During Montessori’s lifetime, she gave a number courses to train teachers in the theory and practice of her method. These courses ranged in length from a few months to a year in length, and consisted of theory lectures as well as practical demonstrations of the materials she had developed. Montessori vigorously defended the authenticity of her work and regarded herself and AMI as the only legitimate source of teacher training. However, Montessori training in various forms is offered by other organizations as well.
Montessori training centers themselves can seek accreditation from the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. MACTE accredited programs are eligible for federal financial aid.
AMI Teacher Training: Since Montessori’s death, AMI has established a rigorous process to prepare and certify a small number of trainers authorized to offer training courses and grant AMI diplomas. AMI and the trainers work together to maintain the integrity of the training programs offered. AMI training is highly consistent across training centers around the world.
Courses are offered at the 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12 levels in a full-time academic year format or an intensive two- or three-summer program. Some AMI training centers offer a concurrent B.A. or M.Ed. program as well. AMI training is the most widely accepted Montessori credential.
- AMI-USA U.S. training center locator (18 locations)
- AMI international training centers (48 locations)
AMS Teacher Training: AMS offers affiliation to training centers in the U.S. Course content, duration, and format varies more across training centers in AMS than in AMI.
Certification is offered for 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12, 12-15, 15-18, and administration. All AMS training centers are MACTE accredited, and concurrent B.A. or M.Ed. programs are available. Courses are typically offered over a single summer or on weekends and include a year-long practicum. AMS training is accepted at nearly all non-AMI schools.
- AMS training center locator (92 U.S. locations, 17 international)
Other Training Programs: Several smaller organizations offer or accredit training programs, many with some element of online or distance learning. Courses must have a minimum in-person element to seek MACTE accreditation. In general, certifications other than AMI or AMS are not as widely accepted.
MACTE: The Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education accredits teacher training programs. The accreditation criteria were developed by a consensus process among many training organizations with varying models. Most AMI and AMS training centers exceed MACTE course content requirements. MACTE does not currently accredit distance-only programs.