Friday, December 5, 2008

2009 AMI 3-6 Course to be offered in an extended format - you can now work and study!

SINCE our last MMEF newsletter, we have been busy looking at an alternative delivery option for the AMI 3-6 Diploma to better meet the needs of the Montessori community -- and we're delighted to announce the following!

MMEF can now offer the AMI 3-6 training course in a format which enables students to work while they study. This is what so many of you requested, and we're delighted to announce that this is now possible!

This extended format will commence on Monday June 29th 2009 until January 21st 2011. Students will attend a total of 24 weeks over 7 'contact' modules in 2009 & 2010 (see details below). These contact modules will average 4 weeks in duration, and are scheduled to include the school term breaks and a week on either side. Students will be able to return to their own schools in between contact modules to put into practice what they have learnt.

Outside the contact modules there will be 10 weeks of Observation and Teaching Practice to be
completed in classrooms designated by the Director of Training in accordance with AMI specifications. These weeks of Observation and Teaching Practice may be completed in stages between July 2009 and December 2010.

The dates of the contact modules are:

Contact Module 1 – 29th June - 24th July 2009
(4 weeks)

Contact Module 2 – 21st Sept - 16th October 2009
(4 weeks)

Contact Module 3 – 4th – 29th January 2010
(4 weeks)

Contact Module 4 – 6th – 16th April 2010
(almost 2 weeks)

Contact Module 5 – 28th June - 23rd July 2010
(4 weeks)

Contact Module 6 – 20th Sept – 15th October 2010
(4 weeks)

Contact Module 7 – 10th – 21st January 2011
(2 weeks inc. ORAL EXAMS)

This information will also be posted to all Montessori schools before the end of term.

When should I apply?
MMEF will be scheduling course interviews in February when Director of Training, Cheryl Ferreira, returns to New Zealand. Don’t miss out- send in your applications early! MMEF are requesting course applications as soon as possible and by April 1st, 2009 at the very latest!

Where will I stay?
MMEF can also assist with shared accommodation by connecting potential students who may be travelling from other areas of the country or from overseas.

How can our school help?
Here are a number of ways that your school may benefit from the new course delivery format:
  • Support one or more of your staff to attend the course
  • Sponsor one or more of your staff to become AMI qualified
  • Employ an International student for 20 hours per week during their practical module.
  • Advertise the course to parents and friends. Let’s encourage young New Zealanders to “Champion the cause for all children”.
  • Ask school parents or friends if they have a rental property, spare room or granny flat that may be suitable for students on a short term lease?
It gives us enormous pleasure to be able to present you with this new course format. We genuinely believe that this will open up the possibility for many more students to study for this internationally recognised Montessori Diploma. Please share your comments with us.

For full details and up-to-date course information visit or

And to subscribe to MMEF News – a complimentary MMEF newsletter - and for enquiries about the course, please contact

And finally, MMEF wishes you all an enjoyable Christmas holiday and many good wishes for 2009!

Best wishes,
Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne


Monday, November 3, 2008

Enter the draw to win one free place on the AMI 3-6 Course!

Dear Maria Montessori Education Supporters

Enter the draw to win one free place on the AMI 3-6 Course!
We are receiving many emails asking when is the latest date to enrol in the course for next year, therefore to encourage all of you to get your applications in's a unique offer that could see you on the course - complimentary - courtesy of MMEF!
Simply apply by Friday November 21st and all applications received to date will go into a draw. Providing we have reached our minimum numbers required, one lucky student will have their fees wavered! For those of you who have already paid, your fees will be be reimbursed .

Nepali Baby Print now on Trade Me
With bids starting at $200 - and there's 1 bid already!, click on the link below or go to and search under 'Nepali Baby'.
The auction for this limited fine art print will close on Wednesday November 12th.

New PowerPoint Presentation on MMEF website
With the aim of giving an overview of the Montessori philosophy for school leavers plus offering a glimpse of what can be witnessed in a Montessori environment, MMEF have produced a concise yet simple PowerPoint presentation.
This is now available to see on the MMEF website
Please mention this to anyone who you think has that certain special disposition for working with children.

