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The original mission of the International Montessori Council (IMC) did not include teacher education. In fact, IMC existed for many years without any affiliated teacher education programs. The IMC’s main focus in those early years, and still today, is creating an open-minded and open-hearted Montessori organization.

Eleven years ago, that mission expanded with the approval of the first IMC affiliated Montessori Teacher Education Program, The Center for Guided Montessori Studies (CGMS). Forging this new path was not done casually. The IMC Board had the wisdom to recognize the need for Montessori teacher education to adapt to the technological and educational trends budding in the 21st century. As a result, IMC and CGMS have paved a path for hybrid Montessori teacher training that blends online with short residential/ face-to-face training; a trend that is now finding acceptance in other Montessori organizations.

Continuing in the direction of innovation, the IMC Teacher Education Standards have been designed to encourage programs to find creative ways to meet the needs of learners without sacrificing the quality of course content. The academic hours, for example, are significantly higher than required by the Montessori Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) or other organizations, but there is much more flexibility for course delivery format. This means that the required hours can be met through a variety of meaningful learning activities, with a balance of on-campus, online, and independent study projects.

Montessori is about so much more than materials. For this reason, IMC requires all programs to have a plan for ongoing reflection and discussion of course topics. These discussions are part of the academic hours and can take place in person or virtually. Helping adult learners grasp the significance of Montessori philosophy and how to support the development of children requires deep study. We can’t just leave this to chance. We need to guide adult learners through a process of discovery, and this requires time to read, reflect, and share. Modern technology provides many opportunities for ongoing contact, support, and meaningful dialog, through online discussion groups and video conferencing. These kinds of activities enrich the teacher education program and provide a higher level of support for the learner as they travel their Montessori path. IMC is ready to support teacher education programs in developing these strategies to better serve their learners and better prepare the next generation of Montessori teachers.

Whether a teacher education program is in its infancy and early development stages, or is an established independent program, or even affiliated with another organization, we hope you will look at what the IMC has to offer. The IMC is more than just another Montessori organization, we are a community with a network of passionate Montessorians always ready to offer friendship, coaching, and support.

As an international organization, IMC can offer teacher education affiliates global recognition. Programs will be able to submit news and feature articles for Montessori Leadership magazine. The newly developing teacher education section of the IMC website will list all affiliate teacher education programs with links to the TEP website. Every affiliate program will get a seat on the IMC Teacher Education Committee, where everyone’s input is welcome.

IMC is a strong supporter of MACTE. As such, all IMC teacher education affiliates must obtain MACTE accreditation. The process of adding IMC as your affiliating organization is fairly simple. IMC standards match up closely with MACTE guidelines with only a few requirements needing special attention such as the additional academic hours, and additional years of experience required for instructors. We have also kept the IMC affiliation and adult learner fees low so that programs can afford to have an organization on their side.

Recognizing the increasing demand for well-prepared Montessori teachers worldwide, IMC is committed to supporting new and existing teacher education programs expand their reach. As we grow with more teacher education affiliates, IMC plans to offer professional development instructor training opportunities for teacher educators. We look forward to growing and learning as a united Montessori community. We all get stronger when we work together. ′

For more information and a copy of the IMC TEP Standards and Guidelines for Affiliation, email Kitty Bravo, IMC Teacher Education Chair at

ML/ August 2019 / Pg 41