Master of Education in Montessori Education

It’s a different approach to teaching… and that’s what draws you toward Montessori education.

You believe children learn best through active engagement, using a wide variety of carefully designed materials. You understand that classroom environments should foster the development of independence and self-discipline. You know children have an innate need to be part of a supportive community.

These are the tenets of the Montessori approach, and they are the standards by which you will train in Lander’s Montessori program. We offer a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education with Montessori emphasis and a Master of Education in Montessori Education.

With a longstanding tradition of producing talented teachers, Lander’s Department of Teacher Education focuses on empowering and encouraging students to become not only competent professionals, but also lifelong learners and responsible citizens. Our faculty members have extensive experience in teaching children and young adults, and many also serve on statewide education committees, giving you invaluable access to the latest state regulations and policies.

And with small class sizes and many professional and student organizations on campus, you’ll have opportunities to get to know others who share your interest in education.

You want to teach and to teach well. We’ll help you achieve that goal with a degree from Lander.

What is the Montessori method?

Dr. Maria Montessori, who originated this approach to educating children, was an Italian physician whose work with young special-needs children led her to design innovative materials and activities that provide hands-on learning experiences.

Montessori is an approach based on the belief that all children are unique and deserve classrooms and teachers that support and respect their individual development. Additionally, it is based on the premise that the most important years for learning are from birth through elementary school.

The Montessori educational approach has several key concepts:

  • The goal of a Montessori classroom is to produce competent, responsible, adaptive citizens who are lifelong learners and problem-solvers.
  • Children learn by manipulating materials and interacting with others through experiences that are self-initiated under a responsive teacher’s guidance.
  • Learning takes place through the senses and occurs most readily in an atmosphere that is inquisitive, cooperative and nurturing.
  • Respect for oneself, others, the environment and life are essential for learning.

The Montessori education curricula

Lander is the only institution of higher learning in South Carolina to offer a program leading to national certification in Montessori education. Certification courses are offered at undergraduate and graduate levels, and upon completion of the program, teachers have a credential that is recognized worldwide.

Master of Education – Montessori Education
Teachers enrolled in the M.Ed. in Montessori Education program at Lander have the option to select one of three concentrations leading to American Montessori Society certification at the Early Childhood (ages 3-6), Elementary I (grades 1-3) or Elementary II (grades 4-6) level.

The degree is designed with a core of foundation courses supplemented by a field-based practicum that includes an action research component and a block of Montessori-specific pedagogy courses. You’ll work in a Montessori classroom as part of your studies.

Lander also offers a B.S. in early childhood education, with an emphasis in Montessori. More information is available through the university Department of Teacher Education.

Did you know …

  • All teacher education programs are accredited by the appropriate professional associations. In addition, Lander University has earned accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
  • Lander University is one of the few institutions of higher education in the nation – and the only in South Carolina – to offer a master’s level Montessori teacher education program leading to national certification from the American Montessori Society.
  • Lander’s Montessori teacher education program is fully accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE).
  • Out-of-state students may be eligible to attend for in-state tuition. For more information visit the Southern Regional Education Board web site.

Life after Lander

Because Montessori education is rapidly becoming an accepted choice in many South Carolina school districts, demand is growing for nationally certified teachers.

Lander education graduates are teaching – and teaching well – throughout the state and beyond. Our alumni have earned prestigious accolades for their efforts, including South Carolina Teacher of the Year, National Distinguished Principal of the Year and Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching for South Carolina.

Learn More

For further information, please contact Barbara Ervin in the College of Education at 864-388-8751 or Martine Fezler at 864-388-8628. For full degree requirements, program goals and more, visit the department's section of the university catalog.