Early Childhood

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

Program Format

PCTE offers four schedules to choose from to complete your Early Childhood teacher training. They range in time from one year through three years.

One-Year Option

The length of the course is one full year and has two parts: the academic phase and the practicum phase. In the academic phase, students attend classes at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education located at the Princeton Montessori School. 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 that follows the six-week summer academic phase.

Two-Year Option

The length of the course is two years and has two parts: the academic phase and the practicum phase. In the academic phase, students attend classes at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education located at the Princeton Montessori School. 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 that follows the four-week summer academic phase.

Three-Year Option

The length of the course is three years and has two parts: the academic phase and the practicum phase. In the academic phase, students attend classes at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education located at the Princeton Montessori School. 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 that follows the final two-week summer academic phase.

Practicum Requirements

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. A minimum of five weeks of the summer academic phase must be completed in order to begin the practicum phase.  Locating a practicum site is the responsibility of the adult learner. All practicums must be approved by PCTE prior to the beginning of the practicum phase.

Practicum Models

There are two types of practicum models: a supervised practicum and a self-directed 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.

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 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 ensure that the practicum is progressing appropriately. There is an additional fee for each extra visit over the regular minimum of three visits.

Credentials Granted

AMS Early Childhood Full Credential is 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 is 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 environment in a recognized Montessori program in most states.  AMS strongly encourages holders of the Associate credential to obtain a Bachelor’s degree within seven years of credentialing.

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Princeton Montessori School

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487 Cherry Valley Road
Princeton, New Jersey 08540

609-924-4594