Cheryl Ferreira Guest Speaker - Hamilton - Thursday November 5th
We cordially invite you all to 'The Child - A Social Being' - on Thursday November 6th at 7.00p.m.
The public address at Silverdale Normal School, 62 Silverdale Road, Hamilton, will be for Montessorians, parents, anyone working with children and those with a profound interest in child development.
The admission fee of $10 with go towards the purchase of shelving for next year's course.
RSVP to by Wednesday November 5th .

Please remember your thoughts and comments to are always welcome!

To subscribe to MMEF News – a complimentary MMEF newsletter - and for enquiries about the course, please contact To see all past MMEF newsletters go to

Best wishes,
Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne


Saturday, October 4, 2008

We're raring to go. Time to sign up!

Dear Maria Montessori Education Foundation Supporters

A dream sparked by the Montessori Congress in 2005 just became
reality as MMEF received Course Approval and Accreditation from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) for the AMI 3-6 training course!

MMEF, previously established as a Private Training Establishment, now have the AMI 3-6 course on the NZQA, soon to appear on the New Zealand Careers Services websites.

We're here, we're official and we're raring to go!

Why Take “Face-to-Face” Training?
Open any Montessori magazine today and you'll be faced with a plethora of Montessori training options to consider. Recently we've received several inquiries asking just that question- 'why take face to face training'? Below is a timely piece courtesy of the AMI website answers this question succinctly.

Q: I have become very interested in the Montessori method of education and would like to study for an AMI diploma. Can I do this by a “distance learning programme”?
A: The Montessori approach offers a broad vision of education as an aid to life. It is designed to help children with their task of inner construction as they grow from childhood to maturity. It succeeds because it draws its principles from the natural development of the child. Its flexibility provides a matrix within which each individual child's inner directives freely guide the child toward wholesome growth.
The preparation of the adult about to undertake work with young children demands a high degree of self-discipline and commitment, and a professional attitude. This preparation can only be achieved through immersion in the Montessori theory under the supervision of experienced lecturers.
Furthermore, the special materials to be used with the children in a Montessori class require individual training and supervised practice—as each piece of apparatus has a function in the total scheme of the Montessori Prepared Environment.
These fundamental aspects cannot be covered in sufficient depth by distance learning.
Montessori training is a process of re-orientation where students begin to discover for themselves the profound truths underlying the Montessori approach.

AMI Courses are full-time and are offered over an academic year or several summers. The course programme includes lectures, seminars and demonstrations on Montessori philosophy, child development and the Montessori materials. Each course also includes significant components of observation, supervised practice with the materials, material making and teaching practice. Students prepare their own albums which details the purpose, use and presentation of each piece of material.
In the words of Dr. Montessori the teacher ‘must give her lesson, plant the seed and then disappear; observing and waiting’ (The Call of Education, Vol. 11, no. IV, December, 1925). This apparently simple proverb continues to be a piece of worthwhile advice and a source of inspiration. It is at the core of the role of the Montessori teacher.

A recent AMI graduate commented after completion of his 3-6 Diploma overseas,

"the hardship of suspending paid employment for ten months will never be a decision taken lightly, by anyone. However, the benefits of embarking on an intense period of study of this sensorially based method of education - with hands on delivery and discovery - will be almost palpable both for you and the children forever."

For those of you with pen poised over your MMEF application form - consider this...just think back to what you were doing in January? Can you remember?
Has the past ten months flown by? Did it seem just a short time ago when you were preparing the classroom for the year and here we are now just beginning the final term? How quickly one year goes, with nothing new seemingly to show for it, but how much can be learned in just one year that means our lives - and our work in Montessori - will never be the same again... that MMEF application form today!

