Early Childhood

Early Childhood

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The Early Childhood program prepares adults to educate 3-6 year old children in environments which are in keeping with the Montessori philosophy.

Credentials Granted

AMS Early Childhood - Full Credential
Awarded to those who hold a college degree from an accredited college or university and have satisfactorily completed the Early Childhood teacher education program.

AMS Early Childhood - Associate Credential
Awarded to those who do not hold a college degree and have satisfactorily completed the Early Childhood teacher education program. Upon completion of a bachelor’s degree, the candidate receives full certification. The associate certification satisfies the necessary qualifications to teach in a Montessori early childhood classroom in a recognized Montessori program in most states.

Program Format

1 Year Option:
The length of the course is one full year. The course has two parts: the academic phase and the practicum phase. The academic phase includes six weeks in the summer, a four-day Fall Seminar, usually the weekend before Thanksgiving, and a four-day Spring Seminar, usually the last weekend in April.

The practicum phase is a nine-month period which follows the six-week summer academic phase. In the academic phase students attend classes at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education located at the Princeton Montessori School.

1 Year Option Calendar:

Summer 6 weeks June – July
Practicum September-June
Fall Seminar 4 days December
Spring Seminar 4 days April


2 Year Option:

The length of the course is two years. The course has two parts: the academic phase and the practicum phase. The academic phase includes a Fall evening course in Philosophy, a Winter evening course in Child Development, four weeks in the summer, a four-day Fall Seminar usually the weekend before Thanksgiving, and a Spring Seminar, usually the last weekend in April.

The practicum phase is a nine-month period which follows the four-week summer academic phase. In the academic phase students attend classes at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education located at the Princeton Montessori School.

2 Year Option Calendar:

Philosophy 8 evening classes Fall
Child Development 8 evening classes Winter
Summer 4 weeks July-August
Practicum Sept. – June
Fall Seminar 4 days December
Spring Seminar 4 days April

3 Year Option A:
The length of the course is three years. The course has two parts: the academic phase and the practicum phase. The academic phase includes a Fall evening course in philosophy, a Winter evening course in Child Development, two weeks in the summer, a four-day Fall Seminar usually the weekend before Thanksgiving, a Spring Seminar, usually the last weekend in April and two weeks in the summer following the Spring Seminar.

The practicum phase is a nine-month period which follows the final two-week summer academic phase. I n the academic phase students attend classes at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education located at the Princeton Montessori School.

3 Year Option A Calendar:

Philosophy 8 evening classes Fall
Child Development 8 evening classes Winter
Summer 2 weeks July
Summer 2 weeks July
Practicum Sept. – June
Fall Seminar 4 days December
Spring Seminar 4 days April

3 Year Option B:
The length of the course is three years. The course has two parts: the academic phase and the practicum phase. The academic phase includes a Fall evening course in Philosophy, a Winter evening course in Child Development, two weeks in the summer, a four-day Fall Seminar usually the weekend before Thanksgiving, a Spring Seminar, usually the last weekend in April and two weeks in the summer following the Spring Seminar.

The practicum phase is a nine-month period which follows the final one-week summer academic phase. I n the academic phase students attend classes at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education located at the Princeton Montessori School.

3 Year Option Calendar:

Philosophy 8 evening classes Fall
Child Development 8 evening classes Winter
Summer 3 weeks July
Summer 1 week July
Practicum Sept. – June
Fall Seminar 4 days December
Spring Seminar 4 days April

The Practicum

Requirements for Practicum
Students must complete a minimum of five weeks of the summer academic phase in order to begin their practicum phase. Students must do their practicum in an approved setting.

Preparation of an early childhood teacher involves both the acquisition of basic knowledge outlined in the academic requirements and the use of that knowledge in developing skills and competencies outlined in “Competencies for Montessori early childhood Teacher Candidates.” The practicum in the Early Childhood classroom provides a laboratory for the implementation of the theory, philosophy, and concepts that are presented in the academic phase. Group process and sharing of the practicum experience during the field consultant visits and two weekend seminars, and with the supervising teacher, fosters absorption of knowledge, an enrichment of ideas, and reflection on personal responses. The practicum begins the September following the summer academic phase. Locating a practicum site is the responsibility of the student. All practicums must be approved by PCTE prior to the beginning of the practicum phase. There are two types of practicums:

Supervised Practicum
The Supervised Practicum requires that the student teacher participate five days a week, through two full semesters, for a minimum of four hours per day, in the classroom of a qualified teacher at an approved school site. A minimum of three on-site consultation-evaluation visits by the program representative is required.

Self-Directed Practicum
In rare and special cases, students may work in a self-directed practicum when approved by the director. All the requirements for the Supervised Practicum also apply to the self-directed practicum with the exception that the intern has full responsibility for the Montessori class without the daily guidance of a qualified Montessori-supervising teacher in the classroom. Because the student does not have daily supervision, there may be additional on-site observation visits from a PCTE representative to insure that the practicum is progressing appropriately. There is an additional fee for each extra visit over the regular minimum of three visits.

Infant and ToddlerEarly ChildhoodElementary