AMI Elementary (6-12) diploma course

The Montessori Elementary classroom feeds the six-to-twelve year old child's insatiable appetite for learning, offering boundless opportunities to build their own knowledge within a collaborative community. Our MACTE accredited AMI Elementary training supports your growth as a storyteller, imagination-sparker, and ethical compass to provide the child with the keys to explore the universe.  

We are currently accepting applications!

Academic Year - Now Enrolling!

Director of Training

Elise Huneke-Stone


Academic Year 2017 - 2018

Course Dates

Primary Foundations*
July 17, 2017 - August 15, 2017
*This course is required for all students who do not hold an AMI Primary diploma
Elementary Course
September 6, 2017 - June 2, 2018

Daily Schedule

Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 3:30pm


View the MNW Elementary Course 4 (Portland-Academic Year) Student Handbook 2015-2016 PDF

View the MNW Elementary Course 6 (Spokane-Three Summers) Student Handbook 2015-2017 PDF

Course description

The AMI Elementary diploma course offers an in-depth study of Montessori theory and practice for individuals who aspire to work with children aged six to twelve. During more than 1200 hours of teacher preparation, students thoroughly explore Montessori principles, teaching techniques, and elementary content lessons as offered in the Montessori lower and upper elementary classrooms.

The children at this age explore the universe through their imaginations and growing reasoning minds. A combination of inspiring stories, hands-on materials, and self-directed activity, guided by the development of individual and social responsibility, gives the children the interest and skills needed to explore traditional academic studies, as well as music, art, and drama. The Montessori teacher offers opportunities for collaborative intellectual exploration in which the children’s interests are supported and guided. The trained adult also supports the development of self-confidence, imagination, intellectual independence, and self-efficacy.

The Montessori teacher works with the developmental characteristics of elementary children, guiding them through an integrated curriculum which fosters a deep understanding of their role in their community, in their culture, and in the natural world. The Montessori teacher forms a strong bond with the children and is able to support their individual strengths as well as address any difficulties that arise.

By drawing deeply upon the stories of human history and our knowledge of the universe, students will learn how to communicate to children the keys for exploring the awe-inspiring and interconnected nature of our world. This intensive course provides a solid foundation for the Montessori elementary teacher’s work.

Academic requirements

Please note: Elementary students who do not have an AMI Primary (3-6) diploma are required to complete the Primary Foundations component of the course.

Students in the Elementary course produce comprehensive teaching manuals to support their ongoing work with children: Primary Foundations, Biology, Geography, History, Mathematics, Geometry, Language, Music, Art, and Montessori Theory and Implementation. These teaching manuals form a large component of the students’ work throughout the course, and are based on demonstrations and lectures given by the trainers, and on the students’ work with staff and other members of the cohort in the practice classroom.

Students create many of their own classroom materials, primarily posters and timelines used as keys to spark the children’s imaginations and help them grasp core concepts. In addition, students in the Elementary Training course will complete the required number of observation hours and practice teaching in AMI elementary classroom during the academic year. These arrangements are made by the training center.

Comprehensive written and oral examinations at the end of the course verify that each student has met the standards of the Association Montessori Internationale.


Why take AMI training at Montessori Northwest?

  • Students will join a dynamic, diverse cohort guided by experienced, compassionate staff.
  • The course opens with a unique Orientation to Cosmic Education for all participants.
  • MNW trainers offer innovative and responsive course delivery.
  • Montessori Northwest benefits from partnerships with national and international education organizations to enrich the training and support continuous professional development.

As a student at MNW, you will contribute to a dynamic community of inspired and motivated individuals. MNW offers a unique student experience that embodies Montessori principles applied to adult education. An essential Montessori principle is taking responsibility for your own learning, and by preparing yourself in the following ways you will be positioned for success in the course.

Time management

An AMI training course can present a demanding schedule. Elementary students are in class from 8:30am to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday, and many students arrive early and stay late for additional practice. You can expect to spend an additional 2-4 hours per day on your work outside of class time, as well as extra time on weekends. To prepare yourself for success in the course, structure your commitments to allow you ample time and energy for your coursework. Consider how your commute may affect your schedule.


In order to stay on track, skills in organization and attention to detail are important; lapses in organization can make the course stressful. Courses are delivered in an integrated, non-linear manner; you will need to manage several assignments at once. Consider the systems you will use to help you track your work and stay organized. This may also include how to structure files and folders on your computer, and organizing your home workspace.

Observation and Practice Teaching

Observation and practice teaching are required components of the course. For academic year courses both are organized by the training center, and are completed during pre-scheduled times within the course year. Most students are placed in host schools in the Portland area, but also have the option of completing some observation and practice teaching in locations other than Portland. You will be responsible for your own transportation to and from the host school (which may not be close to your home), and your daily schedule will be affected.

For summer courses, alternate observation and practice teaching schedules can be considered, and requirements can be completed at qualified sites away from Portland.

