AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy

An advanced survey of teacher education practice and philosophy.

Montessori teacher education instructors are engaged in and enriched by a vital task: preparing future generations of Montessori educators for classroom and administrative roles.

But, who instructs the instructors? And how can this be carried out “the Montessori way,” with instructors who model best practices in environments that enable teacher educators to actually feel Montessori, not just know it theoretically?

The AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy responds to these needs. Rigorous, advanced, and staffed by leaders in the field, the 2-year-long program provides the training instructors need to prepare Montessori teacher educators who are able to take on their work skillfully, reflectively, confidently—and ultimately, successfully.

We currently offer an Inaugural Instructor Academy for Elementary I – II (October 2020 launch).  We will launch another academy, for another credential level (TBD), in October 2021.

While we cannot guarantee employment for graduates, we will proudly facilitate connections with them and directors of our affiliated teacher education programs

Gina Taliaferro Lofquist

Chief Education & Learning Officer

Our task is to keep the legacy of Dr. Montessori alive and thriving. This happens by bringing properly trained Montessori teachers into the prepared environment to guide our children and adolescents. By becoming a teacher educator, you will carry the torch of Maria Montessori and ensure that this unique and powerful pedagogy continues to transform lives and our society.”

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Academy Overview

The Academy take place over 2 years and is designed to be respectful of a classroom teacher’s schedule. There are 3 components:

  1. Online learning: 8 months
  2. In-Residence: 4 days
  3. Practicum:  Divided up over 1 – 2 summers plus field observations

Online Learning

The online learning component is an intensive survey of Montessori adult education at large—a foundational review of Montessori philosophy, how adults learn, and how they should be taught. It is comparable to a graduate-level university course. It blends live and on-demand modalities to create a rich learning experience that has been built as a spiral of the Fundamental Tenets of an AMS Affiliated Teacher Education Program. It will be broken down into 4 classes, each with several modules. All of the classes will be supported by group discussion, readings, work assignments, and conversations with your facilitator. You will come together as a cohort of learners even as you work independently through the online experience. 

Class 1: Introduction

This class will introduce the Fundamental Tenets of an AMS-Affiliated TEP. It will also explore the historical context of Dr. Montessori’s work as well as the importance of transformation.

Class 2: Who is the Child?

We will revisit Dr. Montessori’s framework for viewing children through the examination of the driving forces that propel development forward, as well as further explore the Montessori pedagogy as education for peace. 

Class 3: Who is the Teacher?

This class will challenge you to reflect on your own practice as a scientist, servant, and saint as we examine the vital role of the teacher as an authentic model.

Class 4:  Who is the Instructor?

This class will invite you to explore the key components of preparing the environment and designing learning experiences for future teachers. In conjunction with your in-residence experience, it will be the final step in preparation for your practicum. 


The in-residence portion of the AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy is centered around a 4-day experience that explores the methodology of the Montessori learning materials. 

Drawing from prior online learning experiences, your cohort will come together in a model Montessori learning environment and deconstruct Montessori learning philosophy as it centers around the materials. Together you will reconnect with and rediscover the true intentions, complexities, and synergies of materials in your classroom’s age range. You will learn techniques for presenting these materials to future Montessori teachers and how to convey their power to these adult learners.

This is also your opportunity to bond with your fellow instructors and form a close-knit, career-long support network for yourself. This peer-to-peer professional relationship network is the foundation of our community and supports the advancement of the Montessori Method nationally and worldwide.


Just as you engaged in a practicum when you became a teacher, so too will you receive practical experience in your transformation into a teacher educator.

You will partner with an AMS-affiliated teacher education program of your choice. All of our programs have met the rigorous standards for quality teacher preparation as set forth by AMS, and thus are an ideal place for you to absorb high-fidelity practices in adult education.

Academy Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy course, you will be able to:

  • Integrate adult learning theory and the needs of adult learners into course design
  • Convey the story, purpose, and efficacy of the Montessori Method to adults
  • Guide adult learners through discovering the purposes of the Montessori learning materials
  • Create and prepare adult learning environments for Montessori training
  • Confidently abide by ethical practices of AMS standards of quality Montessori education

Your successful graduation application will result in the issuance of an AMS Certificate of Teacher Education Instruction within your chosen Montessori program level. 

Eligibility & Cost


Anyone who meets all of the following requirements may apply for the AMS Teacher Education Instruction Academy:

  • Is an AMS member
  • Has a minimum of 3 years of teaching experience at their credential level after receipt of credential
  • Has a bachelor’s degree or higher

Fees & Costs

Program Fee


Approximate Travel Costs*

Varies according to student’s location, practicum location, etc.

*Students are responsible for all travel costs. This includes airfare, ground transportation/connections, and accommodations.

Inaugural Instructor Academy

Elementary I – II (6 – 12)

This program is for Montessori teachers with credentials at any of these levels:  Elementary I (ages 6 – 9), Elementary II (ages 9 – 12), or Elementary I – II (ages 6 – 12). They must also meet the other eligibility requirements detailed higher up on this page.

  • October 5, 2020: Online classes begin
  • Spring 2021: In residence (site and exact dates TBD in conjunction with the cohort)
  • August 2022: Practicum completion deadline

Your Guides

Your learning journey will be facilitated by Joshua Shanklin, MEd, AMS director of learning and professional development. Josh is AMS-credentialed (Elementary II) and AMI-trained (Elementary I – II).

The experience will be supported by presenters who are completely fluent in Montessori philosophy and have substantial experience as TEP instructors.

Residential Component

The location of the 4-day in-residence experience will be determined after all members of the cohort are selected.

Practicum Component

The practicum will be a flexible experience divided over 2 summers. The exact number of hours is TBD.

We are working to determine practicum sites. All will be in AMS-affiliated teacher education programs. In addition, individuals accepted into Academy may reach out to the AMS-affiliated TEPs of their choice to see if they will host them. AMS will provide host TEPs with robust support.

To Apply

Upon receipt of your materials, our team will contact you to arrange a video interview. 

Application Deadline: June 15, 2020

More Information

To learn more about the AMS Teacher Education Instructor Academy, join one of our live Q&A sessions:

Have questions about the Academy?