Nepali Baby Print
You may remember we announced that Susan Stephenson had generously offered MMEF one her beautiful artworks - Nepali Baby - well it has arrived and it is even more enchanting than it is online (left).
Go to and read the story behind the painting.
With a Rimu frame and archival glass we are seeking bids from $200 for this limited edition giclee print.
For convenience we've listed it at TradeMe, go to before the end of November with your bid and know that the proceeds will go to a good cause!
MMEF has just a few Michael Olaf Catalogues left The Joyful Child - 0-3 and Child of the World - 3-12 at $15 for one or $20 for one of each (inc. GST) plus postage.
Please email to order.

Cheryl Ferreira Public Address - Hamilton - Thursday November 5th

Our Director of Training Cheryl Ferriera will be back in New Zealand in November for the final preparations for the course next year, and we couldn't let her visit without offering you all the opportunity to hear Cheryl's words of wisdom just once more this year.
Therefore we cordially invite you all to 'The Child - A Social Being' - on Thursday November 6th at 7.00p.m.
The public address at Silverdale Normal School, 62 Silverdale Road, Hamilton, will be for Montessorians, parents, anyone working with children and those with a profound interest in child development.

The admission fee of $10 with go towards the purchase of shelving for next year's course.
RSVP to by Tuesday 4th November.

Get those application forms in!
We thank you for your responses to our previous questionnaire, though with time moving rapidly towards the end of the year, we would really still love to hear from you!
We will be calling as many schools as we are able over the next few weeks asking what can we do to make the training possible for one of your team next year.
MMEF have enchanting premises, an outstanding face-to-face course, and internationally-renowned trainer. Click on the link at for an application form, or email

Interviews are now being scheduled with Cheryl Ferreira in November.
Apply now to and secure an interview time!

o subscribe to MMEF News – a complimentary MMEF newsletter - and for enquiries about the course, please contact

Best wishes,
Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

An historic occasion - two AMI training courses delivered in New Zealand!

Dear Maria Montessori Education Foundation Supporters

Welcome to another newsletter from the Maria Montessori Education Foundation, and once again we have exciting milestones to report as we head towards February 2009, and the first ever full-time AMI Montessori diploma course in New Zealand. The first, and most exciting, milestone to report is a historic event in its own right ...

AMI Assistant Certificate Course
During the July school holidays, history was written as thirty-seven students attended the first-ever AMI Assistant Certificate Courses in New Zealand. Twenty-five attendees in Auckland and twelve in Dunedin emerged at the end of a very full week with a new appreciation of the Montessori philosophy and a palpable sense of achievement and camaraderie (which you can sense in the picture at left of our Auckland students, and below of our Dunedin students).

Rebecca Mueller was student on the Dunedin course, and we're very pleased to offer you her overview below.

Reflections from the Assistant Certificate Course, Dunedin, by Rebecca Mueller.
I came to the AMI Assistant Certificate Course in Dunedin last month as a newcomer not only to Montessori training but to early childhood education altogether.

Having worked for a number of years as a clinical psychologist, I had already a sense of the impact of the first years of life on an individual’s later development, and I was interested in exploring a field that might make the services of a psychologist unnecessary in later years!

In every way I found the assistant course enlightening, enriching, and inspiring. What a wealth of information my classmates and I learned from Cheryl Ferreira’s expert and energetic teaching.

Her presentations were thorough and lively—full of fascinating examples from her own work. Through them I gained an understanding of the basic principles of the Montessori approach, including the recognition of the absorbent nature of the child’s mind during sensitive periods of development; the faith in the child’s inner guide; the importance of the child’s growth toward increased independence and the need of childhood not to be helped unnecessarily; the essentialness of concentration in providing the basis of the child’s character and social behavior; the critical importance of order, as well as repetition, in the child’s development; and the appreciation of the natural inner discipline of the child that shows itself readily within a prepared environment.

At the end of the course I was left with an overall impression of the Montessori approach as one with the utmost respect for the child, capable of changing the adult as well, and over the long run, a force for peace in the world.

Ladies and gentleman - feedback required please for the 2009 3-6 Course:
With the Assistant Certificate Course behind us, it's now full speed ahead for the full-time AMI diploma course in February next year -- and now's the time to be making your own decisions about that course.

