Course Descriptions

The Maryland Center for Montessori Studies Early Childhood Teacher Certification Program offers a comprehensive course of study consisting of both an academic phase (384 hours of lecture/lab) and an internship (a minimum of 540 hours of supervised classroom work).

To learn more about our course instructors, please click here

The outline of course content for the academic phase is as follows:


Montessori Philosophy & Theory Course # (32 hours)

Instructor: Lee Lanou

Montessori, from a historical perspective, is examined. Philosophy specific to the method, such as auto-education, absorbent mind, sensitive periods, normalization, development of the will, spontaneous repetition, logical-mathematical mind, spiritual and moral development of the child, etc. are examined. How the philosophy relates to the child, materials, teacher, and environment is discussed. Peace education is the natural result of the Montessori philosophy.



Child Development Course # (32 hours)

Instructor: Lee Lanou

Lecture and documented observation, some of which is done during the practicum phase, is designed to bridge the academic coursework and the practicum phase. Theories of development and stages of development are examined in the Physical, Cognitive, Emotional, and Social areas. Current theories and research are examined.



Practical Life Course # (47 hours)

Instructor: Lee Lanou

Philosophy and rationale of the curriculum area of practical life, ground rules, grace and courtesy, development and refinement of movement, care of the person, care of the environment, food preparation, and nutrition.



Sensorial Course # (48 hours)

Instructor: Lee Lanou

Philosophy and rationale of the curriculum area of sensorial, materials aiding in the development and refinement of the senses.



Language Course # (49 hours)

Instructor: Lee Lanou

Philosophy and rationale of the curriculum area of language arts, materials aiding in the development of language arts skills and concepts: receptive and expressive language experiences, visual and auditory perceptual experiences, vocabulary development and enrichment, penmanship, grammar (function of words), children’s literature and drama.



Mathematics Course # (52 hours)

Instructor: Lydia Farmer

Philosophy and rationale of the curriculum area of mathematics, materials aiding in the development of mathematical concepts/skills: introduction to numeration, linear counting, the decimal system and their functions, memorization of the facts, fractions, money, and time.



Physical/Life Science Course # (20 hours)

Instructor: Shannon Brown

Philosophy and rationale of the curriculum area of the physical and life sciences, and including botany and zoology, earth elements, and physical science.



Social Studies Course # (16 hours)

Instructor: Shelby Hiken 

Philosophy and rationale of the curriculum area of social studies, which includes geography; land and water forms, globes, maps, flags, multicultural awareness, and history to include time (see mathematics), calendar, seasons, personal family history.



Art, Music and Movement Course # (16 hours)

Instructors: Shannon Brown and Lee Lanou

Philosophy and rationale of the curriculum area of art, materials that aid development of art concepts and skills in two-dimensional art activities (easel or table), three-dimensional art activities, art appreciation, and art history. Philosophy and rationale of the curriculum area of music, materials aiding in the development of music concepts and skills, singing skills, instrumental skills, music appreciation and history. Philosophy and rationale of the curriculum area of movement, materials aiding in the development of movement concepts and skills: body awareness, basic skills (locomotors, stationary games), and line activities.



Classroom Leadership Course # (12 hours)

Instructor: Betsy Wimbrow 

Philosophy and rationale of classroom leadership including the study of the role of the teacher in the preparation of the environment, scheduling and curriculum planning, lesson strategies, evaluation of children, and techniques for discipline, communication, and problem-solving, understanding the needs and requirements specific to a full or extended day program, and a sensitivity to multiculturalism in all forms.



Parent Involvement/Education & Administration Course # (16 hours)

Instructor: Tamara Balis 

Philosophy and rationale for parent involvement and education, raising the level of awareness, developing a knowledge base, providing options for collaboration, creating strategies for collaboration, and application and implementation of strategies. Learning to share the Montessori philosophy with parents, its relation to the Common Core, and understanding and gaining skills in quality communication. Understanding issues relating to school administration, professional relationships, best practices, licensing requirements, opening a school, budgetary planning, staff development, consultation, and accreditation.



Observation Course # (28 hours, 8 lecture/20 field)

Instructor: Betsy Wimbrow 

Philosophy and understanding of the importance of observation, including observation strategies, scientific methods, components, record keeping, and use of the observations.



Yearlong Project Course # (16 hours)

Instructor: Lee Lanou

This course is a culminating work for the student. The student will scientifically observe three children in his/her class over the course of their Practicum year and will turn their observation notes into three case studies. There will be a brief presentation given to their cohort of students about their culminating work.



Practicum/student teaching Course # (540 hours) – minimum 3 hours per day, 5 days a week during the school year following the completion of the Academic Phase. Specific dates defined by the individual school calendars.

Instructor: Lee Lanou

The practicum provides the adult learner with a supervised teaching and learning experience and a period of observation, internalization, and further study, in order to bring together the theory and practice of Montessori education. The adult learner participates in all facets of Early Childhood curriculum and development, as well as family partnership, and administrative procedures.


Admissions Process

The admission procedure begins with the applicant’s request for information and the discussion between the prospective applicant and MCMS. Determining “the best fit” is the conversation that ensues and requires sincere reflective thinking on the part of the prospective applicant. The “fit” is multi-dimensional, taking into account familial needs, time, financial constraints, professional suitability, and further consideration. This inner process, aided by MCMS with information, is the critical reflective, first step in the admissions process.

Maryland Center for Montessori Studies (MCMS) is operated by the Montessori Society of Central Maryland, Inc., located at Greenspring Montessori School in Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland.

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Baltimore Montessori Conference

The second annual Baltimore Montessori Conference will be held at Greenspring Montessori School on Saturday, April 7, 2018 - featuring engaging workshops for Montessori guides, assistants, administrators, and parents.

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