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Early Childhood

The Early Childhood program includes two phases.  The academic phase consists of 308 instructional and seminar hours for Early Childhood and the practicum phase consists of a minimum 540 classroom hours. The academic phase takes place over one summer academic session, weekend seminars, and a nine month practicum phase (student teaching).   The academic phase provides a solid foundation in the Montessori Method.  The practicum phase fosters professional development by integrating Montessori curriculum and philosophy.  The purpose of both phases is to help students develop the knowledge, understanding, philosophical base and practical skills necessary to become competent Montessori teachers.  

Early Childhood Program Components 

Child Development/Psychology (min 28 hours) 

Provides an overview of theories of development (8 hours), stages of development (8 hours), and areas of development (8 hours) which includes physical, cognitive, emotional, and social.   Also includes 6 hours of current research on child development and psychology.  (Lecture, discussion, practice.)

Montessori Philosophy/Theory (min 32 hours) 

Provides an overview of the basic philosophical ideas of Montessori, including relationships of Montessori's ideas to those of other educational philosophers. Discusses Montessori’s views of the development of the physical, social, intellectual, moral and spiritual aspects of the child. Peace education as an integral component of Montessori education is examined. This class also includes historical perspectives on Montessori and the Montessori Method.  (Lecture, discussion.)

Observation (min 28 hours) 

Offers techniques and guided practice in classroom observation of children, subject areas, and overall environment.  Includes 20 hours of field observations. (Lecture, discussion, demonstrations, and field observations.) 

Practical Life (min 32 hours) 

Offers an exploration of the application of Montessori philosophy to every-day activities in the child's life with emphasis on appropriate materials. Also includes design of the Montessori classroom environment. (Lecture, discussion, demonstrations, material design, practice.)

Sensorial Exercises (min 32 hours) 

Shows how the child's senses and pre-academic skills are developed through specific materials developed by Montessori. (Lecture, discussion, demonstrations, material design, practice.)

Math Curriculum (min 32 hours) 

Demonstrates the materials and approach for developing the "mathematical mind" as well as pre-math and arithmetic skills, exploration of the decimal system and place value. (Lecture, discussion, demonstrations, material design, practice.)

Language Curriculum (min 32 hours) 

Explores the approach and materials developed for facilitating young children's development in language skills, including writing and reading. (Lecture, discussion, demonstrations, material design, practice.)

Art, Music and Movement (16 hours) 

Gives an introduction to the Montessori music curriculum, as well as suggested activities from other early childhood educators for music and movement. (Lecture, discussion, demonstrations.)

Provides exploration of numerous art media and techniques, including classroom set-up and general techniques, as well as the Montessori philosophy of art. (Lecture, discussion, demonstrations, practice.)

Physical and Life Science  (16 hours)

Further elaboration on the concept of "Cosmic Education" is offered through presentation of materials and activities for the children in these science areas. (Lecture, discussion, demonstrations, practice.)

Social Studies (16 hours)

Demonstrates Montessori's concept of "Cosmic Education", including philosophy and hands-on use of materials, with material making. This includes discussion and presentation of materials for anti-bias, multicultural, multi-ethnic curriculum and activities for the classroom. (Lecture, discussion, demonstrations, material design, practice.)

Classroom Leadership (8 hours) 

Provides a discussion of the many activities required for effective leadership of a classroom and a school, including: conflict resolution, discipline, planning, scheduling for students and staff, health and safety issues, lesson planning, record keeping, multi-culture and diversity, and communication through parent conferences, and relations with government agencies. 

Parent Involvement/Education (4 hours)

Aids in the development of the knowledge base regarding Montessori philosophy and encouraging home implementation supporting the connection between the home and the classroom.  

Early Childhood Practicum Teaching (min 540 hours)

Adult learners will participate in Early Childhood practicum, which will last a full academic year, with the adult learner working in a Montessori Early Childhood environment at the practicum site for a minimum of 3.25 hours a day, five days a week, for nine consecutive months.  


Practicum Seminars (16 hours)

The Practicum Seminars will be an opportunity for Adult Learners to meet with the instructor to discuss the independent observations and ways to apply the knowledge into their current classroom.  They will consider the prepared environment, Montessori philosophy, and child development in order to grow and benefit from their practicum observation. 

Yearlong Project (16 hours)

Adult learners will select a topic to investigate and implement in the classroom during the 9 month practicum phase.

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