Master of Arts in Montessori Leadership
36 Graduate Credits
This master’s degree is for heads of Montessori schools who want to improve their leadership and managerial skills as they run their Montessori schools or prepare for an administrative position in a Montessori school. The foundation of the program are the educational leadership standards adopted by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration, as noted below, and most state educational organizations. The emphasis is on visionary leadership.
The program emphasizes practical preparation for effective leadership of a Montessori school. This is accomplished, in part, through the examination and understanding of the Montessori philosophy, its approach to curriculum and classroom instruction as well as classroom management concerns.
The Montessori courses are written for leadership and represent a specialization in Montessori education. These standards are embedded throughout the coursework and internship. The program is designed to prepare prekindergarten through 12th-grade teachers for administrative positions in public, private, charter, and nonpublic schools and school systems. However, the program does not lead to state licensure as a school assistant principal, principal, or other building or district administrator.
The educational goals and objectives of Sarasota University’s leadership programs are the Educational Leadership Policy Standards: ISLLC 2008, as adopted by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA) on December 12, 2007.
Standard 1: An education leader promotes the success of every student by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by all stakeholders.
- Collaboratively develop and implement a shared vision and mission
- Collect and use data to identify goals, assess organizational effectiveness, and promote organizational learning
- Create and implement plans to achieve goals
- Promote continuous and sustainable improvement
- Monitor and evaluate progress and revise plans
Standard 2: An education leader promotes the success of every student by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and staff professional growth.
- Nurture and sustain a culture of collaboration, trust, learning, and high expectations
- Create a comprehensive, rigorous, and coherent curricular programs
- Create a personalized and motivating learning environment for students
- Supervise instruction
- Develop assessment and accountability systems to monitor student progress
- Develop the instructional and leadership capacity of staff
- Maximize time spent on quality instruction
- Promote the use of the most effective and appropriate technologies to support teaching and learning
- Monitor and evaluate the impact of the instructional program
Standard 3: An education leader promotes the success of every student by ensuring management of the organization, operation, and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.
- Monitor and evaluate the management and operational systems
- Obtain, allocate, align, and efficiently utilize human, fiscal, and technological resources
- Promote and protect the welfare and safety of students and staff
- Develop the capacity for distributed leadership
- Ensure teacher and organizational time is focused to support quality instruction and student learning
Standard 4: An education leader promotes the success of every student by collaborating with faculty and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.
- Collect and analyze data and information pertinent to the educational environment
- Promote understanding, appreciation, and use of the community’s diverse cultural, social, and intellectual resources
- Build and sustain positive relationships with families and caregivers
- Build and sustain productive relationships with community partners
Standard 5: An education leader promotes the success of every student by acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner.
- Ensure a system of accountability for every student’s academic and social success
- Model principles of self-awareness, reflective practice, transparency, and ethical behavior
- Safeguard the values of democracy, equity, and diversity
- Consider and evaluate the potential moral and legal consequences of decision-making
- Promote social justice and ensure that individual student needs inform all aspects of schooling
Standard 6: An education leader promotes the success of every student by understanding, responding to, and influencing the political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.
- Advocate for children, families, and caregivers
- Act to influence local, district, state, and national decisions affecting student learning
- Assess, analyze, and anticipate emerging trends and initiatives in order to adapt leadership strategies.
This specialization provides educators with leadership skills through practical application and provides broad knowledge of social, political, and economic forces at work in society that affect education. Course content is research-based and infuses contemporary practices in education. The Montessori Leadership coursework provides a solid foundation for leading Montessori schools.
Course content draws on the science of leadership (e.g., Marzano, Wheatley), melded with Strengths Theory, and Positive Psychology. The emphasis of coursework is on developing the strengths of students and teachers. Specific courses deal with welcoming all students and assuring that they all receive an effective and enduring education.
Evidence of a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. institution of higher education that is accredited or in candidacy status with an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. department of Education. International students must have their degree evaluated by a recognized member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Evaluations and transcripts received directly from the evaluation service will be accepted as official documents. Foreign transcripts that have not been evaluated will not be accepted by the Office of Admissions. All documents issued in a foreign language must have a certified English translation attached.
- A “B” average (2.7 GPA) or better in all work as an undergraduate student, or a “B” or better average in all work attempted in upper division undergraduate studies, or a “B” or better average in previous graduate work.
- Official transcripts from other institutions of higher learning attended for courses to be applied to the program.
- A copy of your current resume.
- A personal statement (500 words) of professional and educational goals.
- References from three people who can attest to the likelihood of your successful completion of the degree program.
- A valid government issued photo ID.
- For students for whom English is a second language, a minimum score of 530 on the paper-based or 79 on the computer-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), 6.5 on the International English Language Test (IELTS) or 50 on the PTE Academic Score Report.
- Satisfactory completion of program requirements including program specific prerequisites, and fulfillment of all financial obligations.
- A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) and a grade of “C” in no more than 2 courses
- Completion of the program requirements within five years of matriculation
At a minimum, students must have regular access to a computer with Internet connection (preferably broadband) and a web browser. Students are expected to be knowledgeable in basic computer skills. Personal competence in word processing and using email programs is required.
PC Users: Pentium II 300 or equivalent with 96 MB memory, CD ROM, Monitor, Sound Card and Printer. Operating System: Windows XP or higher
Mac Users, please note: Coursework should be accessible via Mac software. Support is available for Mac users.
- Internet Connection
Subscription to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is required (broadband access is highly recommended). Broadband access can be cable modem, digital subscriber line (DSL), T1 Connection, or LAN connection or its equivalent. Students are responsible for clearing any firewall and/or security issues if access to the SU Portal is attempted through a workplace network.
