International Montessori
Training Institute

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PO Box  15345
Atlanta GA 30333

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Primary (Ages 3-6) Course Catalog

1. Montessori Education

4. Course Requirements

7. Leaving the Course

2. Affiliation and Objective

5. Admissions

8. Additional Information

3. Program of Study

6. Fees

9. Bibliography


Lectures3. Program of Study

Montessori Theory and Child Psychology

Lectures: Theory lectures present an overview of Montessori thought on human development from birth to adulthood, with an emphasis on child psychology and development from the ages of three through six (primary). The lectures integrate educational principles and practices with Maria Montessori’s view on developmental psychology.


In the Montessori environment for the primary child, the "materials for development" are scientifically arranged into a cohesive "prepared environment" which integrates the following methodology lectures presented in the course of study:

Practical Life Exercises of practical life enhance the development of concentration through purposeful activity, including care of self, care of the environment, exercises of grace and courtesy, and coordination of movement. These exercises correspond to the child's sensitive period for movement, order, and language. They appeal to his or her growing desire for independence and social relations. The practical life area provides the link between home and school.
Sensorial Sensorial activities enable the child to order, classify, and describe sensory impressions in relation to length, width, temperature, mass, color, etc. They also provide a basis for the development of other skills, such as music, mathematics, or language. Through sight, touch, sound, taste, and smell, the Montessori sensorial materials make learning a natural result of the child's desire to explore.
Mathematics Mathematics makes use of manipulative materials to help the child gain an understanding of concepts of number, symbol, sequence, operations, and memorization of basic facts. The materials provide a sensorial basis for the child's natural progression from concrete manipulation to abstract thought. They present a wide range of possibilities for the child's creative exploration of numerical and geometric relationships, and they build on each other in increasing complexity.
Language Language includes oral language development, written expression, reading, elements of grammar, creative dramatics, and children's literature. In keeping with the young child's sensitive period for oral language development, the entire prepared environment provides opportunities to learn precise vocabulary and engage in conversation with adults or peers. With a strong sensorial basis, the materials for written language introduce letters and sounds, writing and reading.
Cultural Cultural activities expose the child to basics in geography, history, and the physical and life sciences, often as direct extensions of sensorial or language activities, led by the child’s curiosity. Music, art, and movement education are integrated into the prepared environment as part of the day-to-day activities of the children.


Principles of classroom management based on Montessori’s theory of the psychology of the child are presented in lectures and implemented in practice teaching. The student is shown how to prepare a new or existing environment and how to start a new class, called a Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House, or take over an existing one. Other topics include planning, record keeping, evaluation, and adapting to children’s individual needs.

The goal of a Montessori teacher, called Guide, is to help children become functioning adults by giving them respect, giving them information and the means to access more information, and leading them along a path of self-discipline. To achieve this goal, the Montessori trainee is given a framework in which to cultivate an understanding of the child, not just gain mastery of the materials.

Supervised Practicals Supervised Practicals: By practicing with the materials and following the same social procedures that would be followed with a group of children, students come to appreciate both the opportunities and the protection of environmental rules for one's own development within a group of peers. Students develop basic competence in the use of the materials and work through difficulties in techniques and understanding.
Observation Observation Placements: Based on the Montessori pedagogy, observations of children in functioning Montessori environments are recorded and analyzed according to the Montessori perspective of human development. Trainees also observe the work associated with the total operation of a Children's House according to the Montessori pedagogy.
Practice Teaching Practice Teaching: By working with a qualified Montessori Guide during the practice teaching, the student can practice in "slow motion" the various tasks which a Montessori Guide does. The student has the opportunity to practice the main task of a Montessori Guide, which is to introduce a child to a piece of material at the proper time in the child's development and in such a manner that the child will take over and explore the material.

Course Formats

Academic year courses operate on a full-time, nine-month schedule which includes observation and practice teaching. The summer Primary Course is conducted over two summers, plus review and examinations in the third summer. For summer courses, observation, practice teaching, and a mid-year seminar are scheduled during the intervening academic years.

Graduate Credit

Loyola University Maryland's Center for Montessori Education (located in Baltimore) offers graduate credit toward a master’s degree in education for the work of the AMI Primary training course. The Montessori training course is equivalent to 27 of 36 graduate credits. The final 9 credits are completed in Baltimore over a 4-week intensive summer session. Students have up to 5 years from the beginning of their AMI training to complete the Master’s program. (However, it is not a retroactive degree.) Student loans are available through the Graduate School office of Loyola University Maryland.

Details on requirements for admissions and tuition information are available by calling 800-221-9107, ext. 5020 or