The CGMS Early Childhood Teacher Certification program is a unique blend of distance learning with a low residency requirement. The Full Certification program is MACTE accredited and affiliated with the International Montessori Council (IMC).
Using the latest internet technology, CGMS presents video lectures and curriculum presentations offering a deep and comprehensive exploration of the Montessori approach for children 3-6 years of age. Adult learners complete a variety of meaningful assignments which relate directly to their classroom experience and provide opportunities for practical application of the course material. Weekly interactions with instructors and fellow adult learners in online discussion forums and chats serve to build a rich and supportive learning community and provide additional opportunities for integration of course topics.
Certification Level: IMC Montessori Certification for teaching ages 3-6 years of age. (Full Certification is MACTE Accredited)
Length of Course: 18 months
Program Description: Early Childhood Certificate adult learners will complete all three phases of the CGMS training program:
Distance Learning Phase: 18 month online phase with one week break approximately every 9 weeks and a two week winter and summer break. New cohorts (groups) of adult learners begin several times a year. Adult learners follow a specific schedule of course curriculum working with fellow students and Instructional Guides on a weekly basis. Adult learners should plan 10-15 hours per week, which can be scheduled at their own convenience, to view course video lectures and presentations, complete a variety of assignments, and participate in course discussions. Once a week adult learners participate in a one hour scheduled live chat session. During this phase adult learners will need access to a Montessori Early Childhood classroom for observation assignments, lesson practice, and the 9 month practicum/internship.
Residential Phase: The Early Childhood Full Certification Program requires attendance at one 120 hour residential session. Locations vary from year to year. To see currently scheduled locations, click here. Our recommendation is for attendance at a residential session in the first summer of the course, before one begins the practicum/internship phase. The summer residential session provides opportunities for supervised lesson practice and material making. The emphasis on classroom leadership skills helps prepare students for the practicum phase so they are successful in translating Montessori theory and methods into daily classroom practice.
The Practicum Phase: Adult learners are required to complete a 9 month (full school year) half-day practicum / internship in an approved Montessori Early Childhood classroom. This intern-teaching phase must take place in a Montessori classroom for children 3-6 years of age. Exceptions may be made for an alternative age grouping, at the discretion of the Director of Education, but a minimum of a 2 year grouping within the 3-6 age range is required. Classrooms must be well equipped with the Montessori Early Childhood curriculum materials Montessori best practices must be followed.
Adult learners will be assigned a Field Consultant who will visit the adult learner in the practicum classroom to provide feedback and support, and to evaluate the student’s growth and progress as a Montessori Guide. CGMS makes an effort to find and contract certified and experienced Montessori consultants within reasonable driving distance of the adult learner to serve as the field consultant. When this is not possible, the adult learner or sponsoring school will be responsible for the additional travel cost for the practicum evaluation visits.
The ideal practicum experience takes place in a classroom with a certified and experienced Montessori Early Childhood Guide. In this situation the student serves as an assistant teacher-intern working under the guidance of the Supervising Teacher. This enables the student to observe and learn from the mentor teacher while increasingly developing knowledge and skill in all areas of the curriculum and in the duties of a lead Montessori Guide.
In some circumstances adult learners may need to complete a Self-Directed Internship. This occurs when a qualified Supervising Teacher is unavailable to work directly with the intern as the lead teacher in the practicum classroom on a daily basis. Under these circumstances the adult learner serves as the lead teacher in the classroom while in training. A Self-Directed Internship must be approved by the CGMS Director of Education or Early Childhood Coordinator. A Self- Directed Support Plan must be submitted to assure that the adult learner has the additional guidance needed for success. All self-directed interns are assessed a fee of a minimum of $600 to cover the expense of this additional support and additional evaluations that are required by the accrediting agency.