To help with MMEF's future planning we would very much appreciate your feedback on the
following questions:


  • Are you considering taking the 3-6 training course?
  • If yes - when will you be applying?
  • If no - what are the factors affecting your application?
  • Would sponsorship opportunities affect your decision?
  • Are you considering sponsoring a student?
If you are genuinely considering taking the course, or there is a possibility of you doing the training -- or you're thinking about sponsoring a student to do the course -- may we call you in the evening to discuss this further?

Email your responses to (or by clicking 'return to sender') and do leave an evening phone number if you'd like someone to contact you. Remember, the MMEF trustees are committed to introducing AMI Montessori training in New Zealand next year, and we will leave no stone unturned to make it happen. If there's any thing we can do to help make your own decision easier, please do let us know.

Let me close by thanking all of you for your support as we count down to 2009!

To subscribe to ‘MMEF News’ – a complimentary MMEF newsletter- please email us at

Best wishes,

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

Sunday, May 18, 2008

One small step for MMEF, one large step for Montessori in New Zealand!

Dear Maria Montessori Education Foundation Supporters

MMEF has reason to celebrate!
We are delighted to announce that the NZQA have approved MMEF's application to become a Private Training Establishment (PTE)!

The final step before approval was to establish the proposed training environment, with all but the students, for NZQA to visit. It looked aesthetically beautiful and we were thrilled to get the final seal of approval for next year!

$1800 raised from the Silent Auction!
Thank you to the organisations and individuals who gifted us products and to all of your bids, MMEF raised $1800 at the silent auction in Napier last month. A tremendous effort by all those involved and a huge amount of fun was had in the process!
Susan Stephenson has donated a limited edition print of the Nepali Baby, as seen on the latest The Joyful Child catalogue. It is on its way now from the United States and will be framed and auctioned soon - watch this space!

Michael Olaf Catalogues now available from MMEF
MMEF are now the New Zealand stockists of the Michael Olaf catalogues. The Joyful Child - 0-3 2008 - 2009 and Child of the World - 3-12 2008-2009. The price is $15 for one or $20(inc. GST) for one of each plus postage. The snippets of information classified by age and curriculum area can be a source of inspiration for parents and teachers alike. One school recently, whilst wrestling with creative ideas to introduce 'bite size gems of philosophy' to parents purchased a catalogue for each family attending their school! Please email with your orders.

The ideas expressed in the catalogues are not necessarily those of MMEF.

Montessori Assistants Certificate Course - Dunedin and
Registrations for the above course are still arriving.

For those of you still planning to book for the Dunedin course, accommodation in Dunedin is likely to be sparse as we are competing with the All Blacks for beds!
I would urge you to move quickly if you're planning on attending. If you have already booked accommodation in Dunedin and are happy to share facilities and costs please email The dates once again:

Auckland - Saturday 5th - Friday 11th July 8.30-5.30p.m
Titoki Montessori School
70a Stredwick Drive Torbay

Dunedin - Saturday 12th - Friday 18th July 8.30-6.30p.m. (early finish on Friday) Montessori at the Gardens
7 Chambers Street North East Valley

Enquiries: 09-422 9981 or

MANZ Conference- Napier

Many attendees of the Conference commented that the back to basic message from the speakers Cheryl Ferreira, Pam Nunn, Nicola Chisnall and Larry & Pat Schaeffer acted as a timely reminder for us all. At times the paper work and regulatory requirements seem exhaustive; however, we should never lose sight of the child as the very essence of our work!

ECC Conference - Wellington

Cheryl Ferreira was one of the
keynote speakers also alongside other eminent speakers including LilianKatz, at the recent ECC Conference in Wellington. Again, attendees commented how refreshing it was to hear Cheryl focus the audience's attention back to the child rather than illuminating the surrounding building and programmes. There's certainly a resounding message to each and every one us of. Some of the presentations can be viewed via the ECC website

And finally....visit our main website to download your application form for either the Assistants Certificate Courses in July or the 3-6 course in 2009.

To subscribe to ‘MMEF News’ – a complimentary MMEF newsletter- please email us at

Best wishes,

Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne

Trustees, MMEF

Thursday, March 20, 2008

MMEF holds Silent Auction at MANZ Conference !

