About Headstart Mercy Montessori Teachers Training College
Headstart Montessori has been in Namibia for about 30 years! I began the first Montessori Pre-Primary School at the coast in Walvis Bay. It was a modest beginning: 10 children in the converted garage of my home. I really wasn’t sure that Walvis Bay was ready for Montessori, but 30 years later, I realise it was!
The school grew and quickly moved to a church hall and eventually a couple of years later I was able to purchase our own building. Ultimately I started the first private school at the coast, a Montessori Elementary (Primary) school and now we have our own unique campus with an elementary Laboratory classroom, a pre-primary class and a toddler group.
It was a fun and exciting time.
Headstart Montessori believes in the positive impact that Educators and their pupils can have on the community.
Almost from day one, and definitely within the first year, I took on my first student, a young girl from Cape Town who needed a school for observation purposes but stayed quite a few weeks to practice, be mentored and assist.
I quickly realised that if I wanted trained personnel, I was going to have to ‘do it myself’ and after training for a couple of years for a large overseas Montessori organisation I decided that again, if I wanted to see authentic Montessori schools in Namibia, I was going to have to write a Montessori course, in Namibia, for Namibians but one that would be able to stand up against those on offer from the UK, America and even South Africa.
First came the Pre-Primary course and later the Elementary course. Both are designed with the children of our country in mind, emphasising the important subjects of Mathematics, English and Science, even for the three-year-old child.
Both are accredited with the Namibia Qualifications Authority at Levels 5 & 6 respectively. We are one of few colleges who offer Montessori courses that are both accredited and accepted by our Department of Education.
30 years for many is almost a lifetime. The experience gained has been ploughed back into Headstart and the College is growing every year. I wonder what the next 30 years will bring?
About the College
Headstart Montessori Teacher Training College is a higher education institution that provides prospective Montessori teachers with the best possible Montessori education. It is proudly Namibian.
It is the only Montessori training institution in Namibia. It is committed to providing access and opportunity to students of all ages, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. It aims to provide a positive, inclusive atmosphere and environment based on the mutual co-operation of all involved in its activities.
We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for himself; this is the art of those who aspire to serve the spirit.
Dr Maria Montessori
Respect is at the heart of the Montessori philosophy and the respect that Montessori adults show the children in their care is also extended to adult learners and trainers. Consistent with these values, a model laboratory classroom is an integral part of the institution.
Headstart Montessori Teacher Training College desires to develop Montessori-based educators of the highest quality, who will serve and support the child with all sectors of the Namibian education system.
The college principal is Dr Lindsay van den Berg who has been involved in Montessori and teaching, within Namibia and Africa for 30+ years. Dr Lindsay (as known by the students) has served as owner/principal of a number of Montessori schools. She has also been involved in several Montessori organisations both in Africa and abroad. Dr Lindsay holds a BA in Education and Psychology, an MSc in Educational Psychology and a PhD in Educational Management as well as six Montessori teaching diplomas.
The College offers only two courses and that encourages the trainers to specialise and operate in accordance with comprehensive Quality Assurance policies and practices, covering all aspects of the learner engagement from enquiry and admission to graduation. We are proud of our graduates.