Montessori course of study title

Scientific observation has established that education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment. The task of the teacher becomes that of preparing a series of motives of cultural activity, and then refraining from obtrusive interference. [As servants of the child] human teachers can only help the great work that is being done.

Doing so, they will be witness to the unfolding of the human soul and to the rising of a New Human who will not be the victim of events, but will have the clarity of vision to direct and shape the future of human society.

Maria Montessori (1946)
Education for a New World

Jan Gaffney Principal, Wa Ora Montessori School Welington

There is a growing awareness that our current institutions, including educational institutions, are not addressing the world's most pressing issues: ecological well-being, social justice, violence and abuse, alienation, and a lack of meaning and inspiration.There is an extraordinary need for institutions to catch up with social reality. Educational programs, which have great impact on the ability to effectively deal with these issues, have a particularly strong obligation in this regard. This program, draws on the twentieth century contributions of Dr. Maria Montessori and her son, Mario Montessori.

Mario Montessori

It is the child and its optimum development, not its stock of knowledge, which is the main objective of Montessori Education

Mario Montessori

Who was Maria Montessori ?

Maria Montessori was born in 1870. Throughout her early years she wanted to be a medical doctor and claimed she would never be a teacher. After focusing on the sciences and engineering during her secondary years she decided to enter Medical school. Turned away by the establishment she persisted until she gained entry.

Her initial work was with mentally challenged children in a psychiatric ward. Through her observations she determined that they were sensorial-deprived so she extended the ideas of Seguin and Itard by providing materials for the children to manipulate. In time, these hospitalized children learn to read and write at adanced levels. Her work gained world-wide attention.

In 1907 she opened the first Casa dei Bambini (Children’s House) in Rome Italy, where slum children were taken in order to remove them from the streets. Her experimental work produced miraculous results with children blossoming into abstract learning through concrete materials-- far beyond their years. It was a process based on observation of the child followed by the child’s self-education in a prepared environment.

As her insights concerning human development expanded, she became an outspoken activist for equal rights for women.

By the early 30’s she was speaking to huge congresses about the nature of a peaceful society that could only emerge from a fundamental shift in the way we educate children.

And in the 1940’s, with her son Mario Montessori at her side, she became convinced that every child needs to be immersed in the story of the universe as the largest context for living life in an interdependent “cosmic” world.

By the time of her death in 1952 she had developed a comprehensive framework for revolutionizing education -- very far from the mainstream of conventional, governmental schooling. Instead of indoctrinating young people to become citizens of a nation her aim was to liberate the child from the entrapment of the adult in order to create a new and harmonious civilization.

Young Maria Montessori

…the real aim of life is the unconscious obedience to the great laws that govern the universe.

Maria Montessori

Questions explored include:

What are the radical roots of the Montessori vision? How do current scientific findings support and expand that vision?

In what ways can we bring a sense of community - local, regional and global - to the learning process?

How is the organization of the school community a further articulation of the Montessori vision?

How might cosmic education lead to systemic thinking, integrated learning and the creation of the new human as described by Maria Montessori?

Montessori Integrative Learning Diagram

Questions explored in Montessori program

Courses of Study

Courses of study include core material --philosophy and content-- along with implementation strategies that form the practicum.

I. The Context

The context and vision are established during the colloquium. In addition there are Montessori and other context-setting readings throughout the program.


II. Montessori Insights

In these segments Maria and Mario Montessori’s world-view will be explored, including the major influences in their lives. “Love, Science and Spirituality” are the words Mario used to describe the approach. With these keystones there is an exploration of the role of observation, the formation of the teacher,normalization, human needs and tendencies, the four planes of development and the “prepared environment.” The prepared environment addresses the creation of the inside and outside physical environment as well as the classroom “atmosphere.” Also included are the ways that adults and young people work together.


III. Options

-Primary The core of this work includes the delivery of Montessori lessons for six to twelve year olds. Essential to this study is an exploration of the process of creating Montessori lessons that respond to the needs of the child. There are also introductions to each of the areas - math, language, geography, history, biology - as well as ways that integrate these focus areas. Cosmic stories form the foundation for all of this work.

-Secondary Students study the foundations of the Montessori approach along with their colleagues in the Primary track. The core of the continued work is an exploration of adolescence and the methods to integrate the knowledge of adolescence with an approach based on Montessori practice. Students and faculty design integrated learning experiences based on systemic and eco-cosmological principles.

-School Leadership This course of study is designed for lead teachers, heads of school, principals and members of school boards. The preparation of the adult who has leadership responsibilities in a Montessori school is dynamically different in scope to ones engaged in other forms of education. While short and long term planning, budgeting, relations with the community and other matters of governance may have much in common with different institutions, the Montessori school leader has a significant role in carrying out the mission of the Montessori movement. There needs to be cohesion and congruence between the administrative aspects of running a school and the values and vision inherent to the Montessori approach.

IV. Practicum

All students are required to complete a 150 hour implementation practicum.

Mario and Maria Montessori

There is a shining figure associated with the name of Maria Montessori, who revolutionized the whole world by her love, by her science and by her spirituality.

Mario Montessori

Joint Enrolment in M.Ed. Program

Students enrolled in the TIME course can have all their work transferred for credit toward the graduate degree, M.Ed. in Montessori Integrative Learning. This program has been established by Endicott College, Massachusetts, USA. The diploma carries worldwide recognition. For detailed information about how this works visit There is a special tuition for New Zealand students that is not reflected at that site. See Fee sections below.




