Course descriptors

course descriptors

“Education between the ages of six and twelve is not a direct continuation of that which has gone before, although it is built upon that foundation.” Dr. Maria Montessori

Elementary Credential Program

Strands of the following courses are interwoven throughout the duration of the credential program.  The Montessori approach to education is interdisciplinary.  The courses offered in the credential program flow continually from a view of the whole, to a study of the details, and then back to the whole again.

Montessori Philosophy, Child Development, Pedagogy & Classroom Leadership

Students will examine Maria Montessori's philosophical beliefs. The integration of philosophy, current research in the area of child development, and content pedagogy will be the focus of this component of the program.

Montessori Approach to Language Literacy & Cultural Studies

This course through demonstration, lecture, and supervised practice with materials, prepares the adult learner to implement an integrated approach to language literacy and cultural studies consistent with Montessori pedagogy. It includes demonstrations and supervised practice with materials.

Montessori Approach to Mathematics

This component is designed to prepare the student to present the Montessori mathematics curriculum and facilitate the development of numeracy in a Montessori Elementary class. Demonstration, lecture presentations, and supervised practice with didactic materials provide links between arithmetic and numeracy.

Montessori Approach to Geometry

Designed to prepare the adult learner to implement the Montessori geometry curriculum, facilitate the development of numeracy, and an interdisciplinary approach to education consistent with Montessori pedagogy. Demonstrations, seminar, and supervised practice with didactic materials are used to facilitate students’ understanding.

Cosmic Education/Integrated Approach to Cultural Studies and Fine Arts

Application of Montessori principles of Cosmic Education - the integration of the teaching of history; geography; the sciences; creative arts; and the scope and importance of movement, nutrition and physical exercise for the development of the whole child is presented. Adult learners will research, design, and demonstrate materials and activities that reflect an understanding of an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to education and an ability to apply Montessori principles of Cosmic Education.

Classroom Management, Observation, Record Keeping, and Assessment

As a result of this component, along with observations and the year-long field study/practicum experience, students will refine observation skills; evaluate assessment tools such as portfolios, performance, standardized tests, teacher-designed tests, verbal inquiry, and self-evaluation in addition to becoming familiar with various forms of record-keeping and long-term evaluative systems that are compatible with Montessori philosophy and pedagogy.

Integrated Approach to Science and Practical Life/Technology Literacy

The focus of this course is the development and refinement of knowledge and skills necessary for full implementation of the Montessori approach to Cosmic Education and the elementary cultural studies curriculum. The course provides a constructivist approach to the integration of Cosmic Education, Science and Practical Life/Technology.

Field Study/Practicum

Duration: 1080 hours

The function of the Field Study/Practicum Phase is to provide a constructivist experience that supports focused observation, action planning, reflection, and refinement of pedagogical skills that lead to the successful transfer of Montessori theory and philosophy into a classroom environment.

No part of the field study/practicum may precede the beginning of the academic phase of the course. 

The field study/practicum may be completed in the candidate’s classroom or in a classroom environment that meets the requirements as specified by the American Montessori Society. 

Note: The field study/practicum start date and site must be pre approved by the VBE Montessori Field Study/Practicum Coordinator and meet all AMS and VBE Montessori Credential Program requirements.

Classroom criteria for the 1080-hour field study/practicum

  • multi-aged, multi-graded, heterogeneous group of students
  • diverse set of Montessori materials, activities, and experiences, designed to foster physical, intellectual, creative and social independence
  • a schedule that allows large blocks of uninterrupted time
  • classroom atmosphere that encourages social interaction for cooperative learning, peer teaching, and emotional development
  • an administrator who is supportive of the required 1080 hour field study/practicum and willing to complete the administrator evaluation form

Candidates are responsible for securing their own field study/practicum sites. 

  • VBE does not place teachers in sites. 
  • VBE will supply a list of possible schools. 
    • All negotiations are made between the candidate for the Montessori Elementary Credential and the school.
    • VBE is not responsible for salaries, working conditions, etc.
      • Candidates who select a site located more than 40 kilometres from the nearest qualified field consultant will be expected to pay additional expenses related to reasonable transportation (including ferry fees) and accommodation expenses if an overnight stay is required of the field consultant.


Candidates must implement the elements presented in the Montessori Elementary credential program.  Assessment is made by the field consultant and/or master teacher/mentor (if applicable).  

MACTE/AMS competency standards are the basis for evaluating candidates.


“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.” 

                                                                   Dr. Maria Montessori