Montessori Specialization

Janet Colaianni, M.Ed., Director


The Montessori Teacher Education Program is a specialization under the Chestnut Hill College Early Childhood Education Program.  Montessori specialized courses are comprised of two main elements: course work on the philosophy, theory and curriculum materials of the Montessori method of education and a two semester (540 hours) supervised practicum / internship in an approved Montessori school.  Successful completion of the program qualifies the student for an Early Childhood Credential from the American Montessori Society to work with children ages 2 ½ to 6 years in a Montessori environment.  The program is an affiliate of the American Montessori Society and is accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education. 


At Chestnut Hill College, the Montessori specialization offers an exciting alternative and an interesting perspective for those who desire to work with young children as well as experienced teachers.  Montessori education has a philosophy of child growth and learning that focuses on: 

  • designing an environment in which young children may live, learn and develop at their own pace.  
  • developing a curriculum that adapts to the individual needs of young children while fostering creativity, personal responsibility, and community participation.   
  • preparing students to gain specific insights and sensitivities toward the child’s total development: mind, body, and spirit.  

Individuals are encouraged to visit at least one Montessori school before deciding to enroll in Chestnut Hill College's Montessori Teacher Education Program.   In the Chestnut Hill area, Norwood-Fontbonne Academy is our “lab school.”  Observers are always welcome to call for an appointment at 215.242.1611 to observe in any of the Montessori Early Childhood environments on that school’s campus. Other Montessori schools invite observers who are interested in pursuing Montessori training.  If possible, it is both recommended and beneficial to see several environments before entering the program. 


Reading about the Montessori philosophy can be of tremendous assistance in making a decision to enroll in the Montessori program.  There are many books by Maria Montessori and about her pedagogical approach to children.  However, for an overview of Montessori education as it is in America today, we suggestMontessori: A Modern Approach by Paula Polk Lillard available at the CHC bookstore or the American Montessori Society, 281 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10010:  


Program Options 

The Montessori education program consists of seven (7) courses plus a yearlong internship. Courses are offered during the fall and spring semesters. Some courses are offered in an accelerated format during the summer.  

Students have the following program options: 

  • Courses can be taken for undergraduate credit leading to a Montessori Certificate 
  • Courses can be taken for non-credit leading to a Montessori Certificate only 
  • Courses can be taken for graduate credit leading to a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education plus a Montessori Certificate  

For information on Montessori certification (non credit or undergraduate credit) contact the Montessori Program director, Janet Colaianni at or 215.248.7123 


For information on graduate credit, contact Graduate Admissions at 215.248.7097 or or Graduate Programs  


Undergraduate Credit leading to a Montessori Certificate 

Students may take Montessori courses for undergraduate credit with approval from their academic advisor. For undergraduate credit, separate application to and acceptance in the School of Undergraduate Studies or the School of Continued Studies/ Accelerated Program is required.  


The student’s academic advisor will determine the number of courses that can be applied toward both a Bachelor’s degree and Montessori certification. 


Professional Requirements: 

To be determined by the student’s academic advisor. 


Prerequisite - Montessori  

Child Development/Psychology is a required prerequisite course.  This course can be taken as an undergraduate, or non-credit course within the Chestnut Hill College Education Department. Students may also opt to take this course at a community college or another university.  

  • EDP4 201 Child Development or EDUCU 202 Educational Psychology / MONC 027 for non-credit or equivalent  

Specialization Requirements - Montessori 29 credits   

  • EDMN 220 Montessori Philosophy and Educational Theory (3 cr.) 
  • EDMN 221 Montessori:  Everyday Living (3 cr.)  
  • EDMN 222 Montessori:  Sensorial  (3 cr.) 
  • EDMN 223 Montessori:  Math  (3 cr.) 
  • EDMN 224 Montessori:  Language (3 cr.)  
  • EDMN 225 Montessori:  Natural and Social Science  (3 cr.) 
  • EDMN 226 Montessori; Education for Peace   (1 credit)  
  • EDMN 430 & 431 Montessori Fall Internship & Seminar  (5 cr.) 
  • EDMN 432 & 433 Montessori Spring Internship/Seminar   (5 cr.) 

AMS Credential  

Students seeking Montessori Certification are required to pay two membership fees prior to their internship year. One fee is payable to the American Montessori Society and the other to the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education.    


Students holding a Bachelor’s degree or greater will be awarded a full Early Childhood Credential from the American Montessori Society upon successful completion of all program requirements.