Montessori Teacher Training Certification Curriculum Information
CGMS offers Montessori teacher certification for both early childhood (age 2.5 to 6) and Elementary (age 6 to 12) teacher training. In the future CGMS will offer certification for infant-toddler and secondary level training.
All CGMS graduates will receive diplomas from the International Montessori Council. We have also begun offering continuing education and refresher courses in partnership with the Montessori Foundation.
Our early childhood credential includes the following courses of study:
- Child Development
- Children With Special Needs
- Classroom Leadership
- Cosmic Education
- Early Childhood Orientation
- Language Arts
- Peace Education
- Philosophy of Montessori
- PhysEd and Motor Development
- Practical Life
- Visual Arts
Our educational components include reading materials, videotaped lessons and lectures, both individual and group assignments, discussion groups. Most of our e-learning takes place on our moodle website, but for some tasks students will either be required to use a digital video camera, or to use free voice chat software such as Skype(tm). Each curriculum area in the early childhood course will be introduced, emphasizing the role of this area in supporting the child’s development. As instructors demonstrate materials they will take the time to emphasize fundamental principles related to that area as well as drawing attention to the essential qualities of lesson presentations. At their own leisure, students will have the opportunity to review lectures and lessons at any time.
Two Tiers of Montessori Teacher Training
CGMS offers two levels of Montessori certification
First, for those who take the program entirely online, we offer our Associate Certificate™. Students who enroll directly in this program will be members of an online cohort of students that work together during their entire training program. For certain activities they will need to be logged on simultaneously, but for the most part students can complete their work at the hours most convenient to them. Students engaged in this program will be required to complete an internship at a CGMS approved Montessori school, and to provide regular videotapes of their activities in the classroom. Associate Certificate students who successfully complete this program will be eligible for an IMC Associate Montessori Credential.
An additional and more advanced level of Montessori certification is Full Certificate™. Full Certificate students will attend a partner training program that provides around 2.5 weeks of residence/face to face training generally taken during their online course work; Elementary training students have two residencies of 2.5 weeks each. This residency portion has a strong focus on Montessori philosophy and the spiritual preparation of the teacher. There are many opportunities for reflection as well as interactive discussion. Students gain experience in being part of a Montessori classroom community much like what they will be creating in their own prepared environments. Our Full Certificate Early Childhood program with residential sessions in Kingston, NY, Indianapolis, IN and Sarasota, FLwas the first distance training program to receive MACTE accreditation. We have applied for accreditation for our Elementary Full Certificate at all locations.
The residency curriculum presentations would serve to prepare the students to get the most out of the video presentations that they will be working with all through the year.
Full Certificate students who successfully complete the program will be eligible for full Montessori certification with IMC, receiving the IMC Early Childhood Credential.
Please note that Full and Assocate Certificate were formerly “Silver” and “Gold” tiers, resectively. The terminology has been changed to reflect that currently used by the IMC.
What is a cohort?
A cohort is a group of students learning together and supporting one another’s knowledge and skill development. All students within a cohort start and complete the course at the same time, and will study the same subject area together.
Though not always possible, CGMS attempts to create cohorts that include students from the same time zone and even the same geographical region. Full Certificate students will meet each other at least a few times during the program, and all students are encouraged to meet up with each other in person when they can. During the training, cohorts will work together on projects, and hold weekly discussions using internet based teleconferencing and video conferencing. Chat rooms, message boards and email discussions will also provide ample venues for students to share and collaborate.
What will the Distance Learning part be like?
For both Full and Associate Certificate students, the distance learning component will offer a thorough course of study. Students will work together within their cohort, studying and supporting each other as a Montessori community through video conferencing and on-line discussions.
Much of the course will consist of videos of Montessori philosophy lectures and curriculum material presentations delivered by some of the most respected Montessori educators working today. Each cohort will be supported by an Instructional Guide who will work with individual students and the group to guide the course of study. Assignments will include discussion questions and group projects that enable students to thoroughly explore and digest the Montessori philosophy, curriculum and instructional approach. Like students in the Montessori classroom, CGMS students will be active learners, engaged in reflective, creative and collaborative activities.
What about the Internship Phase?
The Practicum or Internship phase is a key component of the CGMS early childhood teacher education program. This is a time when teachers-in-training have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in the context of a real Montessori classroom with the support of a mentor teacher. CGMS has also developed a program to help supervising teachers and school administrators to create a nurturing and meaningful experience for each CGMS intern.
An experienced teacher educator commented that the practicum classroom with its environment, practices, and personalities trumps all other course work. While this is a very strong perspective on the role of the internship phase, there can be no denying of the fact that the practical experience in the internship classroom has a major influence on the development of the student teacher. The best teacher education programs, whether distance learning, face-to-face, or a blended program must uphold high standards for the practicum; requiring classrooms with authentic Montessori practices and support from experienced supervising teachers and/or mentors. In addition to the above, The Center for Guided Montessori Studies believes that the training center itself needs to be very involved in providing guidance for the supervising teachers as well as the intern.
For both training tiers, CGMS provides on-going instruction and support during the internship phase through both on-line and face-to-face practicum seminars. Seminars focus on practical application of Montessori philosophy and classroom leadership skills.
During the internship phase, there are plenty of opportunities for students to share successes and receive feedback on classroom challenges. Additionally, Instructional Guides and Student Advisors keep in close contact with each student and periodically check in with supervising teachers to assess student progress. Practicum assignments on such topics as classroom observation, record keeping, lesson plans, and participation in parent teacher conferences ensure that the intern gains the professional experience necessary to become a Montessori teacher.
Associate Certificate students complete their training with additional coursework after the Internship period ends. This coursework is intended to ensure that students have assimilated all of the theoretical and practical knowledge they should have accumulated over the preceding two years.
After the practicum experience draws to a close, the Full Certificate Elementary student returns to the residency program for a second and final summer phase. Full Certificate Primary (Early Childhood) students do not need this second session. The second summer is a time of review and bringing it all together. Again, there is an emphasis on Montessori philosophy and the teacher’s personal preparation, as well as review of curriculum. This is an opportunity to reinforce the goals of each area and revisit presentations of some lessons. It is also a great time to go deeper into the practical aspects of classroom leadership and parent communication. With their internship year behind them, the student teachers better know what they need and are ready to explore topics that will help them further develop as teachers. Student testing in both philosophy and the curriculum areas would also occur during this phase.
No matter which tier a student attends, CGMS is committed to ensuring that all students receive the in-depth instruction and personalized support they need to be well prepared to begin a career as a Montessori Teacher.
Also on this page
To learn what the distance component will be like click here
For the 2 tiers of Montessori teacher training that CGMS offers, click here
Information about cohort groups, click here
For information about the required internship click here
For program completion information click here