Montessori Culture Certification
A New and Different Kind of Certification
First, this is a new approach that has previously only been offered in 3 very successful pilot groups. This is the next level for our internationally popular Montessori for Everybody Complete Home Study Course. We are offering it to the public now that we know this program meets our goals and, more importantly, meets or exceeds the goals for members of our community.
Second, we are committed to making sure this new certification adds to the quality of Montessori educator training now available. Part of that is being completely honest about what this is – and what it isn’t. This is what I’m calling a “parallel certification.” It is not the equivalent of residential or onsite diploma programs (AMI, AMS, other MACTE accredited programs, etc.) and we won’t say it is. (It will include some onsite elements that only our affiliates outside North America will use, but I’m not going into those details here). This brief introduction is to let you know about the program version open to everyone: educators and homeschoolers in North America, Australia, and all the rest of our international community.
I see this program as a way to fill in gaps in the current online trainings available – including helping those who have attempted to self-train only through free online resources. (That includes followers of our MFE TV show. With all our international channels of distribution such as Roku, we’ve had over 20,000 viewers over the last 5 years.) Through my own training experiences, and over 12 years of participation in the online Montessori community, I’ve also come to the conclusion that some of these gaps are too common even in many accredited programs affiliated with well-respected Montessori organizations.
Third, it will also provide an entry level certification that can stand alone for Assistant Educators and homeschoolers and may lead committed professionals to continue their training. We encourage those who choose to work in schools to consider completing a program with wide international recognition (such as from a center affiliated with AMI – Association Montessori Internationale, founded by Maria Montessori) or one with MACTE accreditation that is well-respected in the U.S. and many other countries. Many educators who started with our Home Study Course (or its precursor starting in 1986) have done just that.
What Others Have Experienced
Montessori is a revolutionary philosophy. It creates transformation in its true and full form. If you seek the heart of Montessori education, and to bring the depths of that approach to benefit your children, consider what those who have done group training, online courses, and private mentoring with me have said about the experience:
“I’m just 20 minutes into Souzzann Zink’s Inner Preparation of the Adult, and I’ve learned more practical information in that 20 minutes than I have in my last few months of researching! I was sharing with my husband last night as he looked over my notes, and even he is motivated to learn more!”
Bree Petty, Southern Oregon
Online comment about the same Montessori course:
“Well…that was life changing.”
“Souzzann offered and continues to offer me the ability to view a master at work and life. Specifically, in working with children and as a dad, Souzzann has developed in me the opportunity to afford the child a space to feel safe, know that one may fail in the moment but ultimately will recover, be present in the company of the child and parent. In the absence of Souzzann in my life, as guide, I’m quite sure I would be the lesser educator, dad and person. I am, and will be forever, grateful to Souzzann.”
Shawn Crawford, Montessori educator and Outdoor Education Specialist, Utah
“I feel like the guidance I received in the first half hour alone was worth $10,000 or more. It’s changing everything. By following Souzzann’s advice, I felt the shift in my family almost immediately, and some shifts were, in fact, immediate.
Souzzann is so gifted in what she does, . . . a gentle, yet powerful, guiding light for us parents who want to do our very best for our families. By helping us raise thoughtful, loving, engaged, respectful, responsible, and confident children, the positive impact this can have can reach far and wide and last for generations to come. I am hopeful her message reaches as many parents as possible❤️.”
Karen B., New York
“I realized a new sense of confidence. . . I had a plan for taking one concept and working on it for 2 weeks and then adding other parts. . . If you are interested in helping yourself or your children, this is the best available.”
“I was so impressed with what I found in the Practical Life set that I purchased the whole program. And I have not been disappointed. Every module is jam packed with helpful information and resources.
“Learning about Montessori has given me a great desire to conquer (my health) problem once and for all. I would truly love to spend my days blessing children’s lives. . . I find your course to be highly motivational and helpful. I have learned so much, . . . I think it is amazing.”
Montessori Independent Educator
While we encourage those who have the resources and accessibility to complete onsite Montessori training to do so, it has become clear over the last 10 years that there is a need for something between self-education and accredited training programs. Though there are programs attempting to fill that need, we still see a huge gap. The problems Montessori educators write about in online forums make it clear that even diligent students (who have purchased and completed some of these programs) still feel quite lost when attempting to lead, much less set up, a Montessori classroom.
After providing hundreds of virtual students around the world with Montessori training, and getting rave reviews from many of them, it has also become clear that most adult learners need support in their learning. Completing hours of training with no feedback works for some, but is very challenging for most. This is the reason we discontinued our original MFE Complete Home Study Course. Those who completed it on their own loved it, and often went on to earn AMS or AMI diplomas and credentials. However, many found completing it alone too challenging.
