Master of Arts in Montessori Leadership

36 Graduate Credits

Montessori Leadership Masters

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.

Program Description and Purpose

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.

Program Goals

Graduates of the Montessori Leadership Program will:

  1. Practice strategic leadership that promotes a vision, mission, values, beliefs and goals for ethical, mssion-driven21st century schools.
  2. Create structures that advance organizational and professional learning.
  3. Display knowledge of the best instructional and school practices that result in an environment of accountability and high standards for all students.
  4. Advance equity and agency across geographic, belief-based, economic, societal, and political borders.
  5. Pass leadership learnings on to students and other community stakeholders.
  6. Implement managerial leadership skills in budgeting, staffing, problem solving, and communicating in order to meet the 21st century needs of every classroom.
  7. Display and implement fundamental Montessori knowledge and understanding.
  8. Utilize Positive Psychology, and a Strengths-Based approach to increase their personal and professional capabilities.
Admissions and Graduation Requirements

Admission Requirements

  • 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.

Graduation Requirements

  • 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
Technology Requirements
  • Computer
    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.
  • Hardware
    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.

Master of Arts in Montessori Leadership Courses

Total Credits: 36

Click on Course Name to View Description, Program Goal Alignment, and Course Outcomes

EDL 600 - Strengths-based Educational Leadership (3 credits)
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.

Program Goal Alignment

  • Utilize Positive Psychology, and a Strengths-Based approach to increase their personal and professional capabilities.

Course Outcomes

  1. Compare and contrast Strengths Theory, Seligman’s Positive Psychology Theory, and Purkey’s Invitational Theory.
  2. Identify your top five strengths and create strategies for developing a deeper understanding of their value in context and application with people and processes.
  3. Understand and apply the tenets of positive psychology by developing a plan on how to focus on a person’s talents and facilitate higher levels of growth in areas such as hope, self–esteem, happiness, hope, optimism, purpose, and resiliency.
  4. Analyze the power of partnerships and how important these relationships can be in the development of competence, self–identity, and professional development.
  5. Identify and describe important leadership traits within an organizational context, and the added value of strengths-based leadership as a catalyst of productivity, innovation, and increased energy.
  6. Describe how to observe and recognize the strengths of others, including students.
  7. Apply and demonstrate a strengths paradigm to teaching and learning and guide a student’s desire to learn and grow, develop interest and increased energy from the learning process, and reach increased academic performance.
  8. Develop a self–awareness of your own leadership capacities and develop an action plan for factors are vital to leading others and organizations.
EDL 601 - School Law (3 credits)
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.

Program Goal Alignment

  • Create structures that advance organizational and professional learning.

Course Outcomes

  1. Identify, analyze, and provide examples of the four primary sources of law.
  2. Differentiate between substantive and procedural due process as they relate to student discipline.
  3. Analyze appropriate school governance roles at the federal, state, and local levels.
  4. Construct appropriate responses to Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause issues.
  5. Analyze issues related to school liability based on knowledge of state and federal law.
  6. Define the role of due process in personnel management and explain effective documentation and remediation procedures.
  7. Summarize concepts and create examples relating to student and teacher rights to free speech and privacy.
EDL 603 - Educational Budgeting and Finance (3 credits)
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.

Program Goal Alignment

  • Create structures that advance organizational and professional learning.
  • Implement managerial leadership skills in budgeting, staffing, problem solving, and communicating in order to meet the 21st century needs of every classroom.

Course Outcomes

  1. Outline and describe the basics of the school budgeting process.
  2. Discover and describe the specific funding that your school receives from the state.
  3. Explain examples of how the budget and school funding impacts student achievement.
  4. Describe the importance of school culture, transparency with stakeholders, and resource allocation.
  5. Research and describe the school funding model for your state.
  6. Review and create a basic financial checklist for principals.
  7. Categorize financial tasks into groups by yearly, quarterly, monthly, and weekly tasks and describe the roles and responsibilities of the bookkeeper.
  8. Read and interpret financial reports and recognize the typical categories and criteria for financial reports for school campuses.
  9. Consider your strengths and describe the level of involvement that you would have in school finances, based on your talents.
EDL 604 Human Resources: Process and Staff Development (3 credits)
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.

Program Goal Alignment

  • Create structures that advance organizational and professional learning.
  • Implement managerial leadership skills in budgeting, staffing, problem solving, and communicating in order to meet the 21st century needs of every classroom.