Employment during the course

We do not recommend that students work during their studies at MNW. The workload of the course is heavy, and will make it challenging for you to have a job.

Use of technology

Students take notes by hand during the course lectures, discussions, and demonstrations. Laptops, tablets, and mobile devices are not allowed in the classroom during class time. You should prepare for extensive handwritten note-taking. Laptops and other devices may be used on breaks and outside of class time or for some course activities as arranged by the trainer. Unauthorized recording is not permitted.

A reliable computer and color printer are essential, as the vast majority of coursework will be typed from handwritten class notes. Neat and consistent formatting is expected, requiring proficient use of a word processing program such as Word, Pages, or Google Drive.

Reliable and regular back-up of your computer is essential. Consider using an online back-up service to make sure your work is safe.

Communication in the Course

MNW staff communicate with students via email, social networking (primarily Facebook), and online data storage systems. You will need access to a reliable email account, internet access, and familiarity with downloading and storing files.


[View the Elementary Book Order Form PDF]

What books will I have to buy?

Our Book Order form is divided into three categories: required books, recommended books, and related books. Students should purchase all required books before or shortly after starting the course. Books are available for purchase at MNW, in limited supply. Books may also be available through other sources such as and

Supplies and Materials

You will receive specific guidance about exact requirements at the start of the course, but all students will need these items to start:

  • Computer, printer, and internet access
  • Ample note-taking supplies (ie: large multi-subject notebooks
  • Colored pencils for album illustrations
  • Copy paper

Charts and Timelines

The AMI Elementary course requires students to create visual aids, primarily posters (charts) and timelines, which will be used in the classroom. These pre-printed charts and timelines must be colored by students to show understanding of their use. You will be required to purchase these shortly after the course begins (this cost is included in the estimate below). You are also required to purchase the art supplies to complete the charts and timelines. You will be advised about these supplies after the course begins.

What are the costs?

Costs vary depending on supplier and thriftiness of the student. For students on a budget, Portland has many alternatives to office supply stores, such as Goodwill and Scrap.

Students can expect to spend between $1000 and $2000 on office and material supplies throughout the course.


Tuition and Fees

Portland Academic Year Course 2017 - 2018
Enrollment fee:
$50 for Priority Admissions
$150 for complete applications received by May 15, 2017
Primary Foundations Course: $2,000
Elementary Course Tuition: $13,000**
**Tuition includes membership to AMI, NAMTA, and EAA

Various payment options are available. Please contact us for more information.

Course-Related Expenses: Students should budget between $1500 to $2500 to cover books, stationery supplies, transportation to and from observation and practice teaching host school, and material making costs.

scholarships and FINANCIAL AID


Montessori Northwest offers scholarships for 30% - 50% off tuition to those who have already applied and been accepted to a course offered by Montessori Northwest. Visit MNW Scholarship Funds to learn more.


Loyola University
MNW has a cooperative program with Loyola University Maryland. Students participating in this M.Ed. option are eligible for financial aid to cover both the MNW diploma course as well as the Masters credits. Please contact MNW admission for more details at

Whitworth University
MNW has a cooperative program with Whitworth Univeristy in Spokane. Students participating in this M.Ed. option (Spokane elementary course only) are eligible for financial aid to cover both the MNW diploma course as well as the Masters credits. Please contact MNW admission for more details at or (800) 221-9107

MES Fund
The Margaret Elizabeth Stephenson (MES) Fund is administered by AMI-USA. To apply for this financial aid candidates must first be accepted into an AMI Course. The AMI-USA office must receive applications by May 1st. Visit the AMI-USA website for more information.

Veterans Education Benefits
MNW is proud to have the opportunity to help Veterans utilize their VA Educational Benefits. For more information please contact Andrea in our Admissions Department at

School Sponsorships
Sponsorships for AMI teacher education are available. Students can find more information and a school listing on the AMI-USA website.


Students in the Elementary course have the option of simultaneously participating in our cooperative degree program. This program is available at the graduate level: a Master’s Degree in Montessori Education program through Loyola University Maryland. This cooperative program allows the student to receive credits towards the cooperative program for academic work completed at Montessori Northwest. In a typical year, at least half of our students are enrolled in this program. Participation in this program also allows qualifying students to apply for federal financial aid (see section Financial Aid).

Master of Education and Certificate of Advanced Study in Montessori Education (C.A.S.) Option through Loyola University Maryland

Loyola University Maryland offers the M.Ed. degree in Montessori Education and the Certificate of Advanced Study in Education (C.A.S.), in affiliation with Montessori Northwest. Students must apply to both MNW and Loyola University Maryland. If admitted into Loyola’s graduate program, enrolled students earn credit for courses they are taking at MNW and complete the degree requirements with course work taken in residence at Loyola.

Application Deadlines for Loyola University Maryland:

For MNW courses that begin in summer, priority application deadline for Loyola is TBA.

For MNW courses that follow the academic year format and begin in September, priority deadline for Loyola is TBA.

For more information and application materials, please visit Loyola University's website

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