Dear Maria Montessori Education Foundation Supporters

With increasing awareness and mounting interest for the AMI 3-6 course in 2009, one of the aims of MMEF this year is raising substantial funds to assist with student sponsorship.

To this end we will be holding a Silent Auction at our stand at this year's MANZ Conference in Napier, April 19th - 22nd. This Conference is entitled 'Montessori - Personalised Learning in the 21st Century' and will be attended by an international delegation of nearly 200. For more information about the Conference visit the MANZ website at

MMEF would like to acknowledge the many organisations that have
generously donated some exquisite items for the auction:
Matsumoto Kagaku Kogyo, Jungle Mama, ESOL Home Tutors- Wellington, Kiwi Impressions, School Supplies, Every Educaid, Nienhuis, Matakana Boutique Vineyard and Earthbaby Slings. Many more donors are yet to confirm, so, with appetites well wetted please bring along your cheque books, your generous spirits and a spare bag to take home your winning bids! If you are not able to attend the MANZ Conference you can still make a bid on one of the beautiful items.
View the Silent Auction catalogue at
and make your bid today!

Montessori Assistants Certificate Course AMI

We're delighted to report there has been a huge interest in the Assistants Certificate Courses starting in July! These courses - presented by Cheryl Ferreira AMI 3-6 trainer - have been offered in other International locations, but this is a first for New Zealand.

The seven day course is designed for:
  • ECE teachers working in Montessori Schools
  • Montessori school owners without a Montessori Diploma
  • parents
  • childcare professionals
  • and indeed anyone with a profound interest in child development

It will also help adults become more able assistants in a Montessori environment. It includes the philosophy needed to work effectively in this position and the basic practical skills of the classroom.

The Assistants Certificate Course is the perfect introduction for anyone wishing to study towards the AMI 3-6 Diploma in 2009.

Auckland - Saturday 5th - Friday 11th July
Titoki Montessori School
70a Stredwick Drive
Torbay, Auckland

Dunedin - Saturday 12th - Friday 18th July
8.30-6.30p.m. (early finish on Friday)
Montessori at the Gardens
7 Chambers Street
North East Valley, Dunedin

Enquiries: 09-422 9981 or

Given the amount of content to be included in each course we will be limiting the number of attendees, therefore, send in your registration soon - remember the Early Bird Registration is until and including April 25th - spaces permitting!

There have been questions regarding the Obligatory Reading and Poetry Anthology. As part of the course you will start to assemble a collection of poems to introduce to children. Therefore, if you have any favourite children's poetry books, do bring them along! And regarding the obligatory readings - these will be referred to throughout the week, therefore it will be necessary to bring the books with you. We would suggest that you start to purchase your own copies soon. Scorpio Books in Christchurch are happy to give MMEF students a 10% discount on these books or you may try - the New Zealand on-line bookstore. All four books will be an ongoing source of inspiration now and in the future!

AMI Membership
On the subject of inspiring readings, we would like to bring your attention to the AMI journal Communications. This is host to a wonderful cornucopia of articles and international news, with an excellent Q&A section too!

Anyone can become an AMI member by visiting For a payment of 40Euros each year you will receive the AMI journal 'Communications' two times a year and the AMI Bulletin three times a year. These publications include articles on Montessori, current information on the work of AMI and details of congresses and conferences throughout the world.

The most recent Communications is a must-read - full of insightful and practical articles on: Cosmic Education, The Spiritual Preparation of the Adult, Montessori Education in China (the last two taken from the Centenary Conference in China last year) and a fascinating article entitled 'The Essential is Invisible to the Eye' focusing on parents as observers of children.

And finally …for those of you traveling to Napier for the MANZ Conference, come and see us on the MMEF stand and peruse the silent auction items.

Otherwise visit our main website to download your application form for either the Assistants Certificate Course or the 3-6 course in 2009. To subscribe to ‘MMEF News’ – a complimentary MMEF newsletter- please email us at

Best wishes,

Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne

Trustees, MMEF