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Bernice immigrated from South Africa and settled in Perth in 2004. She is married and has two adult children who both completed the 3 to 6 years program at a Montessori School. Bernice has a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Studies) specialising in Diversity in Early Childhood and a Diploma in the theory and application of the Montessori Method of Education. She is an experienced Montessori Teacher and has 17 years’ experience in educating children in a Montessori environment, joining the Banksia team in January 2021.
Bernice’s teaching philosophy, understanding and belief about how children learn is strongly influenced by the theories of Maria Montessori, Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget and Urie Bronfenbrenner. She believes all children can learn and sees children as capable and competent, learning through active hands-on engagement and being able to make choices about their learning, while constructing their knowledge through collaboration with their peers, the community and the learning environment.
In an early childhood setting, Bernice believes it is essential to provide an environment that is welcoming, respectful, thoughtfully prepared and aesthetically pleasing. The environment must also support the individual needs, abilities and interests of the children, whilst building positive relationships and working in collaboration with parents, families, students and the community.