The Key to Becoming a Certified Montessori: Montessori Teacher Training Options

The Key to Becoming a Certified Montessori: Montessori Teacher Training Options

Dr. Maria Montessori strongly emphasized the importance of the prepared adult. She was adamant that it was crucial that we prepare ourselves and work diligently to prepare the environment so that we might best serve the child. Dr. Montessori reminds us that teacher training should focus not just on learning about the Montessori Method, but should include an enriching element of self-discovery, stating, “The training of the teacher who is to help life is something far more than the learning of ideas. It includes the training of character; it is a preparation of the spirit.” 

Montessori teacher education, also known as “training” or certification, differs from traditional teacher education programs. Montessori is a complex philosophy and pedagogy that includes components of human development spanning the time from birth to adulthood. Training programs feature: 

  • Instruction in understanding and using the specialized Montessori materials;  
  • Instructions in how to present lessons; 
  • Comprehensive study of the Montessori planes of human development; 
  • Exposure to Montessori foundational principles including observation, freedom, and the prepared environment; and
  • Student teaching during a practicum or internship year in a Montessori classroom. 

Montessori teacher education programs (TEPs) may vary a bit in their philosophical and methodological approaches. The American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Association of Montessori Internationale (AMI) training programs often differ in their focus on curricular approaches; AMI tends to focus on more classic practices developed by Dr. Maria Montessori herself, while AMS programs are supportive of traditional methods with updates based on current research, practical applications, and new methodologies. The schedule and format of TEPs also vary with a range of options offering in-person, remote, and blended learning approaches. You should review these options when considering which TEP might be the best fit for you.

When searching for a Montessori TEP, it is important to consider the accreditation of the program to ensure you are receiving a credential that will suit your needs and will be a fit for your future career endeavors. The Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) is the international standard setting and accrediting body for Montessori educator preparation. MACTE ensures that Montessori TEPs serving educators at the Infant and Toddler through Secondary II levels receive a quality education. 

Here is a list of a few Montessori TEPs: 

You can also take a look at the following websites to search for other Montessori TEPs in your area: 

Each of the teacher training programs listed above will help guide future Montessorians on their path to becoming the prepared adult. They will provide you with the necessary skills to closely observe students, recognize their needs, validate their experiences as human beings and show them respect, and help serve them along their journey through childhood. Perhaps most importantly, however, these programs will all help you re-discover yourself. For, as Dr. Montessori said, “The real preparation for education is the study of one’s self.”