Course Outcomes

  1. Identify and describe the four key actions for a human resource management team.
  2. Suggest how you would attract the best teachers for your campus if you were the principal.
  3. Identify and describe the recruitment process of attracting applicants for the positions needed at your campus/organization.
  4. Describe the plan for retaining top talent in your organization.
  5. Locate, research, and analyze the performance management and appraisal criteria, system, forms, etc. that your school or organization uses.
  6. Summarize and describe on–boarding, required training, needs analysis for professional development, growth plans, and exit plans for your organization.
  7. Summarize and describe how your organization structures compensation design and management.
  8. Outline the procedures and escalation paths for when policies and protocols are violated.
EDL 608 Problem Solving and Visionary Leadership (3 credits)
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.

Program Goal Alignment

  • Create structures that advance organizational and professional learning.
  • Advance equity and agency across geographic, belief-based, economic, societal, and political borders.
  • Pass leadership learning on to student and other community stakeholders.
  • Utilize Positive Psychology, and a Strengths-Based approach to increase their personal and professional capabilities.

Course Outcomes

  1. Analyze and describe the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, as defined by Kouzes & Posner, 2012).
  2. List ways that visionary leaders can empower team members to solve problems and successfully contribute to becoming leaders within their own organizations.
  3. Discuss the benefits of empowering everyone in the organization to act like a leader.
  4. Describe effective ways to conduct team-building exercises and outline how to secure the necessary resources.
  5. Identify the benefits of developing and sharing a clear vision for the staff and educators.
  6. Compare and contrast effective and less-effective ways to gain “buy-in” from the staff on difficult issues or policies that are mandated.
EDL 610 Ethical School Leadership (3 credits)
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.”

Program Goal Alignment

  • Advance equity and agency across geographic, belief-based, economic, societal, and political borders.
  • Pass leadership learning on to student and other community stakeholders.
  • Utilize Positive Psychology, and a Strengths-Based approach to increase their personal and professional capabilities.

Course Outcomes

  1. Summarize the concept of “ethical leadership” and its importance in the world today
  2. Know and understand the tenets of ethical leadership in an academic setting based on various “codes of ethics”
  3. Analyze and apply the eight “trust pillars” in both profession, personal and academic setting
  4. Contrast true ethical leadership with the lack there of, either with historical or current examples
  5. Create a personal and professional code of ethics using the ideals set forth in the class
EDU 620 Improving Schools Through Data-driven Change (3 credits)
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.

Program Goal Alignment

  • Create structures that advance organizational and professional learning.

Course Outcomes

  1. Identify and outline the various ways that data can be collected and how the data can be used to inform decisions.
  2. Describe how data provides educators with an overview of the strengths and weaknesses in targeted areas and why this is important.
  3. Outline the eight steps that help guide the data-driven decision-making process.
  4. Explain the Sustainable School Improvement Cycle and the benefits.
  5. Identify and outline essential elements of a solid action plan.
  6. Describe how baseline benchmarks and other measurements effect developing an action plan.
  7. Explain how student achievement data collection and implementation can determine how well that data support the instructional decision making by principals and teachers.
  8. Describe how your personal strengths align to data tasks of a school administrator.
EDU 621 Culturally-responsive Education (3 credits)
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.

Program Goal Alignment

  • Practice strategic leadership that promotes a vision, mission, values, beliefs and goals for ethical, mission-driven 21st century schools.
  • Display knowledge of the best instructional and school practices that result in an environment of accountability and high standards for all students.
  • Advance equity and agency across geographic, belief-based, economic, societal, and political borders.

Course Outcomes

  1. Compare and contrast how school culture can impact and affect the leading, teaching, and learning, of a school.
  2. Analyze and describe visible and implicit ways that a school’s culture can reveal itself to administrators, teachers, students, and parents.
  3. Identify and describe how culture creation is an important role for educators and administrators to help shape the culture of a school.
  4. Identify and describe how educators and administrators can create a culture that fosters and supports student learning outcomes.
  5. Identify school culture factors that support developing professional capacity.
  6. Analyze and describe challenges that teachers and school leaders face in working with parents in culturally diverse communities and provide suggestions for overcoming those challenges.
  7. Outline how school partnerships with the community can benefit student learning.
  8. Analyze and describe a realistic time frame for planning a school culture re-boot from the idea phase to sustaining improved practice.
  9. Identify and list key activities of school culture re-boot that should occur during the first year of the re-boot process.
  10. Reflect on your personal strengths and how they can aid in creating a culturally responsive school.
EDUM 601 - Montessori Philosophy (3 credits)
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.

Program Goal Alignment

  • Display knowledge of the best instructional and school practices that result in an environment of accountability and high standards for all students.
  • Display and implement fundamental Montessori knowledge and understanding.

