The M.Ed. in Primary Montessori education (ages 3-6) consists of 36 graduate credits. The majority of the coursework is the AMI training, which occurs over three consecutive summers from 2017 through 2019. In January 2018 and January 2019, students will participate remotely in a series of webinars. Attendance and active participation in webinars are part of required attendance on the course.
The course of study for earning the AMI diploma is awarded 27 credit hours. The remaining nine credits are three traditional graduate courses and are taken once the AMI training is complete. These education core courses are designed to broaden the students’ knowledge of research and trends in the field of education. The core courses can be taken during summer 2020 or 2021 during an intensive, four-week session, on Loyola’s main Evergreen campus.
The Montessori primary training course offered by the Washington Montessori Institute is accredited by the Association Montessori Internationale and presents theory lectures on Montessori philosophy and child development. Students also study specialized materials, all of which are arranged in a carefully prepared environment. The materials for development include activities for practical life, refinement of the senses, language, and mathematics. Cultural and science materials are also incorporated into the curriculum. In addition, students gain the skills needed to guide a group of children, both theoretically and through their experience practice teaching.
During the three summers of AMI training, students attend class all-day, five days a week. The training is an integrated program of theory, methodology, and practice sessions.
Students write theory papers exploring each of ten essential topics. Each student crafts his or her own illustrated reference manuals, one for each of the four areas of the prepared environment. Another aspect of preparation for teaching is creating a variety of classroom materials under the supervision of the faculty.
A unique aspect of the AMI course is regular, hands-on practice with materials in the model classroom environment. Students learn how to set up an appropriate environment and present age-appropriate materials and activities.
Observation and practice teaching in classrooms guided by an AMI-trained primary teacher will be done in schools convenient to each student. 90 hours of observation will take place during the intervening year between summer 2017 and 2018. 120 hours of practice teaching will occur between summer 2018 and 2019.
In summer 2019, if the AMI written and oral examinations are passed and all requirements have been completed, the AMI diploma is awarded. 27 graduate credits (MO designation) are posted to the student’s Loyola transcript.
Director of Primary Training
Jennifer Shields is a primary trainer for AMI. She holds both the Primary and Assistants to Infancy diplomas from AMI. She earned a B.A. in English Literature from Georgetown University and an M.Ed. from Cleveland State University. She has worked in Montessori schools as a teacher, assistant, and administrator. She is an examiner and consultant for AMI and presents at workshops and conferences around the country.
Educational Core Courses
After completing the AMI Montessori course of training, students take three additional three-credit courses which comprise the educational core: Foundations of Research in Education, Teaching Students with Special Needs, and Advanced Studies in Education.
The three core courses are offered in a special, intensive four-week summer session taken on Loyola’s main Evergreen campus. All core courses must be completed during either summer 2020 or summer 2021.
AMI Training Dates
Monday, June 26 to Tuesday, August 10, 2017
No classes on July 3-4, 2017
Monday, June 25 to Friday, August 10, 2018
Monday, June 24 to Friday, July 26, 2019 (approximate dates pending oral exams)