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Frequently Asked Questions

About our Online Montessori Teacher Certificate

How good can a distance learning program really be?

The Center for Guided Montessori Studies meets or exceeds all standards for Montessori training. All of our video instruction is provided by world class educators giving best practice Montessori lessons. Students are provided with beautifully prepared, highly accurate albums that incorporate authentic and undiluted Montessori instruction with the latest research in child development and science. Our students work with experienced and passionate Montessori Instructional Guides who have been carefully picked for both subject matter expertise and their teaching ability. We take the Guided part of our name very seriously with everyone from admissions staff, to student advisors and instructors committed to supporting the success of our learners.

Will I have to travel?

CGMS students perform most of their studies either online or at their own schools near where they live. Full Certificate students will need to attend one short residency at one of our training centers, or two if they are in the Elementary program. Associate Certificate students perform should not have to travel at all. CGMS recommends the Associate Certificate for students outside of North America.

Will I be working alone?

Students at other programs have reported that distance learning can be very lonely. The programs of The Center for Guided Montessori Studies are all carefully crafted to create collaboration and camaraderie, regardless of whether you are in Botswana or Baltimore. Students take all courses with a close knit cohort group that they will stay with from the start of the program through to graduation. Class discussions and group projects will be conducted using video conferencing, teleconferencing, message boards, instant messaging and email. Where possible, students will be strongly encouraged to meet and discuss topics in person. Lastly, CGMS uses the term “instructional guides” to honor the fact that far from leaving students to wander the educational wilderness alone, our instructors are trained to closely guide our students’ studies. We take this so seriously that it’s in our name!

How long will it take to finish?

The duration of the program varies depending upon the age level.  All program requirements are completed within the course duration, including the practicum.  For example, the Early Childhood Full Certification program duration is 18 months long, so the coursework, practicum, and residency session will all take place within the 18 months.

What if I need to stop the program for a while?

Life is what happens when you’re trying to get something done. From family crises to pregnancy, from moving to illness, the staff at The Center for Guided Montessori Studies understand that special circumstances arise. In many cases we allow students to complete the program over a longer duration by transfering them to a different cohort group.

How much of my personal time will the program take?

The Montessori teacher certificate programs will require an average of 10-15 hours per week.

What will be covered?

CGMS’ primary Montessori teacher certification program incorporates and exceeds the minimum MACTE requirements.

Courses include:

  • Administration
  • Art
  • Child Development
  • Cosmic Education, including History, Geography and Science
  • Group Dynamics & Classroom Leadership
  • Introduction to Montessori
  • Language
  • Material Making and Repair
  • Mathematics
  • Montessori Philosophy
  • Movement and Physical Education
  • Music
  • Observation
  • Partnership Education
  • Peace Education
  • Practical Life
  • Sensorial
  • Special Education

What kind of assignments should I expect in the program?

Student assignments will vary widely, but expect a mix of:

  • Reading articles and books
  • Watching videos of lectures and lesson presentations
  • Classroom observations
  • Group and individual projects.
  • Writing essays about what you have read or observed within the program
  • Creating new lesson plans
  • Creating a new classroom material
  • Adding pictures, essays and lesson plans to improve albums

Who are the instructors?

All of the instructors are world class certified Montessori teacher certified. Many are recognized leaders in their curriculum areas, and all represent best Montessori practice. Meet our team!

Our faculty includes:

  • Holly Anderson
  • Kitty Bravo
  • Mary Calarullo
  • Andrew Kutt
  • Ann Epstein
  • Paul Epstein
  • Kathy Leitch
  • Frank Leto
  • Stevanne Mills
  • Lorna McGrath
  • Linda Pasteurz
  • Cathie Perolman
  • Tim Seldin
  • Valaida Wise
  • Jonathan Wolff

How will the cost compare to other programs?

The tuition of the CGMS program is equivalent to that of other quality Montessori training programs. If you factor in the money saved on travel and lodging, our program actually costs several thousands of dollars less than most traditional programs. Go to our enrollment section to find out current prices.

What if I am technophobic or have limited computer skills?

This course does not require technical expertise; however, comfort with a computer is necessary. If the thought of spending 10 to 15 hours per week in front of a computer sends shivers down your back, then this course is probably not a good match for your needs.

What are the technology requirements?

Below are the minimum requirements for CGMS programs.

