Early Childhood Course Content

  
Story Telling with Instructor Heidi Gauger
 
Montessori Philosophy and Educational Theory
This foundational course is designed to develop within the adult learner a deep understanding and appreciation for the basic principles of Montessori philosophy. Through Dr. Maria Montessori’s writings, the adult learner is introduced to the historical perspective and peace education. Philosophy specific to the method such as the absorbent mind, sensitive periods, logical-mathematical mind, spiritual and moral development of the child, freedom of movement and self-discipline are examined in terms of a total methodology. How the above relate to the child from birth through 6 in relation to Montessori philosophy, materials, teacher, and environment is the basis of discussion.
Practicum Seminar: A continued discussion on philosophy and theory, and the adult learner’s assimilation, application and observation of it in the classroom.

Child Development/Psychology
This course is designed to give the adult learner greater insight into child behavior and democratic techniques for the development of healthy self-discipline in children. The fundamentals of Adlerian psychology are presented with special emphasis on discipline techniques, such as goals of behavior and natural and logical consequences. Adult learners are encouraged to explore their own personality through the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Theories and stages of development are explored as developed by Dreikurs, Bruner, Erikson, Bowlby, Piaget, as well as Montessori. Discussion is held on the physical, cognitive, emotional and social areas of development with current research being provided.
Practicum Seminar: A discussion on L. Kohlburg and C. Gilligan and the implications of their research on the moral development of the young child.

Observation
This foundational course is designed to develop within the adult learner the observational
techniques required of the Montessori practitioner. Motor, cognitive and emotional development are explored through the case study; social interaction and motivation are charted in the "curve of work". Emphasis is placed on the relation of theory to practice in meeting individual child needs, teacher needs and environmental needs. Observation consists of academic content in-residence and documented observations out in the field.
Practicum Seminar: A continued discussion on observation, and the adult learner’s assimilation and application of it in the classroom.

Practical Life / Peace Education
This core course is designed to develop within the adult learner a deep understanding and appreciation of the philosophy and rationale of the Practical Life area. It is the foundation of the casa and where Montessori Education begins. Ground rules, Grace and Courtesy skills, control of movement, Care of Environment, Care of Self/Person lessons and food and nutrition activities are demonstrated, practiced and discussed. The adult learner becomes versed in how to help children develop self-reliance, concentration, hand-eye coordination and small muscle development. Emphasis is placed on "work cycle" theory. The peace curriculum is explained through theory discussion, activities and material-making.
Practicum Seminar: A continued discussion on the practical life area, and the adult learner’s assimilation, application and observation of it in the classroom.

Sensorial / Sensory Education
This core course is designed to develop within the adult learner a deep understanding and appreciation of the philosophy and rationale of education through the use of the senses, with emphasis on the Montessori materials aiding the education and refinement of the senses. Adult learners develop familiarity and ease with the materials through relaxed practice sessions. Emphasis on levels of use of sensorial materials, extensions and variations.
Practicum Seminar: A continued discussion on the sensorial area, and the adult learner’s assimilation, application and observation of it in the classroom.

Language
This core course is designed to develop within the adult learner a deep understanding and appreciation of the philosophy and rationale of the language curriculum. Emphasis is placed on receptive and expressive language experiences, visual and auditory experiences, and vocabulary development and enrichment through materials that aid the development of these skills/concepts: reading, penmanship, writing and function of words. Adult learners learn a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics and are presented the dynamics of whole language through exposure to good children’s literature, poetry, role playing (drama), and problem-solving skills.
Practicum Seminar: A continued discussion on the language area, and the adult learner’s assimilation, application and observation of it in the classroom.

Mathematics
This core course is designed to develop within the adult learner a deep understanding and appreciation of the philosophy and rationale of the math curriculum. Emphasis is placed on the teaching of enumeration and mastery of the didactic materials that aid development of these skills/concepts: Introduction to numeration, the decimal system, functions of the decimal system, linear counting, memorization of basic arithmetic facts and fractions. Introduction into math variations and extensions, measuring, money and fractions with emphasis on the developmental process, and sequence from the sandpaper numbers through math applications.
Practicum Seminar: A continued discussion on the math area, and the adult learner’s assimilation, application and observation of it in the classroom.

Classroom Leadership/Management
This core course is designed to prepare the adult learner with strategies and skills enabling her/him to prepare a multi-age environment adhering to the principles of Maria Montessori. Emphasis is placed on the role of a Montessori Directress and skills in scheduling staff and a child’s day, assessment and evaluation of children, plus techniques for discipline, communication and problem-solving. In addition, understanding of human needs and requirements (children, family and staff) specific to a full day/extended day program, multi-culture and diversity in all forms, and issues relating to school administration, professional relationships and best practices.
Practicum Seminar: A continued discussion on classroom leadership and management, and the adult learner’s assimilation and application of it in the classroom.

Physical & Life Sciences: Botany / Zoology / Earth & Physical Science
This core course is designed to develop within the adult learner a deep understanding and appreciation of the philosophy and rationale of the physical and life science curriculum. Emphasis is on the exploration of concrete and “real” materials and methods used for the teaching of Zoology, Botany, and Earth & Physical Science plus the scientific method as applied to the young child.
Practicum Seminar: A continued discussion on physical and life sciences with presentations and experiences with earth elements and phenomena. Also the adult learner’s assimilation and application of all sciences in the classroom.

Geography and History
The core course is designed to develop within the adult learner a deep understanding and appreciation of the philosophy and rationale of the geography and history curriculum. In geography, the materials and demonstrations are introduced to the young child as a source of initial impressions intended to stimulate interests that will blossom in the later elementary years. The “hands-on” experiences center on land and water forms, globes, maps, flags and multicultural awareness. In history, an understanding of the passage of time will be achieved with the presentations of calendars, clocks, season/weather, personal history, and a series of time lines.

Art
This course is designed to develop within the adult learner a deep understanding and appreciation of the philosophy and rationale of the art curriculum. Emphasis is placed on the presenting and facilitating of a developmentally appropriate “hands-on” program which includes basic art skills, two-dimensional work (easel or table), three-dimensional work, art appreciation and history.

Music and Movement
This course is designed to develop within the adult learner a deep understanding and appreciation of the philosophy and rationale of the music and movement curriculum. With music, emphasis is placed on the presenting and facilitating of a developmentally appropriate program which includes rhythmic skills, singing skills, instrumental skills, and music appreciation and history. With movement, emphasis is placed on body awareness, loco-motor and stationary activities, games and line activities.

Parent Involvement and Education
This course, held during a practicum seminar, is designed to develop within the adult learner an understanding of parent involvement, attitudes and perceptions of Montessori and Montessori schools. Emphasis is on the development of strategies for parent involvement and options for parent/school collaboration with the raising of level of awareness, developing a knowledge base, creating strategies for collaboration and the application and implementation of those strategies.