Montessori Teacher Preparation
While the process to become a Montessori teacher varies according to an array of training traditions, many of the hallmarks of Montessori teacher formation are consistent across the movement.
Key elements of most programs to become a Montessori teacher include:
- Focus on developmental theory as articulated by Maria Montessori
- Focus on observation as the foundational skill guiding all interactions with children and content
- Focus on internalizing a large repertoire of carefully developed and sequenced lessons
- Focus on the design and meticulous maintenance of a learning environment (“prepared environment”) specially suited to children at particular developmental stages
Montessori teacher preparation, in short, combines a strong emphasis on the how’s of teaching and learning – how to prepare an environment, how to use the specialized Montessori materials, how to observe children in order to personalize instruction – with the why’s of human development. Theory and practice are integrated in an intensive, hands-on program, which many describe as deeper, more demanding, and more meaningful than prior educational experiences.
Program Levels to become a Montessori Teacher
Preparation is different for different age ranges, so you will want to choose a program that prepares you for the age you want to teach.
Preparation is offered in a range of formats:
- academic year: typically five days a week, full days, nine months
- summers only: two or three summers, five days a week, full days
- summers plus evenings/weekends: intensive summer session followed by one year of evening/weekend classes
- blended online and residential format: 18+ month distance learning and practicum, plus 2 1/2 week summer intensive
The length and format of courses vary, but most include the following features:
- Lectures/demonstrations emphasizing (a) Montessori theory or (b) how to give lessons using the Montessori materials.
- Supervised Practice with the Montessori materials in specially prepared practice environments set up to replicate real Montessori classrooms for children and adolescents
- A Practicum or Practice Teaching experience focused on (a) clinical observation of real Montessori classrooms and (b) student teaching.
- The development of teaching manuals, called “albums,” containing records of lesson presentations organized according to curricular area. Depending on the course, albums may be entirely prepared by the trainee, illustrated by the trainee, or distributed in print or digital form to the trainee.
- Written and oral exams requiring candidates to demonstrate mastery of knowledge and skills related to the theory and practice of Montessori education.
What is Montessori Training and How Do I Get It? (Webinar #1)
A panel of two Montessori teachers and one Montessori trainer discuss the process of Montessori teacher training and what it’s like to be a Montessori teacher.
The term “Montessori” is not protected by copyright or trademark, so it is free for anyone to use. Maria Montessori founded the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) in 1929 to protect and further her work, and since that time Montessori organizations have been founded in countries around the world. Prospective teachers should consider the employment requirements of schools where they wish to work.
Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE)
The Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) is the only Montessori teacher training accreditation body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The programs listed on this site are MACTE-accredited or working towards accreditation.
Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)
The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) — US Affiliate AMI-USA, founded in 1929 by Dr. Maria Montessori to protect and further her work, offers training for 0-3, 3-6, 6-12, and 12-18 in centers all over the world. Learn more about AMI teacher training here and here.
American Montessori Society (AMS)
The American Montessori Society (AMS), founded in 1960 by Dr. Nancy Rambusch to promote Montessori in the U.S., offers training for 0-3, 3-6, 6-12, and 12-18 in 92 training centers mostly in the U.S. Learn more about AMS teacher training.
Pan American Montessori Society (PAMS)
The Pan American Montessori Society (PAMS), founded in 1973 by Dr. Elisabeth Caspari, a student of Maria Montessori, offers training at a center in Kennesaw, Georgia, and in collaboration with Kennesaw State University. Learn more about PAMS teacher training.
International Montessori Council (IMC)
The International Montessori Council (IMC), founded in 1998 by the Montessori Foundation, to provide an inclusive and affordable membership organization for Montessori educators and schools around the world, operates the Center for Guided Montessori Studies (CGMS) to offer blended residential and distance learning training. Learn more about CGMS teacher training.
Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI)
Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI) was founded in 1995 by Dr. Sheryl Sweet, a student of Dr. Helen Billings, and seven of her colleagues. MEPI offers teacher preparation courses for Infant/Toddler, Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary at numerous locations in the United States and abroad. Learn more about MEPI teacher preparation.
Montessori Teacher Training Scholarship from Montessori Center of Minnesota
100% FREE Tuition PLUS Living Stipend – Montessori Center of Minnesota
Become a Montessori Teacher
- Scholarship for Training
- Paid Internship
- Living Stipend
- Job Placement Support
Candidates must meet the following requirements:
- Qualify as low-income based on Federal Poverty Guidelines*
- Be a woman of color
- Have strong academic skills
- Intern (paid) at Montessori Center or a local Montessori school in the morning during the academic year while completing teacher training
- Commit to employment in a Montessori school following the training program
Interested individuals may apply by completing an application before April 15,2016. A limited number of scholarships are available.
View Application or by calling (651) 298 -1120.
Communities, organizations and individuals are encouraged to share the Women United Scholar program with colleagues, friends, and family.
Montessori Center of Minnesota
1611 Ames Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55106