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