University of Delaware

06/21/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/21/2024 08:10

Moving ahead with Montessori

Moving ahead with Montessori

Article by Eric RuthPhotos by Evan KrapeJune 21, 2024

UD Professional and Continuing Studies teacher training program is evolving into a force for change

For many years now, the people working to nudge Montessori education into the mainstream believed they had a lot of good answers for strengthening Delaware's public schools. But they also faced more than a few good questions:

How will teachers get the intensive training needed to master the technique? Who will support those teachers once they are trained? And what can be done to give more parents access to a movement that has historically been the domain of elite private schools?

At the University of Delaware, those existential educational questions are now leading to some practical answers, thanks to a still-growing program that seeks to bring the "Montessori method" within everyone's reach, both in Delaware and around the country.

In just four years, the UD Montessori Teacher Residency program within the Division of Professional and Continuing Studies (UD PCS) has expanded its mission far beyond the original two-year certification residency that has produced 15 teachers for schools in and beyond Delaware. Early in its existence, the program was instrumental in the 2020 launch of the Sussex Montessori Academy, a school in southern Delaware that has a keen focus on low-income children and is now staffed by many UD-trained teachers.

Today, UD's program-known as UDMTR-is ready to reach higher and further, building on the momentum of recent accomplishments.

Last year, the program was awarded crucial accreditation for elementary education (ages 6-12) from the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education. It is also expected to earn credentials for early childhood education (ages 3-6) in spring 2025. At the same time, the program's organizers began pushing ahead with an effort to provide professional development support for Montessori schools in Philadelphia, Baltimore and as far away as Wisconsin and Oregon.