 108054, Symonds St, Auckland - simply add a covering letter stating that your application is pending the outcome of TEC funding.

Don't wait. The end of November will be too late to apply, so download your application form TODAY at

That’s all for now dear friends & thank you once again.

Anna, Tia, Carol, Shirley & Lynne – MMEF Trustees

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Don’t delay – act today!


Dear Supporters of the Maria Montessori Education Foundation
We did request applications by October 1st, though there are still spaces!

We are however, fast running out of time though to process applications for the January 3-6 A.M.I. course. If a career in Montessori education is one you are seriously considering – please don't delay contact MMEF on before Wednesday October 26th! 

 Reminder - Theory-Only Module January 2012
We will be offering the opportunity to study the basic Montessori theory (psycho-pedagogy) components of the AMI 3-6 course in January. This theory component will commence on Tuesday January 3rd with the anticipated duration being 3 weeks of full time study. (Further details will be available in November). In the meantime, please email with enquiries or expressions of interest.

Simon’s Cat in “Double Trouble”
And finally, this new Simon's Cat video was so laugh-out-loud funny, probably his best one since the first, I couldn’t resist leaving you with it. It's so lovely to see Simon's Cat get bested by... Simon's Kitten! [Hat tip Noodle Food]

Please email with your comments, thoughts and suggestions.
Ka Kite,
Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne