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9th European Nienhuis Montessori Retreat

The Role Of The Adult

9th European Nienhuis Montessori Retreat

We are very pleased to announce our 9th European Nienhuis Montessori Retreat, which will take place in Zelhem, The Netherlands from 12-14 November 2021 at the head office of Nienhuis Montessori. This year's theme is The Role Of the Adult.

Discover Why You Want to Join the 9th European Montessori Retreat
During the Retreat you will be informed, inspired and you will get a lot of new insights and energy to inspire your Montessori classroom.

Why you don't want to miss the European Montessori Retreat:
  • Extend your knowledge of Montessori education
  • Gather, share and exchange experiences and ideas 
  • Get inspired by AMI trainers during the entire weekend
  • A high quality programme with attention for all age groups
  • A discount of 20% and free shipping is offered on all orders placed during the weekend
  • Showroom Sale
The price for this weekend is only 75 euro. A dinner on Friday, a lunch and dinner on Saturday and all the refreshments throughout the entire weekend are included in the price.

The Role Of The Adult

The basic role of the adult in Montessori is to be present in the child’s life, physically, mentally, and emotionally to aid in their development. The adult whether it is a parent, family member, teacher or other, must be fully prepared and educated in the needs of the child and their development.
The adults/parents must practice becoming observant when the child is in a moment of discovery, and active in a moment of true need. They should be able to tell the difference as well. The adult is a model, which the child can positively imitate. The adult guides the children through their life but leaves them free to develop their own will, independence, and ability to make their own choices and decisions. A consistent and stable adult entity will provide the child with a sense of security, routine, and love.
Maria Montessori said: “The harmonious relation between adult and child does not depend only on their loving each other. Rather, mutual understanding and love depend on whether the child has acquired his independence.”
Adults who educate and prepare themselves for supporting the child’s self-construction, whether they are parent, family member, teacher or other, learn to provide the means of development. They learn to observe and reflect. This will help them to know when to walk ahead of, alongside or behind the child. They learn to recognize and remove unnecessary hindrances without removing the necessary challenges in life. During each period of life, the adult plays a different role and provides different support for the child, because the tasks are different on each plane of development.

Download programme

Would you like to read more about the upcoming retreat? Download the programme and get all the information.

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Register for the Retreat

Would you like to join the 9th European Nienhuis Montessori Retreat? Please continue, fill out the form and you will receive a confirmation. 

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  • Chris Willemsen

    For more than 15 years and with a lot of passion and dedication Chris has been working as a Brand Export Manager and Brand Ambassador for world’s leading Montessori material manufacturer, Nienhuis Montessori. He is responsible for the international sales network, leading the product development team and provides the marketing team with ideas and content. He has a degree in international marketing and is Montessori-trained at both 3 – 6 and 6 – 12 levels. He has observed Montessori education in many different cultures, varieties and standards. Currently, he is also supporting the development of an innovative and evidence-based observation and record keeping instrument to keep track of the development of knowledge and skills of children in Montessori environments. This application for formative evaluation is called Cfolio.

  • Madlena Ulrich

    Madlena Ulrich spent her childhood in Germany and attended a Montessori Elementary school there. She moved to Norway as an adolescent and later obtained a Bachelor’s degree as a preschool teacher and is about to finish a Master’s degree in pedagogy at the university College of Vestfold, Norway. She took her original AMI 3-6 training at Mount St. Mary’s Montessori College in Dublin, Ireland. Since 1995 she has worked in the classroom and has been involved in the development of Montessori in Norway by giving lectures and serving as Vice President on the board for the national association NMF. In 2008 she started on her Training of Trainer’s, spending two years with Molly O’Shaughnessy in Minnesota and a Summer course with Ulla Wikefeldt in Sweden. She is currently part of the AMI faculty in China and lectures in Norway as well as in many other coutnries.

  • Patrick Oudejans

    Patrick, growing up in a family of grassroots football and community work,  started his sports coaching career in 2005, working with children from 6-12 years of age. Pursuing this passion of working with children he started to study Sports, Management and Business (Hon. Bsc) where he graduated in 2014. During his last years, he did his graduation thesis at the famous AFC Ajax youth academy. During his internship - still being a student - Patrick got a job offer in 2013 to work at Ajax as a Data Analyst. Creating structures and environments for the new player-centered approach of Plan Cruyff. Next to this work he got the opportunity to explore football environments internationally and travelled to Russia, England, Norway, Poland, etc. At the end of 2015, he left Ajax and joined Cruyff Football, spreading Johan Cruyff’s football legacy throughout the world. This caused him to move to Beijing, China in 2017. Starting a pilot project in close cooperation with AMI and the Beijing Montessori Institute on how to integrate sports into Montessori environments. This successful pilot lead to two fully operating CASA-programs with an integrated outdoor area and AMI-educated staff.

  • Carla Foster

    Carla Foster is originally from California, but has lived the last 14 years in Norway. She graduated from UC Berkeley, California with bachelor’s degrees in Social Anthropology and Scandinavian Studies and a masters in Old Icelandic Literature and Norwegian Literature. She has her AMI 3 - 6 diploma from the MMTO in London in 1984 and her AMI 6-12 diploma from Milwaukee in 1990 and has been working with elementary children since 1990. She had her own class in Norway for 12 years before joining the AMI Training of Trainers programme. Since then she has assisted on the AMI 6-12 summer course in London with Ann Dunne and the AMI 6-12 course in Chennai with Jean Miller. She is now training and lecturing in Norway and several other countries. Any spare time is spent doing various forms of dance.

  • Jenny Marie Höglund

    Jenny Marie holds AMI diplomas for the ages 3-6 and 6-12. She has mainly worked with the 6-12 and 12-18 (adolescents). She also holds a M.Ed. and she is an established AMI Elementary trainer. Jenny-Marie was one of the founders of the Montessori School “Lära för Livet” in Varberg, Sweden in 1995, teaching children from 1 till 16 years of age. She founded and runs the first and so far the only Swedish Montessori Farm School. Jenny-Marie has taught elementary and adolescent students for over twenty-three years. She has been serving as head of school since 2006. She has also lectured at the International Centre for Montessori Studies Foundation-Bergamo (CISM), in Italy since 2006.

  • Patricia Wallner

    Patricia Wallner has been working in Montessori since 1970. She took her AMI 3-6 diploma in Washington D.C. and the 0-3 diploma in Houston, Texas with Dr. Silvana Montanaro. For 17 years she worked in a bilingual Infant Community in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where she lives. In 1995 she began the Training of Trainers program supported by the Association Montessori Internationale and during her training earned a Master’s degree in Education. She has trained students and lectured in Europe, Asia and the U.S.A. Her goal is to promote Montessori, especially for the 0-3 age group in Europe.

Practical information


The main language which will be used during this weekend will be English. We would like you to organize your own translator if you need any.


The costs for this Montessori Retreat will be €75 per person. Except for breakfast all meals and drinks are included (2 x dinner & 1 x lunch). The maximum number of participants is 100. We have set a limit on the number of persons per school to 5. We hope you understand that we would like to let as many schools possible benefit from this beautiful weekend. If you wish to come with more persons, please send an email to m.hereijgers@heutink.com. We will contact you if we have free places left.

Special Offer

Special Offer during this weekend Nienhuis Montessori offers you a 29% discount on all orders. Please feel free to benefit from this generous offer! Please send in your orders in advance by email to m.hereijgers@heutink.com, so that we can already make the necessary preparations. 


Our address is Nienhuis Montessori, Industriepark 14, 7021 BL Zelhem. Zelhem is located in the eastern part of the Netherlands near the German border. There are different ways to reach us:

By plane and (rental) car from Germany

Follow the highway A3 from Oberhausen to Arnhem. Just when you crossed the border you need to take exit number 30 with direction Doetinchem. Turn left at the end of the exit. Take highway A18 with direction Doetinchem. Leave the highway at the exit which shows ‘Zelhem’. Follow the signs ‘Zelhem’.

Nienhuis Montessori is located at the Industrial Area named ‘Het Blek’. When you have reached a roundabout you take the first exit. Turn left at the 2nd road on the left. This is Industriepark and our company (a white building) is located at your right hands side, no. 14.

By plane/train from Amsterdam

You can easily plan your journey from Amsterdam to Zelhem by using www.9292.nl. This is the national public transport website which is used in the Netherlands. Make sure that you arrange your own transport from your accommodation to Nienhuis and back.


In order to find a place to stay you can use the familiar websites to find hotels like www.booking.com or www.trivago.com. Another possibility is to stay at an affordable rate at a bed & breakfast nearby our company. You can use www.bedandbreakfast.nl to find a b&b nearby our company.

COVID measurements inforce as from 25th of September in The Netherlands

-    The 1.5-metre rule is lifted from this date.

-    Multi-day (business) events with overnight stay are possible again.

-    Seated events (both in and outdoor) are possible again without limitations.

-    Events without assigned seats are permitted but with a limitation of 75% of the normal venue capacity, so we cannot house more than 100 participants at the moment.

-    The CoronaCheck entry system is being used for locations such as conference and meeting venues, bars and restaurants, events and cultural venues.

-    If any of these measurements will change, we will inform all participants about this in a separate update.



You can register here

The last date to register for this Montessori Retreat is 5 November 2021.

Join us

We look forward to meeting you!