toy.SmallOur Primary teacher training program is currently on sabbatical.

Montessori Primary Teacher Training (3 to 6 year-olds) is three summers long and preparesĀ adults as wise and gentle aides to the child’s own development. This training is currently on sabbatical at our center. Please go to AMI/USA for other training centers offering primary training.

The first summer:
Study begins with an exploration of Montessori philosophy and theory, the principles that form the basis of practice. Students learn to prepare environments that encourage the child’s independence, responsibility, self-esteem, and sense of community, through practical life activities. The well-known sensorial materials help children explore, clarify, and classify their perceptions of the world. Language activities help the child to communicate, to think clearly, to being the processes of writing and reading. Through language and the senses the child explores may avenues of human expression, for example, art, music, geography, history, biology, and science. Students are given practical training in observation of young children.

The first winter:
Observation: Students observe for a minimum of 90 hours in primary classes of children ages 3 to 6, directed by AMI-credentialed teachers. Observation notes and summaries are submitted for evaluation. Students make their own arrangements for observation sites.

Assignments: Students are given essay topics designed to deepen their understanding of Montessori theory and practice. Some hand-made material making projects are also assigned.

Seminar: The work of the previous summer is discussed in the light of completed observations, along with other topics of general interest.

The second summer:
Language study leads the child from the early stages of writing and reading to the development of comprehensive abilities. Language extensions continue into geometry and musical composition. Mathematical materials aid the child’s developing ability to work with symbols. (Everyone is born with a mathematical mind.)

The second winter:
Students complete a minimum of 80 hours of practice teaching in primary classes of children, directed by AMI-credentialed teachers. Students make their own practice teaching arrangements at sites approved by the course director. AMI staff visits give two half-days of additional support and supervision; the student is responsible for travel and lodging costs. A second winter seminar is held. Students keep introspective journals of their practice teaching experience, and also complete material-making projects.

The third summer:
Students review everyday practical considerations and the relationship between Montessori theory and practice. We look at the more abstract aspects of developmentally sound practice in mathematics, language, and language extensions, along with an overall review in preparation for oral examinations.

All three summers:
Students practice with materials, clarifying their notes, and prepare their own curriculum manuals (albums); assignments are handed in each week, read and returned with feedback.

The work of the first summer is assessed jointly by the student and course staff. The second summer ends with written exams followed by a conference. The third summer ends with an oral exam led by AMI visiting trainers not directly associated with the students’ training process.

Required Reading

Montanaro, Silvana, M.D.
Understanding the Human Being

Montessori, Maria, M.D.
Education for a New World
The Absorbent Mind
The Child in the Family
The Discovery of the Child
The Formation of Man
The Secret of childhood

Standing, E.M.
Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work