Forum 3 Saturday morning 11.30 – 13.00

Mina Walsh, Vanessa Fichtl, Barbara Isaacs
Foundations for life

– conversation between friends focusing on the importance of Montessori nursery education today. 

The forum will explore the fundamental principles which underpin our practice in the Children’s House today such as:
*Why is the prepared environment such a vital component of the Montessori pedagogy? 
*How does independence in the Children’s House contribute towards the development of the whole child, and how does it impact attitudes in adulthood?
*How is self-discipline (self-regulation) fostered in the Children’s House, and how does it contribute towards the child’s holistic development? 
*What do you see as the key responsibilities of the Montessori teachers guiding learning of 3-6 year olds? 

Mina Walshis a Montessori teacher and lecturer in Montessori education and founder of Drumcondra Montessori School. 
She has presented workshops on Montessori education both nationally and internationally and has published articles on Montessori education. She has served as a professional development mentor for Montessori teachers and as a Montessori school’s advisor. 

She has played an active role in the Montessori community in Ireland and is a founder member of the Irish Montessori Education Board Trust Limited. She has represented Montessori education in the development of national early years policy and the voice for Montessori education in curriculum, quality and regulatory standards in early childhood care and education in Ireland.  
She completed a Bachelor degree in Humanities in Montessori Education and a Master’s Degree in Education.

Vanessa Fichtl is a mother of two daughters, works, and lives in Dortmund, Germany.
While trying to find childcare for her eldest daughter she was introduced to the Montessori Educational System and found her own beliefs mirrored many of those found within the pedagogical method.
She started to work in Montessori schools in 2007 and holds an AMI Assistants to Infancy Diploma of The Montessori Institute Denver since 2009.
In 2013, Vanessa opened her own Montessori Children’s House in Dortmund. She is since consulting Montessori schools all over Europe to help inspiring best practices. Vanessa holds a bachelor’s in education since January 2018. 

Barbara Isaacs trained Montessori teachers at Montessori St. Nicholas, London Montessori Centre and Montessori Centre International. Barbara contributed to all course developments at MCI since its inception in 1998 to present day. She was one of the founding members of the MSN’s Montessori Accreditation and Evaluation Board (MEAB) and since 2010 had been actively engaged in the Montessori School Association. Between 1991 and 2007 she was the proprietor of Seedlings Montessori Nursery in Oxfordshire. She initiated the thriving Montessori St Nicholas (MSN) partnership with the Museum of Childhood. She was a regular contributor to the Montessori International magazine and published two books aimed at making Montessori pedagogy more accessible to students of early childhood degrees and early years practitioners. In her current role as Montessori Global Ambassador she continues to champion the Montessori approach, particularly with disadvantaged communities and with politicians to demonstrate relevance of Montessori education in 21st Century. As member of the Montessori Europe Board she wishes to contribute to Montessori movement in Europe, Her particular interest is in Montessori education in Eastern Europe having been born in the Czech republic. Barbara’s goal is to establish Montessori Peace Hub – a global resource for all Montessori trainers, teachers and pupils to validate Montessori’s vision of the child as an agent of change.