The International Montessori Council was organized in 1998 under the auspices of the Montessori Foundation to provide an inclusive and affordable membership organization for Montessori educators and schools around the world to work together to promote Montessori to the outside world and help one another to address challenges that we all face. The IMC welcomes all Montessori teachers and schools as members. The IMC encourages its members also to maintain membership in other Montessori organizations to benefit from multiple perspectives and collaboration across the Montessori community.
IMC-affiliated teacher education programs in North America must be accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), the Montessori teacher education accreditation agency recognized by the US Department of Education. IMC has established criteria for teacher education programs to meet or exceed MACTE standards.
The Center for Guided Montessori Studies (CGMS) is the center for IMC teacher education center. CGMS offers programs for certifying Montessori Guides for the following levels: Infant -Toddler (birth - to age 3), Early Childhood ( ages 3-6) and Elementary ( ages 6-12 years). A Secondary (Age 12-18) teacher education
The CGMS program was established in 2008 as an IMC pilot program designed to meet the growing demand for Montessori Teachers by offering a high-quality hybrid program that blends onsite residential seminars with distance learning.
Courses consist of three phases: distance learning phase, residential phase, and practicum phase. A brief description of each phase is described below:
Distance Learning Phase: Using the latest internet technology, CGMS presents video lectures and curriculum presentations offering a comprehensive exploration of the Montessori approach. Students complete a variety of meaningful assignments, which are designed to provide concrete experience to deepen the understanding of key Montessori concepts and practice. Weekly interactions with instructors and fellow students in online discussion forums and chats serve to build a rich and supportive learning community and provide additional opportunities for integration of course topics.
Residential Phase: Full Certification Programs require attendance at summer residential sessions, generally before one begins the practicum/internship phase. The 15-day residential sessions provide opportunities for additional instruction, supervised lesson practice, and material making. The emphasis on classroom leadership skills helps prepare students for the practicum, providing tools for successfully translating Montessori theory and methods into daily classroom practice. Infant-Toddler and Early Childhood programs require one residential session, Elementary requires two.
Practicum Phase: Students are also required to complete a minimum of a nine-month practicum/internship in an approved Montessori classroom serving children for the developmental level of the certification one is seeking. This phase is essential for all students. It runs concurrently with the distance learning phase connecting Montessori Philosophy and theory with everyday practice and providing opportunities for practical application of the course material.
The International Montessori Council is committed to creating collaborative learning communities that produce the highest quality Montessori teachers in a lifestyle friendly way. We strive to give adult learners a deep appreciation of the philosophy and spirit of Montessori as well the practical skills needed for a successful and meaningful career as a Montessori educator.
For more information about establishing an IMC Teacher education program, contact IMC@montessori.org