Our new Montessori Independent Educator programs combine the elements of simplicity and video resources our previous students have loved, while adding the much needed personal and group support most adult learners need for successful training.
4 Common Questions
Can I get a job with this certification?
For those seeking to lead classrooms in the U.S. in the public sector, additional credentials will be needed. However, the need for Montessori educators is large and growing quickly. To fill this need, many schools hire educators with no Montessori credential and allow them to train on the job because no one with Montessori training is available. In these situations, a certification such as ours will put job candidates at a significant advantage over others with no formal Montessori background.
For Montessori schools that do not require AMI or MACTE credentials, the certification will almost certainly help, but that is all we can say for sure. By the way, this is true for all online programs with no onsite or residential course content as part of their requirements. Those that imply their “diplomas” or certificates are respected in the Montessori community on the level of an AMI diploma, or a credential from an AMS or other MACTE-accredited training program are being deceptive.
Training programs with course fees of $4000-$12,000, that require weeks or months of onsite instruction, and 1 to 3 years to complete are entirely different from any program available to complete entirely online. U.S. Montessori schools are typically very clear about which kind of training they require. If you have specific schools in mind where you want to work, check with them directly prior to making any training decisions.
What will I need to do to complete the certification?
At this time, we have 2 Certifications available in all countries:
Montessori Culture Certification
The Montessori Culture Certification (MCC) is now our signature program for those who plan to support learners in a Montessori classroom setting (home-based or in a school.) Upon completion of the first 2 modules of the self-guided program, and successful completion of a Montessori Mindset and Essential Practices Assessment, these candidates will be awarded the new certification.
This will require:
- Reading 2 manuals of 50 pages each
- Viewing about 8 – 20 hours of video presentations (some are optional)
- Reading 2 or 3 books by Maria Montessori
- 3 online assessments and written assignment sets
- Successfully completing the final assessment
The assessment is a series of short answer inquiries written and submitted by email to a mentor. The final assessment is only offered when the trainee has already demonstrated a good understanding of Montessori principles through the written assignments and online check-in assessments given throughout the program.
For those comfortable with reading English and expressing themselves through writing, the entire process will take 3 or 4 months, devoting an average of 6 hours a week to studying plus observation time. Observations will require about 8 hours total (including travel time and communicating with school personnel) to visit at local Montessori schools or 4-6 hours viewing Montessori classroom videos online (an option available only to those with no local Montessori schools, or other extreme circumstances.)
If trainees have already read some of the books and manuals, it can take even less time. Trainees may take as long as one year to complete this entire program.
Montessori Independent Educator,
– Certificate of Completion, only
– Available only to Montessori Culture Certification graduates
This additional certificate program is available upon completion of the above MCC Certification. This program includes video trainings, completion of exercises, practice with Montessori materials, and additional reading. Proof of work done is provided by emailing in completed checklists for the 6 additional modules that make up this program.
Each module will take approximately a month to complete based on the 6-hours-a-week schedule. Trainees may take up to two years to complete this second certification. This component is based on the honor-system and respecting the integrity and self-motivation of the trainees.
Online support will be provided via a private Facebook group, or an equivalent online platform, available for at least 2 years after enrolling in the program. (This additional certificate is available for additional fees, or for those who have access to it through their school that has an up-to-date School-wide License.)
Can I enroll any time?
No. Because of the need trainees have for specialized feedback and guidance, this program only enrolls when we have that support system available to offer. Fully trained Montessori professionals I trust to provide portions of the mentoring and assessment parts of the program are a key to its success. Each training group will be assured of this support. If this program meets your needs, I encourage you to join us the week we open for enrollment. The training group is strictly limited so each person gets the needed support.
Why this program now?
If you are seeking to make Montessori work, whether you are new to it or your school is still maturing as a Montessori community, this program will help you. Even if you have been leading a classroom for a while, if you sense there are deeper practices that could help you become even more effective, this program may be for you too. The practical skills of guiding children are combined with proven strategies to move beyond the attitudes and habits you absorbed through the education you received as a child. Though it is not often discussed, when it is brought up in online Montessori communities there is wide-spread agreement that this is one of the hardest things about being a Montessori educator.
How do I unlearn what is disrespectful to children – and doesn’t really work? This program helps you not only notice the non-Montessori tendencies you bring to your classroom, but gives you practical ways to change them. These approaches are effective for all students, including those who are “not yet peaceful” (hat tip to my friend, Donna Bryant Goertz for that accurate and elegant phrasing.) For a very limited time, this is also a unique opportunity to get feedback directly from me on your assignments. That ends in 2020.
If you or a colleague are ready to take your Montessori practice to a new level, I hope you’ll join me