AMI Primary Diploma Course
Academic Year Course, September 3, 2013 - June 1, 2014
Co-Directors: Ginni Sackett and Sarah Werner Andrews
Class schedule: Classes are held Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
Note: hours may vary slightly during observation and practice teaching in Montessori classrooms.
We are currently accepting applications for the 2013 Primary academic year course.
Summer-format Course, 2015, 2016, 2017 (3 summers)
Co-Directors: Ginni Sackett and Sarah Werner Andrews
Class schedule: Classes are held Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
We are currently accepting applications for the 2015 - 2017 Summer Primary course. The course will run during the summers of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Exact dates have yet to be finalized. Please check back soon for more information.
Students will complete their observation and practice teaching requirements in Montessori classrooms during the intervening academic years. Students make their own arrangements for observation and practice teaching with assistance from MINW. Attendance is also required at two winter seminars in January 2016 and January 2017.
View the Primary Course Student Handbook [PDF] - Contains detailed descriptions of all aspects of the course. Each course has a revised Student Handbook and some aspects may vary from year to year.
View answers to Frequently Asked Questions [PDF]
Download our Book Order Form [PDF]
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A closer look at the AMI Primary Diploma Course
Note: Any assignment/requirement referenced in bold is also described in more detail in the Student Handbook
The Association Montessori Internationale Primary Diploma Course offers comprehensive study of Montessori theory and practice for individuals who aspire to work with children in Montessori Primary environments (ages three to six). During 850 hours of teacher preparation, students are trained in Montessori philosophy, human development, Montessori Primary materials and curriculum, and professional expectations.
The AMI Primary Course is part of an oral tradition and the information presented in the course is not readily available in other formats or published works. Students take notes throughout the course, then transcribe and process these notes into typed format. The use of recording devices is prohibited.
Students engage with theory topics, which create the foundation for a Montessori teacher’s practical work and are constant reference points for the student’s understanding. Topics focus on early childhood development, educational theory, practical implementation, and classroom management from the Montessori perspective. Students compile a Theory Album reflecting content given during the course, and create a Theory Project.
Students observe demonstrations of the materials in the four areas of the Montessori Primary classroom. Demonstrations include general discussion of related theory, such as the age of the child, purposes of the material, other activities with the material, and how this material fits into the curriculum as a whole. Students take notes on the technique of the presentation and all related information for each demonstrated material. These initial notes guide the student during their practice with the materials. During practice, students refine and complete their notes. The completed notes are then typed up and become the text of the student’s original Reference Albums, which serve as teaching manuals for future work with children.
Students practice with the Montessori materials during Supervised Practice, which is scheduled time during class hours when students practice under staff supervision – and without children – in our model classrooms to refine their technique in presenting the materials, often standing in as children for each other. The supervising staff member is available to clarify points and assist the students’ progress. Students will document their Supervised Practice as a record of their supervised work with the materials. Unsupervised practice is the time that students work with the materials outside of class hours. The classroom is available for unsupervised practice before class, after class, during lunch, and during other announced periods.
Students read from the published Montessori literature. MINW provides a Concept Bibliography to accompany the course. This is a list of readings by topic and helps students find specific topics as covered in the Montessori literature. Additionally, Reading Seminars are scheduled throughout the year for specific chapters in Montessori’s writings. During these seminars students engage in group discussions stimulated by a series of questions or discussion points related to the target reading. Students also create an Annotated Bibliography based on their readings in the Montessori literature.
Students create Montessori materials to demonstrate their ability to apply the principles of Montessori material design to their own classrooms.
Observation and Practice Teaching are essential components of the course, and allow students to continue their study of the child in AMI Montessori classrooms. In Observation, students spend a minimum of 90 hours observing the children’s interactions with the materials and each other, directing their observation through the lens of Daily Tasks. In Practice Teaching, students spend a minimum of 120 hours in their host classroom, presenting lessons to children under the supervision of an AMI Primary-trained host teacher.
Comprehensive Written and Oral Examinations at the end of the course verify that each student has met the standards of the Association Montessori Internationale.