Course Outcomes

  1. Explain Dr. Montessori’s theory of the way that children naturally learn
  2. Appreciate the significant features involved in the Montessori philosophy in relation to the teacher, the child, and the environment.
  3. Develop a deeper understanding of how your top five strengths align to key components in the Montessori theory.
  4. Explore strategies to help students and teachers discover and use their strengths in the Montessori classroom
  5. Articulate and demonstrate a philosophy of education that respects and treats children with dignity, equality, and social responsibility, across national, racial, economic, and ideological boundaries.
  6. Discuss the development of Montessori Theory and identify its major elements.
  7. Apply Montessori theory and principles as they relate to all aspects of the curriculum.
  8. Interpret curriculum theory, Montessori core and cosmic curriculum, and their rationale and sequence.
EDUM 602 Montessori Classroom Observation and Management (3 credits)
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.

Program Goal Alignment

  • Display knowledge of the best instructional and school practices that result in an environment of accountability and high standards for all students.
  • Create structures that advance organizational and professional learning
    Display and implement fundamental Montessori knowledge and understanding.

Course Outcomes

  1. Explain Montessori’s vision of observation and the three-period lesson.
  2. Describe the role of the Montessori teacher to develop the social, emotional, & academic growth of students.
  3. Outline a plan to prepare the learning environment for student success, accounting for various age groups.
  4. Identify effective strategies for management and discipline in a Montessori learning environment.
  5. Describe the key elements for preparing the learning environment for student success.
  6. Implement and analyze various observation techniques to use with children from 2½ to 14 years of age.
  7. Compare and contrast effective ways to measure student learning outcomes in a Montessori class.
EDUM 609 Survey of Montessori Curriculum for Administrators (3 credits)

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.

Program Goal Alignment

  • Advance equity and agency across geographic, belief-based, economic, societal, and political borders.
  • Display and implement fundamental Montessori knowledge and understanding.

Course Outcomes

  1. Describe why a career as a Montessori school administrator is a career path that aligns with your strengths.
  2. Exhibit a practical understanding of the Montessori elementary curriculum.
  3. Identify the six major Montessori curriculum areas and discuss their scope and sequence.
  4. Apply effective strategies, methods, and techniques related to the purpose, design, function, and use of materials as they connect concrete and abstract thinking from the simple and concrete to complex to abstract methods
  5. Discuss the major components of the ideal Montessori material presentation.
  6. Learn how to rationalize and communicate with educators, parents/families, and community the value of Montessori materials and their relationship to teaching and learning from the didactic level (concrete) to the scholarly level (abstract).
  7. Learn how to establish a classroom climate of Montessori materials that fosters learning, equity, and unity of shared knowledge in order to create an environment that is effective in advancing student learning outcomes across all areas of curriculum.
EDUM 619 Leadership in the Montessori Setting (3 credits)
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.

Program Goal Alignment

  • Practice strategic leadership that promotes a vision, mission, values, beliefs, and goals for ethical, mission-driven 21st century schools. 
  • Create structures that advance organizational and professional learning.
  • Display knowledge of the best instructional and school practices that result in an environment of accountability and high standards for all students.
  • Advance equity and agency across geographic, belief-based, economic, societal, and political borders.
  • Pass leadership learnings on to students and other community stakeholders.
  • Implement managerial leadership skills in budgeting, staffing, problem solving, and communicating in order to meet the 21st century needs of every classroom.
  • Display and implement fundamental Montessori knowledge and understanding.
  • Utilize Positive Psychology, and a Strengths-Based approach to increase their personal and professional capabilities.

Course Outcomes

  1. Identify and develop a list of leadership skills specific for a lead teacher, level lead, committee head, curriculum coordinator, board member, having a student teacher or practicum student and the interrelatedness of the web of connections.
  2. Identify personal biases, cultural history/experiences and become culturally aware of the interaction with others.
  3. Analyze leadership paradigms and identify personal preferences in leadership style.
  4. Prepare for and lead materials practice sessions and/or other community event.
  5. Examine various protocols for use in practice and apply them in a group. 
  6. Reflect on the dynamics of leadership and personal preparation of the leader.
  7. Create and introduce guidelines for peace education.
  8. Reflect on impact of leadership and implications for future opportunities.

 


AFFILIATIONS

Sarasota University has established affiliations 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.

Montessori Live

For more information about this partnership and how credits may be applied, please contact Sarasota University Admission at 866.582.8448 ext “0” or Montessori Live at 941.484.4991.

If you would like to learn more about  Montessori Livetm , click here.

Institute for Guided Studies

Transforming the Adult…

TheInstituteforGuidedStudies

…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

Email: igscamden@bellsouth.net

Or visit our website:

www.igs-montessori.net

Contact Admissions