The Washington Montessori Institute offers Primary (3-6) training courses accredited by the Association Montessori Internationale, the organization founded by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1929. This course prepares adults to guide 3-6 year old children in all aspects of development. The first 6 years of life is a critical stage to establish the foundations for a fully developed human being – one who finds deep satisfaction with oneself and possesses the desire and ability to contribute to the betterment of humankind.

In partnership with Loyola University Maryland, we offer an optional M.Ed. in Montessori Education concurrent with AMI training at our location in Riverdale Park, MD. Visit Loyola University’s program website for more information.

Dr. Montessori created a developmental approach that honors the way that the young child naturally learns – through sensorial exploration of the surrounding world. The keys to the world are embodied in the Montessori learning environment. Children explore with specialized materials, which support the development of independence, problem-solving skills, literacy, numeracy, cultural appreciation and a deep relationship with the natural world. In these early years, the child creates a strong sense of self and the habits of becoming a life-long learner.

Montessori Learning Aims

The learning aims for WMI’s Montessori program are as follows:

  • Acquire comprehensive knowledge of Montessori instructional methods and materials appropriate to specific age groups.
  • Articulate the relationship of learning at a specific age group to the broader continuum of human development.
  • Apply knowledge of the liberal arts to the design of integrated, interdisciplinary curricula.
  • Develop the academic, professional, and personal skills to independently direct a Montessori classroom.
  • Practice facilitation skills to elicit independent activity and exploration.
  • Demonstrate consideration and respect for each child as an intellectual, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual being.
  • Develop community-building skills based upon a fundamental respect for children and adults.
  • Advocate for the rights of all children.

Components of the Course

  • Theoretical Foundations: A series of lectures and discussions on Montessori philosophy and various aspects of child development are given by the faculty. Students will use this information as a basis for writing theory essays, supplemented by directed readings of Dr. Montessori’s books.
  • Methodology: Demonstrations of specialized materials, all of which are arranged in a carefully prepared classroom environment. The materials for development include activities for practical life, refinement of the senses, language, mathematics, and scientific and cultural subjects.
  • Hands-on Experience: Regular practice with materials in our model classroom environment is a unique aspect of the AMI training.
  • Practical Instruction: Students gain the essential skills needed to guide a group of children within a community setting.
  • Observation and Practice Teaching: Students have the opportunity to see how Montessori works in classrooms throughout the greater DC area and to work directly with children.
  • Material Making: Students are guided in the art of creating handmade materials.
  • Students write theory papers exploring each of ten essential topics. Each student crafts illustrated reference manuals, one for each of the four areas of the prepared environment.

WMI holds accredited status for its Primary teacher education certification course levels from the
Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) through 2024.

Admissions Information
2024-2025 Diploma Courses