  • High speed Internet access 512Kb/Second download or faster Either: 1 Gigahertz Macintosh running OS 10.3 or newer1 Gigahertz PC running Windows XP SP2 or newer
  • Computer microphone and speakers
  • Standard Mini-DV video camera
  • Web camera

CGMS is happy to make purchase recommendations upon request.

What kind of technical support will be available?

Although much of the learning in this program will take place over the Internet, very little technical skill will be required. If you can surf the web, then you can take this course. That said, problems do come up, and limited technical support will be available to each student, particularly in the area of audio and video conferencing. CGMS does not guarantee the ability to solve all technical problems a student may have, and at its discretion may refer a student to a local third party. Due to the diversity of mini-dv video camera equipment, CGMS cannot offer any support with this technology.

What kind of credential will I have?

The Center for Guided Montessori Studies awards credentials from the International Montessori Council. (IMC). Note that many CGMS programs are accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), and all exceed the MACTE requirements. For more information about the accreditation of each program, click here

How do I decide between an Associate and Full Certificate program?

The Associate Certificate is awarded to students who complete the distance learning and practicum phase only. The Full Certificate will be awarded to students who complete the distance learning, the practicum phase, and the short summer residential session(s). While these hybrid programs may not be available to students living in the most remote places, we believe Full Certificate programs will provide the best quality of education, and if at all possible students should prefer to attain a Full Certificate. Student teaching at the both tiers works very much like in a traditional Montessori teacher certificate training program, in that the program will help students select internship schools and will perform the training evaluation.

What are the admission requirements?

Students must speak English fluently or near fluently. Generally students will have a bachelor’s degree, but exceptions can be made with the Director’s approval.

Who is the IMC and will their credential mean anything out in Montessori world?

The International Montessori Council (IMC) is a respected international Montessori organization dedicated to supporting Montessori schools, teachers, parents and students. Currently, the IMC has over 500 affiliated schools worldwide and thousands of individual members. IMC guidelines and standards for teacher education programs are designed to assure both high quality and the authenticity of all affiliated Montessori courses. The IMC is available to provide more information to any schools wishing to learn more about IMC Montessori training program standards for quality and authenticity.

What if English is not my native language?

A high proficiency in English is required for successful participation in this program. CGMS reserves the right to require, at its discretion, for applicants to provide evidence of their English facility by submitting TOEFL scores.

How are testing and assessment performed?

  1. Reviewing postings on the Moodle
  2. Reviewing essays and other documents posted to the Moodle
  3. Reviewing videos you upload
  4. Final assessment is a complicated procedure, but it involves a mixture of timed-open book essays and video-taped tests of presentations. For Full Certificate students some of the final testing may be performed in person.

Do I have to do an internship?

Both Full and Associate certificate students must complete an internship during the certification course. This is in addition to coursework you will be completing at the time. You may also see this referred to as the “practicum” period of your Montessori online training.

When is the internship performed?

The start date for your internship will depend on many factors, including the start date you enter the CGMS program, the traditional school calendar for your country, and your own readiness to complete the internship. As many CGMS assignments are built around the internship period, you are required to complete the internship during the course duration. This is in addition to your coursework.

How long is the internship?

The internship must last a full school year (about 9 months in total)  and be five days a week.  The required hours per day will depend upon the age level.

Does CGMS help me find an internship site?

CGMS is happy to make introductions to schools we know. However, in the US alone there are estimated to be 5000 Montessori schools. We certainly do try to help if you are in an area with Montessori schools we are familiar with. Ultimately obtaining an internship is a student’s responsibility. One resource to find an internship or job is through our Montessori job openings page.

Will I get paid during the internship?

This is a discussion for you to have with the head of your internship school. As you will be effectively acting as a classroom assistant, it is certainly not unreasonable for you to inquire about payment. School policy and, of course, ability to pay will vary greatly.

How do I know if an internship site will acceptable?

CGMS does require all students to perform their internship at an authentic Montessori school. There are best practices that determine whether a school is practicing authentic Montessori. Most schools are imperfect, and we don’t require perfection. As Montessori is not a trademarked term there are some unscrupulous schools which use it for marketing, but have little or not interest in the principles or science of the Montessori method. A simple call from our educational director to a school head can establish whether it is a suitable site for an internship. Once you have identified which schools you are interested in working with, let us know.

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