- Web Browser
Make sure you have the best online experience by upgrading your browser to the latest versions of Internet Explorer and/or Firefox.
Sarasota University has established partnerships with MACTE-accredited Montessori Teacher Education Programs and allows students, who have not already earned their MACTE certification, to choose a program that will best fit their particular needs and wants.
Transforming the Adult…
…constructing the guide.
IGS is licensed by the Georgia Nonpublic Post-Secondary Commission and the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.
For more information contact:
Institute for Guided Studies
12A Montessori Way, Camden, SC 29020
Phone: 803-425-6083 Fax: 803-425-6073
Or visit our website:
Courses for Master of Arts in Montessori Leadership
Total Credits: 36
Click on Course Name to View Description
|No Prerequisite is Required for any Course Listed Above|
Strengths-based Educational Leadership
Using the framework of strength-based leadership, students will learn how to apply leadership theory in a way which promotes a culture of commitment, rather than simply compliance. Based upon a background of positive psychology strength-based leadership recognizes the strengths of all employees as a focus, rather than the remediation of weaknesses as a way of doing business. Florida Leadership Standards will be addressed via a crosswalk of the strength-based approach to traditional leadership practice.
In this foundation course, positive psychology (Seligman), strengths psychology (Clifton), and invitational theory (Purkey) are studied as a practical way to accomplish Florida’s leadership standards (Golden). Students learn that great organizations understand that each employee is different and, by emphasizing capabilities rather than deficits, capitalize on those differences. Using the science of strengths-based leadership, students study their own strengths and how to build their educational community around the strengths of each employee to move their schools to greater academic achievement. The invitational theory model shifts from emphasizing control and dominance to one that focuses on connectedness, cooperation, and communication.
Students will investigate the impact of school law on the rights of students and educators as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and will include federal and state statutes and regulations (state and federal statutory and regulatory provisions) as well as tort and contract liability as they influence public education. Students will explore federal and state regulations that present specific processes and procedures to be implemented by school administrators in working with parents, students, and educators.
Educational Budgeting and Finance
Using acquired knowledge of historical and current school finance concepts and applicable state funding procedures for computation, accounting, auditing, and reporting, students will analyze the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of a school budget.
This course also provides an overview of the charter school movement.
Human Resources: Process and Staff Development
This course prepares prospective school administrators in the personnel components of the profession. From analysis of positions to recruitment, selection, induction, retention to termination, current and past court cases are used to understand the historical and legal responsibilities of administrators in today’s educational personnel climate. Readings, case studies, presentations, papers, field experience and group activities are the tools used to cover these topics.
Problem Solving and Visionary Leadership
Effective educational leaders need to be able to work with and through others. Through the activities in this course, the student will develop and apply various leadership, visionary, interpersonal, and supervisory skills. The development of these skills will enhance the students’ ability to problem solve and communicate information to diverse types of stakeholders as consumers of the latest research on a topic. Through practice, students will become familiar with the various online research sites that specialize in leadership and educational research.
Ethical School Leadership
Ethical School Leadership is leadership based on ethical standards of behavior. Since thoughts lead to action, personal beliefs will be examined as to how a belief may affect leadership. Leadership styles and behaviors are examined and students take and examine the results of validated assessments of their own leadership styles. Students will develop a professional code of ethics and values and create and model a set of values for a school. The activities of this course are designed around the indicators of leadership standard: “High Performing Leaders act with integrity, fairness, and honesty in an ethical manner.”
Improving Schools Through Data-driven Change
Students will study generic and their institution’s test, attendance, and graduation data to discuss and describe possible paths to improvement. This course is designed to move leaders from “I think” solutions to “the data suggest” solutions. Students will practice “real world” decision-making to meet the standard: “High Performing Leaders plan effectively, use critical thinking and problem solving techniques, and collect and analyze data for continuous school improvement.” Students will personalize their study to meet the needs of their charter, public and traditional private Montessori schools.
Students will study the research on culturally-responsive education as a means to improve the achievement of all students in the context of Montessori education. They will create standards for teacher selection and evaluation and use those standards to create screening devices that could be used in teacher selection. The theory of “Multiple Intelligences” will be studied for insight into teaching from strengths. Current researched curriculum approaches such as Response to Intervention” will be studied as a way to meet the various instructional needs found in the typical classroom.
This course covers the etiology of and the basic philosophical underpinnings of Montessori Education; including a review of the life of Dr. Maria Montessori. The course compares and contrasts Montessori philosophy with other current educational theoretical models such as Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences. The course also covers Invitational Education, and Strengths Theory.
Montessori Classroom Observation and Management
The course addresses Montessori focused practices regarding classroom observation and management. The combination of personal reflection on classroom observation and management, as well as, actual classroom observations is used to deepen the student’s understanding, appreciation of and ability to apply course topics.
Survey of Montessori Curriculum for Administrators
This course presents an administrator’s overview of the Montessori curriculum from early childhood through adolescence. Specifically, students will explore the Montessori philosophy of educating children from toddler to teenager, as well as age-appropriate teaching techniques and learner explorations. They will study specific content areas, alternative assessments, work plans, and the effective management of Montessori education programs, including observing and assessing educator effectiveness.
School Administrative Practicum: Practical Applications for Montessori Administrators
This course is designed for administrators and instructional leaders who are not working directly in a class setting. This course focuses on school leadership, understanding the Montessori scope and sequence, empowering staff, exceptional student education, record keeping, and a further overview of Montessori philosophy. Assignments include observations of various models of Montessori schools, interviews with school leaders, designing a plan to balance both personal and professional obligations/responsibilities, and a reflection on the practice of leadership.