Montessori Academy for Teacher Training

Company Information

Contact Person:

Heidi van Staden



Dr Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was, in many ways, ahead of her time. Born in the town of Chiaravalle, in the province of Ancona, Italy, in 1870, she became the first female physician in Italy upon her graduation from medical school in 1896. Shortly afterwards, she was chosen to represent Italy at two different womens conferences, in Berlin in 1896 and in London in 1900.

In her medical practice, her clinical observations led her to analyse how learners learn, and she concluded that they build themselves from what they find in their environment. Shifting her focus from the body to the mind, she returned to the university in 1901, this time to study psychology and philosophy. However, that in 1906 she gave up both her university chair and her medical practice to work with a group of sixty young learners of working parents in the San Lorenzo district of Rome. It was there that she founded the first Casa dei Bambini, or "Childrens House." It has been over 100 years since this event.

What ultimately became the Montessori method of education developed there, based upon Montessoris scientific observations of these learners almost effortless ability to absorb knowledge from their surroundings, as well as their tireless interest in manipulating materials.

In 1940, when India entered World War II, she and her son, Mario Montessori, were interned as enemy aliens, but she was still permitted to conduct training courses. Later, she founded the Montessori Centre in London (1947). She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times - in 1949, 1950, and 1951.

Dr Maria Montessori died in Noordwijk, Holland, in 1952, but her work lives on through the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), the organization she founded in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 1929 to carry on her work.

There are Montessori schools found in more than 52 countries on six continents around the globe, in both the private/independent school sector and public sector. Montessori schools are found in many public institutions in countries like the United States of America (Washington DC, Milwaukee, Ohio, New York, Florida), Canada, The Netherlands, India, Australia, New Zealand, Austria and Ireland, where Montessori Education is used as a learning support curriculum for learners with special needs.

Dr Maria Montessori drew inspiration and knowledge from many well-known philosophers, researchers and educationalists including: Rousseau, Pestalozi, Jean Piaget, Froebel, Jean Itard, Edouard Seguin, Locke, Plato, Socrates and John Dewey, among others. Todays educationalists and philosophers often find their inspiration in the life and work of Dr Maria Montessori.

Who are we?

The Academy for Teacher Training, had its beginnings in 1983 as a training centre linked to St. Nicholas Montessori College, (now called Montessori Centre International) in London. Mrs. Glen Blokker ran Montessori training for St. Nicholas in South Africa until 1993 whereupon she further developed the course. This resulted in the Academy - as an independent centre and the first of its kind in South Africa - coming into being.

The Academy received MACTE* (North American Accreditation body) accreditation in 1995, and continued a relationship with them until 2002, when accreditation could finally be found locally. The South African government, in an attempt to create unified standards within the training sector created the SETAs*. The Academy then discontinued the association with MACTE in order to find a more beneficial way of accrediting the courses offered in line with national accreditation standards. The students in South Africa needed something that would be of benefit to them in our own countrys legal requirements, and enable them to register with the SACE (South African Council of Educators). Our course was accredited with the ETDP SETA* at the end of 2003, audited in 2006, and given the maximum five year accreditation, at which time, the SETA will re-audit the programme. This is standard procedure for all accredited training centres.

The Academy for Teacher Training continues to offer the highest quality training to our students, and strives to keep up to date with all requirements set out by the Education Department and its relevant councils. Our trainers are continually involved in trainer and on-going professional development. Our strategy with the trainer development follows that which we expect from our students development on physical, emotional/social, academic and spiritual planes.

In keeping with our commitment to offer the best quality training, we endeavour to bring in specialist lecturers to provide key lectures on areas of early childhood development relevant to working with all children from birth to 9 years old. In this way we aim to provide the most current information in areas such as HIV AIDS, nutrition, various therapies and social work.

Our students have found placement in Montessori schools worldwide, and we maintain professional links with Montessori training houses in Europe and America.

Our Montessori trainers are:

* Experienced and highly respected n the field of Montessori education, both nationally and internationally.
* Are registered assessors with the ETDP SETA.
* Have a broad spectrum of additional higher education qualifications (PGCE*, BA Hons, B.Psych, B.Prim Ed).
* Committed to the development of Montessori educators and schools on the African Continent.
* Required to complete continuing professional development training themselves so that we set the example as lifelong learners to our students.
* Active participants in Social Responsibility Projects such as providing teacher training in disadvantaged communities, collecting and distributing Montessori materials to schools in need and providing mentorship where needed.

Our specialist, outsourced lecturers (for elective modules) are experts in their field and will add a depth of understanding from the latest research in their respective areas of expertise.


Physical Address

Plot 84, Zwavelpoort, Atterbury Road Ext


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