One of the most frequently asked questions about our Diploma program in Montessori Education is “Will my Montessori certification be recognised internationally?”
First of all – when Montessori institutions say that they offer an ‘International Certification’ it does not mean that the certificate will be ‘internationally’ recognised. There is no certification in Montessori that is recognised in all the countries in the World.
It’s like a doctor’s degree – you learn to become a doctor in one country and when you want to practise in another country, you will need to pass a skills assessment test in that country. I am not sure about all the degrees in the world – but most professional degrees are restrictive.
Let me explain about Montessori Certification:
1. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and passionate educator, developed this approach to education 100 years ago. She wanted ALL children to benefit from her system of education. For this reason she did not copyright her philosophy, findings and materials. She travelled around the world and imparted her knowledge everywhere she went.
2. Inspired, many Montessori training institutions have established themselves over the years. There is no difference in all these institutions with the teaching of Montessori’s philosophy. However, most institutions have had to adapt Montessori’s presentations of the materials to suit their culture.
3. There are institutions that have established themselves having branches and franchises in many countries and they provide ‘International Certifications’. This just means – that their certification will most probably (no guarantees though) be accepted in the countries that they have established their branches.
They maintain uniform standards of instruction and their programs may be relatively expensive and not everyone interested are able to afford them.
4. There are other institutions that provide local certifications or certifications from their own institutes with much lower fees and equally good training.
Here are a few things for you to know:
- A Montessori certification (irrespective of whether it is an ‘International Certification’ or not, does NOT qualify you as a teacher in most countries). Montessori is regarded as a methodology that may be used for teaching but is not a teaching qualification by itself.
- In many countries, you will need to have a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood education to be a qualified preschools teacher.
- Many countries have their preferred Montessori qualification. Just to mention a few:
> In the US, on the West Coast, schools prefer to employ graduates of AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) and in the East coast they prefer AMS (American Montessori Society) graduates. They may not consider Montessori graduates from the UK or any other countries even if the certification is supposed to be Internationally recognised!
> Canada prefers NAMC (North American Montessori Centre) graduates.
> Australia prefers MWEI (Montessori World Education Institute) graduates.
Why is that so? Each institution varies in the way they present the materials that they teach their students. And schools employing Montessori teachers know that and like to maintain uniformity within their system. Training teachers can be time and cost consuming.
4. With regards to Asia:
- There is already a high demand for preschools teachers.
- Montessori is fast becoming popular in preschools.
- Preschools serve a highly multicultural society and therefore are willing to adapt to what works for them.
- Like everywhere else in the world, there is also a high demand for Montessori teachers. The demand is higher than the supply.
With reference to Indonesian rules for teacher qualification, the government now requires preschools teachers to have a minimum qualification of Bachelors in Education (early childhood or otherwise).
However, in reality, there are more preschools than there are graduates in Education (B.Ed) in Indonesia. There are also more Montessori preschools than there are Montessori graduates.
Hence there is a big gap and an equally big problem.
As a result, many preschools in Indonesia are employing teachers with no qualifications and many others are employing teachers with a bachelors degree in any discipline who have varied additional knowledge / skills in teaching. This may go on for a long time.
So Which Certification Should You Go For? How should you decide?
1. Start with your end goal in mind.
It is obvious that you are interested in teaching pre-schoolers and that is why you are reading this in the first place.
The next question to ask would be:
Where would you like to work?
If you are planning to eventually move to another country – and you know where that is, then Google for Montessori teaching jobs being advertised in that country and see what schools are looking for. Call and ask them what Montessori certifications will they accept or look up the websites of the schools in that country / area and if necessary, write and ask them. Look up the regulations with regards to teaching / preschools teachers.
Again, if you are in Asia, it does not really matter. What is important is that you have a good understanding of the Montessori Philosophy and the materials and how to present them effectively.
2. Do your homework:
Once you have decided that you would like to pursue your Diploma in Montessori Education, find a center and do your due diligence. Here are some things to find out:
1. Credibility / Reputable of the Training Institution
Make sure you ask around – I have had a couple of students who came to us halfway through their program that they did elsewhere because they were not happy with the delivery of the program. You don’t want this to happen to you.
2. What do they offer?
Basic Montessori components may be the same – some offer additional modules or learning. We, at Sunshine Teachers’ Training offer additional modules that will prepare you holistically as a preschools teacher. Nothing will be new to you when you start working in a preschools.
3. Request for a free trial class.
Attend a class to get a feel of what you are getting into. You will be able to meet other students and hear first hand about how the program is going for them. You will meet the trainer and see if you like and can easily understand their way of teaching. You will also be able to know what is expected of you during the program.
4. Does the program suit your budget?
Although education is an investment and becoming a Montessori teacher may increase your chances of getting a better pay and will help you cover your investments in just a few months of working, it is very important that you find one that suits your budget. This will ensure that you complete the program without any financial stress.
Note: If you approach a training institution offering ‘International Certification’, ask them if their ‘International certification will mean that you can get a job anywhere in the World as a Montessori teacher’ and see what they say.
Why Teachers Come To Us For Their Teachers Training:
At Sunshine Teachers’ Training, we have had students who have completed their training and were able to get jobs in Malaysia, UK and Panama with our certification. Of course, they were able to meet all other requirements of the country too.
Our students were asked to present the materials and were questioned on the Montessori philosophy during their interviews for the job. Our standard of training is excellent and our students passed these tests with flying colours and got their jobs.
Up to date none of our students have had difficulty securing jobs in Indonesia too.
We are well reputed in Indonesia and take pride in our students’ successes but we do not offer any job guarantees locally or internationally.
Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere – Chinese Proverb.
Whether you are a parent, a teacher or an individual interested in the welfare of children, Montessori program gives you an insight into one of the most successful teaching methodology today. You get to understand, experience and implement this unique teaching methodology that is making big impact on children with different learning needs.
My Advice: You should choose an institution that meets your needs. If possible, visit the institution and meet the trainer. Have all your questions answered and then decide.
At Sunshine Teacher Training, we offer a FREE trial class so you will be able to see, feel and assess what our training is like. You will also have the opportunity to meet with our trainer and other students and see what they are doing. We offer full support to our students all along the way.
Our Montessori program has enabled many parents, teachers and individuals to implement what they learn to children with various learning needs at home, preschools and primary levels.
To find out about our programs, email me at [email protected] or call our trainer Jenny at 0815-9005356.
Sony Vasandani B.Com, M.Ed
Diploma in Special Needs Management
Diploma in Montessori Education
Diploma in Child Day Care Management