2-8 July 2006  At Christchurch: Primary, Secondary, School Leadership
The balance of the program for Primary is accomplished one week at a time during school holidays through January 2008.

The balance of the program for Secondary and School Leadership is completed on an e-Campus, specially designed for collaborative learning.

A final "in person" colloquium is attended in January 2008 with Primary students.

For details write to:



One of the gifts that humans can bring to Earth's awareness of itself is our dramatic need for and sense of creating meaning. One of the processes of communication that makes this possible is Dialogue. In this case we refer to a variation on a particular form of dialogue described by David Bohm. Bohm's constant thread that particularly relates to our dialogue is that we are investigating the possibilities for:

  • The emergence of shared meaning
  • Increasing awareness of our own and others assumptions
  • Increasing sensitivity and willingness to "listen"
  • The creation of space between our reaction and our response
  • A willingness to experiment with the principles described


These are some of the hallmarks of process that we may take into our teaching-learning experience.

Montessori dialogue

Montessori Teaching Credential

The Institute for Montessori Education (TIME) awards students with the Montessori teaching credential.

Montessori Teaching Credential


Philip Snow Gang, Ph.D. cofounder of TIME

Philip Gang is author of Rethinking Education and Conscious Education: The Bridge To Freedom. He created the ecological game, Our Planet, Our Home, and he appears in the anthology, Towards a New World View: Conversations at the Leading Edge.

After a ten year career in engineering and business, Gang became a Montessori teacher. He has been a Montessori school head, consultant and educator of teachers. In 1978 he helped initiate the National Erdkinder Consortium - a group dedicated to founding Montessori secondary schools. During the next decade he worked with Mario Montessori Sr. and Mario Montessori Jr to establish parameters for Montessori "experiments" with adolescents.

In the early 90's Gang was on the faculty of California Institute of Integral Studies as a professor-mentor to students engaged in doctoral studies in the School of Transformative Learning. This was the first collaborative on-line distance learning program.

Today, Gang’s major interest is exploring eco-cosmological patterns and their implications for the human journey.

Philip Snow Gang Ph.D.
AMI 6-12 Training 1973
AMI 3-6 Training 1982
AMI Training of Trainers 1980-1984


Philip Snow Gang - Co-founder of the Institute of Montessori Education

Marsha Snow Morgan, MA cofounder of TIME

Marsha Morgan has worked as a Montessori teacher, school director, educator of Montessori teachers, consultant, and workshop leader. These initiatives have taken her through Europe, South America, North America and the Pacific Rim. In New Zealand she is Founder of Ripple Education Community the predecessor of Nova Montessori School. She has been active in the Kids Edible Garden Project -- a program to place permaculture gardens in government schools.

Before moving to New Zealand in 1982, Marsha was active member of the National Erdkinder Consortium in the USA.

The main focus of her work is perceiving systemic patterns in the design and creation of learning communities. She explains “We are storytellers, mythmakers and symbol designers. Addressing the present planetary crises through Montessori education may provide new possibilities for Gaian renewal.” Her graduate thesis was titled: "An Ecogenesis for Education: A Context for Learning."

Marsha Snow Morgan, MA
AMI 6-12 Training 1970
3-6 Training Mexico City 1968-70


Marsha Snow Gang - Co-founder of the Institute of Montessori Education

Philip and Marsha direct a USA, internet-based Master of Education graduate program that leads to an M.Ed. in Montessori Integrative Learning. They are also the creators of EarthTies, a virtual web-conferencing network promoting The Great Work; and their most recent work is a newly published revision to the ecological awareness game, Our Planet, Our Home, and the CD-Rom, An Introduction to Montessori Radical Education.



Steven Arnold

Steven Arnold has worked in Montessori since 1993 when he graduated from Bergamo AMI 6 -12 course. He is currently Founder and Co -Director of Athena Montessori College, a Montessori secondary school in Wellington New Zealand. He has acted as a consultant to Montessori schools in New Zealand, USA and Australia. Steven has a BSc in Psychology and a BA in Drama. He also holds current state qualifications, and is currently studying for both AMS qualifications in Secondary and the MEd in Montessori Integrative Learning. Steven has taught in a variety of settings including in South East Asia, Europe, Australasia. He has worked with learners from 3 - 80, including University lecturer, school teacher (primary and secondary) and as an adult mentor.

Philip Snow Gang Ph.D.
AMI 6-12 Training 1973
AMI 3-6 Training 1982
AMI Training of Trainers 1980-1984


Other Faculty Include:

Jan Gaffney - Primary and School Leadership Courses
Principal, Wa Ora Montessori School, Wellington; holds Aperfield 3 - 6, MWEI 0 - 9, TIME 6-12.


Steven Arnold Montessori teacher


The cost of each course of study is $4,500 (+GST), which includes all classes/workshops as well as an on site professional development visit (within New Zealand). It does not include the cost of books estimated at $250.

Individuals that seek the M.Ed. degree in Montessori Integrative Learning will pay an additional tuition fee directly to Endicott College. The normal tuition for this graduate program is $16,200 USD. With joint enrolment, the M.Ed. fees can be substantially reduced for New Zealand citizens. Write for details.