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Montessori Philosophy and Theory

This course is an introduction to Montessori principles of child development and education, including a historical perspective, methodology, Montessori concepts, and classroom procedures. The course explores the relationship between the Montessori philosophy, the prepared environment, the adult and the child.

Child Development

The course presents an overview of child development theories and theorists, stages of development, areas of physical, cognitive, emotional and social development and current research on Montessori education.  The course provides a basis for comparison with Montessori's theory and an opportunity to view Montessori within the historical context of the changing perception of the young child.

Practical Life

Practical Life is the foundation for other curriculum areas and the basis for learning practical skills. The general purpose is the development of concentration, self-discipline, independence, social skills, and motor coordination.  Practical Life includes ground rules and courtesy, control of movement, care of the person, care of the environment, food preparation and nutrition.


The purpose is the development and refinement of the senses, and of the intellect.  Materials are presented for visual perception and discrimination of size, color, form, auditory and tactile discrimination, olfactory, and gustatory senses.  It is the direct preparation for mathematics.


Exploration of the materials used for the development of receptive and expressive language experiences, visual and auditory perception and discrimination, vocabulary development and enrichment, and oral language experiences. The course includes interpretative reading skills, function of word studies, penmanship skills, creative writing, simple research and multi-cultural studies.


The course presents the Montessori Mathematics philosophy and rationale.  The materials for the development of the mathematical mind are explored.  The curriculum covers the introduction to numeration, the decimal system vocabulary and quantitative values, operations of the decimal system, linear counting, memorization, fractions, and practical math.

Physical and Life ScienceAn exploration of the concrete materials which help young children to understand botany, zoology, earth science, physical science and the relationship of science to our lives.

History and Geography

Geography studies include the components of the earth, and physical and cultural geography.  History covers time, seasons and personal history. History and Geography are based on language development and sensorial exploration.


The course includes basic art skills, two and three dimensional work, art appreciation and history.  


The course includes rhythmic skills, singing skills, instrumental skills, the Montessori bells, music appreciation and history.      


The course includes body awareness, basic gross motor skills (loco-motor, stationary movement, games) and group activities.

Observation, Classroom Management, Evaluation, Records and Planning

The courses cover methods for observation, documentation techniques, classroom management skills, and preparation of the environment. Scheduling, planning, lesson strategies, evaluation of children, techniques for discipline, communication and problem solving are also covered.

Children's Literature, Peace Education, and Parent Education and Administration     

Practices are included.  Advanced materials and extension lessons are presented during seminar sessions.  Directed practice with materials is guided by VCMS instructors during the seminar sessions in order to apply the Montessori theory to the curriculum.