Catalog Nienhuis 2023
During the Second World War, when most goods were in short supply, Albert Nienhuis proved to be exceedingly resourceful in finding the necessary ‘raw materials’ that allowed him to continue production of the Montessori ‘apparatus’. In 1945, after the war, the showroom of materials was moved to the Nienhuis family home in The Hague — and from that time the manufacture and sales were managed by the same company. As the demand for materials grew, the company found itself short of the necessary space and eventually, it was decided to relocate to the small town of Zelhem, in the East of The Netherlands. There it evolved into a truly international manufacturer of Montessori materials, making the materials according to the blueprints as specified, first by Maria Montessori and Mario Montessori, and later by the AMI Materials Committee to which the Montessori’s had delegated the responsibility of liaising with Nienhuis. Montessori education has a firm foundation in many countries in the world, with new countries and communities expressing interest and finding their way to AMI and Nienhuis. This global appeal means that Montessori schools, educators and manufacturers have evolved into a large worldwide network. Today, Nienhuis and AMI are working closely together to forge an innovative strategic partnership in order to create new opportunities for children from all cultures and socio- economic backgrounds to experience the Montessori educational approach. LEGACY – The Study of Childhood – articulating Montessori philosophy and practice clearly in order to meet the needs of children and influence educational paradigms in a rapidly changing world through the support and dissemination of research on the development of children and young people. CAPACITY – Montessori Education for All Children – serving more children around the world by increasing access to AMI training, supporting professional development of Montessori teachers and providing comprehensive support systems for Montessori schools across all sectors. OUTREACH – Montessori Education for Social Change - promoting ‘out of the box’ sustainable initiatives to reach communities in vulnerable and at-risk situations, and additionally to promote the rights of children and young people throughout the world. In this context, AMI and Nienhuis hope that by creating a dynamic relationship more resources will be mobilized in support of children who are, in the words of AMI’s mission statement, “the transforming elements of society leading to a harmonious and peaceful world”. They are doing this following AMI’s three strategic pillars, which are: Over the years, AMI and Nienhuis, which almost share their ‘date of birth’, have grown together and both have become household names in the Montessori world.
Lynne Lawrence | AMI Executive Director
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