Montessori early childhood education in NZ: Re-discovering the spirit of reflection and inquiry through recent policy changes

Sola Freeman 
Carmen Dalli 
Victoria University of Wellington

Ana Pickering
Open Polytechnic, Wellington

Montessori education arrived in New Zealand (NZ) in the early 1900s for children aged three to six years. Currently it is one of a diverse range of early childhood education options in a sector that has experienced huge policy changes aimed at enhancing quality early childhood provision. This paper positions the growth of Montessori early childhood services within discourses about early childhood quality in NZ and discusses how recent policy changes related to early childhood teaching qualifications, self-review and reflective practice have impacted on Montessori education. It argues that the current Montessori workforce is equipped as never before to reflect critically on the richness of Montessori philosophy and to innovate and experiment with Montessori practice.

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 41 Number 2 June 2016

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