Aperfield Montessori Trust History and goals for the future Aperfield Montessori Trust Vision: To prepare Aperfield Montessori teachers to take their place in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) industry to enable the Montessori philosophy to play a key role in the enrichment of our educational community. Aperfield Montessori Trust Mission Statement: 1.1 The Aperfield Montessori Trust aims to promote the value of Montessori education in New Zealand. 1.2 In particular it aims to: Formulate and administer a high quality Montessori Early Childhood training programme that is relevant to New Zealand and will interweave with the Early Childhood Curriculum requirements. 1.3 The Trust is committed to: Adult education principles that promote autonomous and lifelong learners. Supporting the ‘quality’ recommendations for Early Childhood Education as recognised in the principles and strands of Te Whāriki. Meeting the needs of stakeholders e.g. students, tutors, ECE proprietors, NZQA, TEC, MOE, Charities Commission and other government departments . Aperfield Montessori Trust History: In the mid 1980s, Binda Goldsbrough (MBE) wrote a paper with Rachel Ryan which was initially trialled at Palmerston North College of Education. But... • In 1989, due to funding constraints, a Massey Intro Montessori course failed to be delivered •In 1989, MANZ approached Wellington, Christchurch & Dunedin Colleges of Education for assistance with training but none were willing to incorporate Binda's course into their ECE generic diploma •In 1990 Binda continued to extend & develop the course at the request of teachers and preschool owners. She published a particularly NZ Montessori programme, the first of 3 then 4 courses- in her biography Binda stated that she hoped the self study course would meet the students needs, “but to remember – it is only a beginning” . . . . . Aperfield Montessori Trust •In June 1991 after serious negotiations with the Christchurch College of Education, the first face to face Introductory Montessori course was offered to a group of over 20 parents, teachers ECE and interested parties •In 1992 the Aperfield Montessori Trust was incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act. Binda gathered people around her whom she knew would be able to deliver the goods e.g. a Montessorian’s son as accountant, many Montessori friends as tutors, trustees and co-authors. •In Feb 1993 NZQA granted accreditation to the Trust and approval for the Montessori course to be offered by distance learning. •By 2001 Aperfield had gained the respect of the Christchurch College of Education who recognised a combination of 2 of the AST (Advanced Studies for Teachers) Montessori papers as a pathway to upgrade a teaching qualification to the degree: Bch TchLing ECE provided the teacher already held a dip teaching. This opportunity was also extended to the Aperfield distance students . Aperfield Montessori Trust •In 2004 it became obvious to our Trust that in order to remain relevant to Montessori education in NZ that it would be necessary to seek government funding and after much brain storming, Binda’s programme was transformed into a diploma & placed on the new Kiwiquals website. It was made more consistent with the NZ ECE sector by adding the ministerial module; a self paced learning unit linking Montessori with ECE in NZ. With NZQA approval for the new programme, now a diploma & TEC funding we were able to actively pursue and achieve our goals. •In 2007 the College of Education was merged with the University of Canterbury whereby the AST Montessori courses had to fight for survival. The College agreed to see the currently enrolled students through to completion of their diploma, however would accept no further new enrolments. •In 2009 The last AST group of students graduated and it was obvious to keep the face to face course alive the Trust would need to step in and offer the course by Directed distance learning –whereby the students cover the practical component face to face as they study each curriculum area. Aperfield Montessori Trust •Since those small beginnings we have achieved 331 graduates, many of whom have gone on to be proprietors, principals and head teachers in today’s Montessori preschools. •In 2012 we are expecting a further 15 graduands. •Today we have more than 50 stakeholder preschools from Auckland to Arrowtown whose staff we train while working on the job; taking the diploma part time while often holding a full time position in a Montessori centre which is our preference. •Over the years we have seen a major shift in our learners –from parents to students with no other ECE qualification - now in 2012, in our year one intake 87% of students hold an ECE diploma or degree. Aperfield Montessori Trust Strategic Aims & Current Activities: What does Aperfield offer? We are offering a programme (Level 5) which: •Balances meeting the requirements of ECE in NZ with the Montessori Method as designed by Binda Goldsbrough who, as she was weaving the Montessori Method with the principles and strands became aware that the pedagogy fitted well with the NZ curriculum statement . •Binda’s goal in promoting the Montessori Method was to make sure people understood the clear differences in the qualities and attributes expected of a Montessori teacher e.g. Love / respect for children, belief in the child, humility, a positive approach, mature attitude, consistency, ability to observe, and not cut across or interrupt children’s work -a teacher who practices self reflection. Aperfield Montessori Trust Areas of Influence: •To bring the philosophical content of the Maria Montessori Method into the context of the 21st century. Recent research into the science of development and learning validates the philosophical suggestions made by Montessori e.g. her concepts of normalisation, the absorbent mind and so on. •Refer to the Social Competence article in the Montessori Voices magazine Issue 63/September 2011 ‘Montessori Successful in Promoting Emotional Competency’ -a research project by Maria Ulloa from Massey University. She notes that the approach of the Montessori teachers provides the children with strong “emotional coaching”. Anja Geelen, Aperfield graduate, owner and head teacher of the preschool where the research took place remarks that “the prepared outdoor environment enables our children to be empowered, self regulated and independent.” Aperfield Montessori Trust This ties in perfectly with•Aspirations for children from Te Whāriki: The Curriculum is founded on the following aspirations for children: “To grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.” Aperfield Montessori Trust Priorities for Future Direction: •These are largely governed by NZQA who is currently undertaking a targeted review of all NZ qualifications levels 1 - 6 (or TROQ) which is driven by the govt’s desire to reduce the number of programmes being offered from 6000 down to 2 or 3 in each sector. •The trust has a culture of self review so that we can better meet the needs of our stakeholders / teachers, proprietors to assist them in their daily practice now and in the future – after consultation with our stakeholders, we are considering the feasibility of adding “a supervised practice” to the Aperfield diploma. Ponga fern symbolising growth and development. Aperfield Montessori Trust Conclusion: Reflection from an experienced and qualified Montessori teacher and tutor: Patricia Thompson, Te Awamutu. “Montessori in New Zealand is firmly embedded within the framework of Te Whāriki and vice versa. I find the Aperfield Montessori diploma is respectful of and considerate towards our dual heritage and an acknowledgement of how early childhood education is in NZ today. I am proud to be a tutor for Aperfield Montessori. The review of your programme is well thought out and relevant”.