The Montessori approach offers a broad vision of education as an aid to life. It is designed to help children with their task of inner construction as they grow from childhood to maturity. It succeeds because it draws its principles from the natural development of the child. Its flexibility provides a matrix within which each individual child's inner directives freely guide the child toward wholesome growth.
The preparation of the adult about to undertake work with young children demands a high degree of self-discipline and commitment, and a professional attitude. This preparation can only be achieved through immersion in the Montessori theory under the supervision of experienced lecturers. Furthermore, the special materials used with children in a Montessori class require individual training and supervised practice as each piece of apparatus has a function in the total scheme of the Montessori Prepared Environment. These fundamental aspects cannot be covered in sufficient depth by means of distance learning programs.
Courses are offered over one academic year or in modules according to the format approved by the AMI Scientific Pedagogy Group. The course programme includes lectures, seminars and demonstrations covering Montessori philosophy, child development and information on the presentation of Montessori materials. Each course also includes significant components of observation, supervised practice using the didactic materials, material making and scheduled sessions of teaching practice. Students prepare individual albums which detail the purpose, use and presentation of each piece of material. In the words of Dr Montessori the teacher ‘must give her lesson, plant the seed and then disappear; observing and waiting’ (The Call of Education, Vol. 11, no. IV, December, 1925). This statement embodies the core role of the Montessori director/directress.