Administrator Program

  • Program Development This course provides information and group experiences to expand the understanding of the process of community building in harmony with Montessori principles. By working to effectively communicate with faculty, parents, boards, and the community at large, adult learners will gain new insight and perspective of the Montessori approach to school leadership. Additional topics related to starting or expanding a school, school accreditation, and planning for faculty professional development will also be shared. Opportunity for the practice of observation in Montessori classrooms will be included along with a sampling of observation tools.
  • Montessori Philosophy This course will present the life and work of Maria Montessori through exploration of primary and secondary sources. Adult learners will focus on the planes of development, the inner sensitivities, the role of the adult and prepared environment, the spiritual embryo, the psychic principles and the process of normalization. Of special interest will be discussions surrounding the ideas of cosmic education and an education for peace. Adult learners will have the opportunity to examine the current relevance of Montessori philosophy and methodology to current educational research. Finally, adult learners will begin to practice the art of reflective practice for transformative growth.
  • Montessori Curriculum The goal of this course is to provide a comprehensive, yet succinct, overview of the Montessori curriculum at all levels, including Infant/Toddler, Early Childhood, Lower/Upper Elementary, and Secondary. Through live presentations, adult learners will observe key lesson presentations and have the opportunity to practice with materials. Through videos and discussions, learners will gain a deeper understanding of the similarities and differences within age levels. Opportunities for observation in various Montessori classrooms will demonstrate the integration of Montessori theory into practice.
  • Educational Leadership This course will provide information, resources, and experiences to support the adult learner’s continued development as an educational leader. With a focus on identifying leadership styles and communication strategies, the learner will reflect on the differences between leading and managing, modeling and mentoring. This course continues the practice of reflection in order to facilitate transformative growth in the school leader.
  • School Operations This course focuses on the planning and operational aspects of managing a Montessori school for children. Topics such as financial management, fundraising, legal considerations, strategic planning, marketing/enrollment, recruiting/hiring, and the unique needs of public and charter schools will be addressed.
  • Practicum Phase

    • Administrator Program students participate in a practicum experience in their program over the course of the full school year, supervised by a Field Consultant.

    Early Childhood Education Program

    • Philosophy Examination of the educational theory and key elements of the Montessori approach to education.
    • Observation Examination of the development of the child in all domains of development. Strategies for ongoing observations, analysis, reporting tools and planning.
    • Practical Life Designing child-centered classrooms and meaningful, hands-on materials/activities. Emphasis is on understanding the relationship between children’s development, home, and school contexts.
    • Sensorial Rationale behind sensory-motor education, with a focus on understanding the concepts embedded in Montessori materials.
    • Language Arts A variety of activities, materials, and strategies across the curriculum that facilitate children’s emergent literacy development (listening, talking, writing, reading, and thinking) are examined.
    • Cultural Subjects Developing understandings in social studies, science, and the arts. Strategies for integrating thematic units in art, music movement, science, geography, social studies, and history; evaluating materials and adaptations for diverse learners.
    • Mathematics Experiences and activities that support the development of children’s mathematical thinking. Children’s ability to problem-solve, reason, and make mathematical connections is explored.
    • Child Development Presents the major theoretical approaches to development from birth to adolescence, with an introduction to the principles, concepts, and research in the field. Focuses on the stages of development in the physical, cognitive, emotional and social domains. This is an online course facilitated by a WSMS-TEP instructor via HaikuLearning.com. This course may be waived if the student is able to document that a similar college-level course has been completed earning a grade of B or higher, within 5 years of enrollment in WSMS-TEP, and evidenced by a syllabus to demonstrate that the course content has been achieved.

    Student Teaching Phase

    • Practicum Intern Seminar Weekends (November and April) Topics directly support student teachers’ classroom work, e.g., classroom management and curriculum support, parent involvement/education, and professional behavior. Students take an active part in determining the content of these seminars.

