Saturday, August 18, 2007

AMI Diploma - Your Passport to the World

Dear Maria Montessori Education Foundation Supporters,

Cheryl Ferreira, the trainer for the 2008 AMI 3-6 course, delighted all who met her on her eight-day visit to New Zealand in July. It was a rare treat for all of us, inspiring increased enthusiasm and fervour for the development of the AMI 3-6 course next year.

The Italian Soiree in celebration of the Montessori Centenary saw us entertained by singers, chefs and gorgeous Italian music, and inspired by images of Montessori children over the past 100 years, all while consuming exquisite culinary fare from Italy. It was a beautiful evening! Cheryl presented a pictorial history of the challenges Dr Montessori overcame and the miracles she witnessed during the unfolding of her career and the Method she developed.

Cheryl's two public addresses on the 'Path to Independence' in Auckland and Warkworth were well supported, with participants at both events saying Chery's Q & A afterwards succinctly identified the difference between present-day mainstream perspectives on childhood and the approach of Dr Montessori. Much healthy debate ensued, leaving us all well motivated and with much to contemplate!

The Language and Mathematics workshop served as a poignant reminder that the Montessori materials are introduced as the 'keys' for the child's own discovery. Cheryl gave us many examples of the importance of not teaching the children, but instead "guiding" them in their learning. (She ended the day with a smile and this final plea: "If I can say one last thing, it is this. Please do not teach!")

It was also timely for all of us to hear that having environments that are overflowing with materials is a recipe for diluting the effectiveness of the environment rather than enhancing it! Less is more! The less-is-more principle was repeatedly reinforced as the way to lead the child towards self discovery. Many of us slunk back to our environments with a mission to review our environments and to declutter!

Increasingly evident as a result of the public addresses both in Auckland and Warkworth - and the one day workshop in Auckland was the solid theoretical foundation which is necessary as we as adults prepare for our work with children.

This is of course where MMEF comes in -

Travel the world with an Internationally Accredited Montessori Diploma!

It's been said many times, but it's worth repeating: The AMI Diploma really is your passport to the world! Look at the jobs advertised on the International Montessori websites, and you see this again and again, that the AMI Diploma is a ticket for overseas experiences you will never forget.

We see this too in the interest expressed in the 2008 course from overseas students, who are looking forward to coming to study in New Zealand for their AMI diploma.

We look forward to cementing New Zealand within the AMI family as the final touches are being added to the MMEF course brochure and website as part of our application to become a Private Training Establishment (PTE)--this being the first stage on the NZQA process towards NZ accreditation of the international AMI Diploma.

Work is already underway towards MMEF’s application to the Ministry of Education for the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students which will allow MMEF to open it’s doors to the many International students who have expressed their interest!

With this in mind, we are urging all New Zealand students to complete your applications ASAP as there will be a limited number of places. In your covering letter, please specify which study option would be your preference (more on this below).

Study Options

Cheryl has offered two study options that vary in times of attendance, allowing a work/study option for those who would like to take advantage:

  • OPTION ONE: Monday–Friday 8.30am-4.30pm; this will include 10 weeks of teaching practice and observation at schools.
  • OPTION TWO: Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 1.30pm-4.30pm; Tuesday, Thursday 1.30pm-7pm and alternate Saturdays 10am-4pm
(The 10 weeks teaching practice necessary for the diploma would follow the option-one times of 8.30am-4.30pm.)

Please note that the second option would enable students to continue their work in the mornings. Please do be mindful however that working whilst studying is not for the faint hearted!

Please note too that only one of these options can be delivered, and consequently YOUR expressions of interest in either Option One or Option Two will help us decide with is offered.

New Zealand Student accepted onto the Training of Trainers Programme

It is with great delight that MMEF can announce that Carol Potts (left, with Cheryl Ferreira), AMI 3- 6 Diploma holder and Head Directress of Titoki Montessori for the past 11 years has been successful in her application to join the AMI Training of Trainers Programme, and will join Cheryl on the inaugural course in 2008 as Course Assistant.

All of her colleagues in MMEF are extremely happy for Carol, and in what this means for the New Zealand Montessori community.

"I love working with the children”, Carol says, “therefore it is with a degree of reluctance that I leave the classroom in the short term. However, I also feel strongly about the preparation of adults who choose this vocation, so I am excited about starting on the programme and I look forward to this new challenge!"

Since its inception, MMEF identified the need to have New Zealand trainers to enable future training courses to be run in New Zealand and to have the flexibility to offer the course in different locations. The Training of Trainers programme requires a four-year commitment to study and involves completing a number of 3-6 training courses with differing degrees of involvement. Written assignments and research papers are also submitted as part of the course of study.

The necessary prerequisites for applying to become a trainer:
  • an AMI primary (3-6) diploma;
  • an appropriate AMI diploma for the age-range of training being applied for;
  • a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent;
  • five years teaching experience at the appropriate level, at least three of which are consecutive;
  • experience of directing a class of children in such a way that the Montessori principles and practice were fully implemented; and
  • membership of AMI.
There are several formats to take the training - go to if this is of interest to you, your staff or someone you know. New Zealand needs you!

***********Hot off the Press************

Final preparations are underway for the transportation of the Gonzagarredi materials that have been so generously gifted to MMEF at the Sydney Congress in 2005.

We are excited that the materials will shortly be on their way but are keen to talk to people who have access to short-term storage that we can use prior to setting up the classroom environment early next year.

Please email

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Best wishes,

Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne