Montessori Organizations, Teacher-Training Courses, & Details of Montessori Teaching Methods
TRAINING COURSE RECOMMENDATIONS. We highly recommend that you check with a school where you hope to teach to see if the kind of Montessori training you are pursuing would be accepted. Standards for teacher training vary widely by school, state, and country. Please read this page carefully and compare quality of training and costs before making your decision. We cannot make personal recommendations or direct individuals to specific training courses.
The following organizations and teacher-training centers are members of www.montessori.edu. They are permanent centers that have agreed to open their doors to anyone interested in Montessori education for children or adults. The details of training courses listed -- such as admission requirements, lecture time with the teacher trainer, tuition, and type of Montessori certification and college or graduate school credit granted -- help a prospective teacher make the best decision for his or her particular situation.
NORTH AMERICA - Montessori Organizations & Training Courses (http://www.montessori.edu/northamerica.html)
EUROPE - Montessori Organizations & Training Courses (http://www.montessori.edu/europe.html)
ASIA - Montessori Organizations & Training Courses (http://www.montessori.edu/asia.html)
AFRICA - Montessori Organizations & Training Courses (http://www.montessori.edu/africa.html)
AUSTRALASIA - Montessori Organizations & Training Courses (http://www.montessori.edu/australia.html)
SOUTH AMERICA - Montessori Organizations & Training Courses (http://www.montessori.edu/southamerica.html)
CHOOSING A MONTESSORI TEACHER TRAINING COURSE: Certification for becoming a teacher is different in each state, province, or country. Any prospective teacher should check on the local acceptance of any course being considered. After this is researched we recommend comparing the training-certification of teacher trainers, the affiliation of the course, the time spent with the trainer during training, and tuition.
There have never been enough well-trained Montessori teachers available to meet the worldwide demand.
To learn more about Montessori employment opportunities, check the following Member employment pages:
AMI (The Association Montessori Internationale) International current job openings: http://ami-global.org/careers/jobs
NAMTA (North American Montessori Teachers Association) current job openings: www.montessori-namta.org/Advertising
Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. - Socrates
I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions
in which they can learn. - Einstein
SOME SPECIFIC DETAILS OF THE MONTESSORI METHOD :
The schedule. "The Three-hour Work Period". In the three-six class there is one (sometimes two if it is a full-day schedule) 3-hour, uninterrupted, work period each day not interrupted by group activity. The "3-hour Work Period" is vital to the success of Montessori education and often misunderstood. It means that children have three hours to choose and carry out their own work. It does NOT include any required outside play, group story time "circle time," music, or any other activities which take time away from the child's own choice of activity. During this time adults and children alike respect a child's concentration and do not interrupt one who is busy at a task. All of the traditional group activities spontaneously arise according to the interest of the child or a group of children during the day, or are occasionally called by the teacher if necessary. Note: For more information on the "three-hour work period" see the chapter "My Contribution to Experimental Science" from The Advanced Montessori Method, Volume I. by Dr. Maria Montessori, or contact the Michael Olaf Montessori Company at firstname.lastname@example.org for reprint GB850
Multiage grouping: Children are grouped in mixed ages and abilities in three to six year spans: 0-3, 3-6, 6-12 (sometimes temporarily, but not ideally, 6-9 and 9-12), 12-15, 15-18. There is constant interaction, problem solving, child to child teaching, and socialization. Children are challenged according to their ability and never bored. The Montessori middle and high school teacher ideally has taken all three training courses plus graduate work in an academic area or areas.
Work centers. The environment is arranged according to subject area, and children are always free to move around the room instead of staying at desks. There is no limit to how long a child can work with a piece of material. At any one time in a day all subjects -- math, language, science, history, geography, art, music, etc. will be being studied, at all levels.
Teaching method: "Teach by teaching, not by correcting". There are no papers turned back with red marks and corrections. Instead the child's effort and work is respected as it is. The teacher, through extensive observation and record-keeping, plans individual projects to enable each child to learn what he needs in order to improve.
Teaching Ratio: 1:1 and 1:30+. Except for infant/toddler groups (Ratio dictated by local social service regulations), the teaching ratio is one trained Montessori teacher and one non-teaching aide to 30+ children. Rather than lecturing to large or small groups of children, the teacher is trained to teach one child at a time, and to oversee thirty or more children working on a broad array of tasks. She is facile in the basic lessons of math, language, the arts and sciences, and in guiding a child's research and exploration, capitalizing on his interest in and excitement about a subject. The teacher does not make assignments or dictate what to study or read, nor does she set a limit as to how far a child follows an interest.
Basic lessons. The Montessori teacher spends a lot of time during teacher training practicing the many lessons with materials in all areas. She must pass a written and oral exam on these lessons in order to be certified. She is trained to recognize a child's readiness according to age, ability, and interest in a specific lesson, and is prepared to guide individual progress.
Areas of study. All subjects are interwoven, not taught in isolation, the teacher modeling a "Renaissance" person of broad interests for the children. A child can work on any material he understands at any time.
Class size. Except for infant/toddler groups, the most successful classes are of 30-35 children to one teacher (who is very well trained for the level she is teaching), with one non-teaching assistant. This is possible because the children stay in the same group for three to six years and much of the teaching comes from the children and the environment.
Learning styles. All kinds of intelligences and styles of learning are nurtured: musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, intuitive, and the traditional linguistic and logical-mathematical (reading, writing, and math). This particular model is backed up by Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences.
Assessment. There are no grades, or other forms of reward or punishment, subtle or overt. Assessment is by portfolio and the teacher's observation and record keeping. The test of whether or not the system is working
lies in the accomplishment and behavior of the children, their happiness, maturity, kindness, and love of learning and level of work.
Requirements for age 0-6. There are no academic requirements for this age, but children are exposed to amazing amounts of knowledge and often learn to read, write and calculate beyond what is usually thought interesting to a child of this age.
Requirements for ages 6-18. The teacher remains alert to the interests of each child and facilitates individual research in following interests. There are no curriculum requirements except those set by the state, or college entrance requirements, for specific grade levels. These take a minimum amount of time. From age six on, students design contracts with the teacher to guide their required work, to balance their general work, and to teach them to become responsible for their own time management and education. The work of the 6+ class includes subjects usually not introduced until high school or college.
Character education: Education of character is considered equally with academic education, children learning to take care of themselves, their environment, each other - cooking, cleaning, building, gardening, moving gracefully, speaking politely, being considerate and helpful, doing social work in the community, etc. THE OUTCOME OF THE METHOD
When the environment meets all of the needs of children they become, without any manipulation by the adult, physically healthy, mentally and psychologically fulfilled, extremely well-educated, and brimming over with joy and kindness toward each other. In the following quote Dr. Montessori, speaks of the first Casa dei Bambini (Children's House) in Rome, illustrating the important discovery, and the core of all Montessori work today:
When the children had completed an absorbing bit of work, they appeared rested and deeply pleased. It almost seemed as if a road had opened up within their souls that led to all their latent powers, revealing the better part of themselves. They exhibited a great affability to everyone, put themselves out to help others and seemed full of good will.
Today there are research projects of all kinds being carried out on the results of a Montessori education. As children progress through true (as opposed to those schools who use the name, but have no certified Montessori teachers) Montessori preschools (3-6), elementary (k-6), middle, and high schools, they become progressively more independent and responsible in action and thought. They carry out original research of all kinds and quickly outgrow a teacher's expertise in many areas. They move out into society and become thoughtful and responsible citizens much earlier than we previously thought possible, arranging field trips, social and ecological projects and movements, and apprenticeships. They develop such excellent study habits that they far surpass the level of the curriculum of traditional schools.
The adult in charge of these environments requires unique preparation. The traditional Montessori training is a full year of graduate work for each of the following three age levels, and stages of development, of children: Birth to three years Three years to six years Six years to twelve years. The Montessori middle and high school teacher ideally has taken all three training courses plus graduate work in an academic area or areas.
Out of a spirit of enthusiasm for following Dr. Montessori's ideas there is a wide variety of teacher preparation. Some have taken intensive, yearlong graduate courses, studying under experienced master teachers who have themselves undergone an exacting teacher-training certification program of several years duration. These Montessori teacher-trainees have earned their certification by passing rigorous practical, written, and oral exams. Others have simply read one of Dr. Montessori's books and applied some of her ideas in a daycare environment. Between these two extremes there are many other examples and no official check on the use of the word "Montessori." Due to the wide variation of the preparation of adult there is a corresponding variety in the success and quality of schools.
We know that allowing for the work of the inner guide is the hardest part of working in the classroom. It is easy to emphasize our own agenda; to weigh the academics disproportionately, to push for the quick solution, to substitute our will for the child's. It is so difficult to keep from over-directing, to observe without judgment, to wait for the child to reveal herself. Yet, over and over again, when we do honor that inner guide, the personality unfolds in a way that surprises - that goes beyond what we could direct or predict.
- Dr. Sharon Dubble, Ph.D. Professor, Loyola College in Maryland
Montessori education has worked all over the world, with all kinds of children (wealthy, poor, gifted, normal, learning disabled, blind, etc.) and environments (from refugee camps and slums, to elegant schools in beautiful private homes). It is not the richness of the environment that determines the success of the Montessori method, but the preparation of the teacher.
Dr. Montessori learned early in her work that the education of teachers who are able to kindle flames rather than just fill vessels is not so easy. The Montessori method is philosophically and practically different from other educational methods, and also very different from the personal educational experience of most adults who become Montessori teachers. The words "directress" or "guide" is sometimes used rather than "teacher" because of the different role of the adult in relating to the child - directing him to find the best way to learn from the environment rather than from the adult.
Good Montessori teachers come from varied backgrounds, from artists to scientists, mountain climbers and dancers, to grandmothers! What qualities are needed to become a Montessori Directress/Director?
A commitment to the full development of the child -- to helping the child's personality unfold. Someone who therefore seeks tirelessly to gain the interest of each child -- ready to enthuse him but also able to stand back and take a supporting role when the child has become engaged in his own work. Also patience, a sense of humor, and a wide variety of interests which will help to bring perspective to their work and enhance the children's lives.
- Jethryn Hall, MMI, The Maria Montessori Institute, London, UK (previously MMTO)
MONTESSORI ORGANIZATIONS and TRAINING COURSE MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION
All Montessori organizations and teacher training centers are welcome to become members of The International Montessori Index.
Click here for a Montessori organization membership application .
Click here for a Montessori training center OR Montessori organization that trains teachers, membership application.
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