    Elementary Education Program

    • Mathematics This course presents the intellectual and historical
      development of mathematical thinking, the four basic mathematical processes, and competencies
      appropriate for elementary-aged children.
    • Geometry This course presents the historic and intellectual development of the study of plane and solid geometry, and the study of measurements.
    • Language This course presents the intellectual and historical development of language, covering the range of literacy skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking appropriate for elementary-aged children. Specific sessions focus on particular components of the grammar curriculum, literature and writing programs.
    • Geography The presentations in this course introduce fundamental concepts in physical, political, cultural and economic geography. A “creation” theme on the formation of the planet is used as a foundation for introducing the physical sciences. The course stresses the “interdependence” of seemingly unrelated processes, thus revealing the underlying links within the physical and cultural character of our world.
    • History This course presents methods to aid children in their construction of the concept of time and its graphic representations. Chronological and topical approaches are used to show the unfolding of the history of our planet and its inhabitants. Interdisciplinary studies are used to tie together zoological, botanical, geological and cultural studies.
    • Biological Sciences This course presents methods to aid children in organizing and classifying information concerning the kingdoms of life. Biological studies are presented in an interdisciplinary way so that they may serve along with geological and cultural studies to help children orient themselves in the universe, historically and taxonomically.
    • Physical Sciences This course presents methods to aid children in following the scientific method of hypothesizing, experimenting and observing to make educated guesses about explanations for phenomena observed. Hands-on experiments are used in an interdisciplinary way to introduce fundamental concepts of light, sound and magnetism. Demonstrations will show the workings of simple machines, with readings to explain those machines roles in human history. Teachers will learn to help children identify the simple machine components of many of the complex machines in use today.
    • Curriculum Design and Strategies This course will introduce the student to current theories of curriculum development. Students will practice approaches to developing new curricula, as well as in modifying existing curricula to meet a specific focus or need.
    • Classroom Leadership The student will be introduced to models and prerequisite psychological understandings for the following areas of Montessori elementary classroom leadership: starting a new class, preparing the physical environment, preparing the spiritual and psychological environment, skills in teaching (initiating, observing, leading groups, keeping records), planning lessons and schedules (yearly, weekly, daily), and working with colleagues and parents (communicating, problem solving, planning).
    • Montessori Philosophy and Child Development The integrated Montessori Elementary Philosophy and Child Development course explores traditional lines of Montessori thought and pedagogy in tandem with appropriate contemporary child development theories. Sessions focus on specific components of Montessori philosophy and issues in developmental psychology. The course utilizes lecture, discussions, readings, writing and activities format.
    • Practical Life Practical Life in the elementary classroom focuses on the importance and responsibility of the 6-9 and 6-12 child for the care of environment, care of self and care and respect of each other. Emphasis will be on animal and plant care in the environment, gardening experiences, outdoor nature studies, and designing field trips into the community to integrate classroom experiences in the “real world.”
    • Movement and Physical Education This course is based upon the assumption that physical expression is a legitimate form of creative learning and a necessary part of a child’s day. It also provides opportunities for individual discovery and understanding. The course intends to enable and encourage adult learners to incorporate physical activities within their classroom so that they can apply current studies and philosophies regarding interdisciplinary learning.
    • Visual Arts The Arts course is based upon the assumption that artistic expression is a legitimate form of creative learning, equal in importance to written expression or dramatic expression. It also provides opportunities for individual discovery and understanding. The course intends to enable and encourage adult learners to set up an art environment within their classroom so that they can apply current studies and philosophies regarding interdisciplinary learning. It introduces the adult learner to materials and creative processes which can be used by children to extend a lesson, practice skills, elaborate upon learning or demonstrate mastery as part of an assessment experience.
    • Music The Music course is based upon the assumption that musical expression is a legitimate form of creative learning. It also provides opportunities for individual discovery and understanding. The course intends to enable and encourage adult learners to incorporate musical activities within their classroom so that they can apply current studies and philosophies regarding interdisciplinary learning.
    • Student Teaching Phase

      • Practicum Intern Seminar Weekends (November and April) Topics directly support student teachers’ classroom work, e.g., classroom management and curriculum support, parent involvement/education, and professional behavior. Students take an active part in determining the content of these seminars.

      Infant/Toddler Education Program

      • Philosophy and Pedagogy An overview of Montessori’s principles and ideas, including her view of the child and his/her place in society is the basis for this class. The class emphasizes Montessori’s concept of the child from birth to age 3.
      • Observation Techniques of observation will be covered. A large portion of this class will consist of supervised observations in infant and toddler settings.
      • Child Development The class covers many ideas and theories pertaining to the development of the young child, including prenatal and childbirth. In addition to Maria Montessori’s ideas, other major contemporary theorists are examined. This is a hybrid course facilitated by a WSMS-TEP instructor via HaikuLearning.com and in-person sessions.
      • Personal Growth and Development Issues related to professionalism, ethical behavior and techniques for introspection would be addressed. A focus on the continued professional growth and development of the adult is emphasized.
      • Environmental Design This class covers the many critical factors that impact the design of a Montessori Infant/Toddler classroom. The aesthetics, ages and age groupings, numbers and ratios involved will be discussed.
      • Child, Family, and Community This course covers understanding the psychology of parenthood, translating child-rearing practices to/from home, and how to locate community and professional resources. Preparation for effective teacher-parent conferences and ideas for strong parental involvement and education will also be discussed.
      • Program Leadership This class focuses on the specifics involved with running a successful infant/toddler program. Issues related to the preparation of the environment and techniques for behavior management, communication and problem solving will be covered. The importance of multi-culture and diversity in all forms, as well as an understanding of issues related to school administration and professional relationships are also class topics.
      • Early Childhood Overview Montessori philosophy of the 2 .6 through 6 age range, Montessori rationale and basic methodology for the materials in the curriculum areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, and Language (Required of all students without an Montessori EC credential.)

      Student Teaching Phase

      • Practicum Intern Seminar Weekends (November and April) Topics directly support student teachers’ classroom work, e.g., classroom management and curriculum support, parent involvement/education, and professional behavior. Students take an active part in determining the content of these seminars.