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! Scroll down for details.

Academic Year

Director of Training

Elise Huneke-Stone, M.Ed. (Bio)


Ellen Lebitz, M.A. (Bio)


Academic Year 2018 - 2019

Course Dates

Primary Foundations*
July 18, 2018 - August 17, 2018
*This course is required for all students who do not hold an AMI Primary diploma

Elementary Course
September 5, 2018 - June 5, 2019

Daily Schedule

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

Note: All courses are contingent upon the required minimum number of students

Summer Format - Spokane

Director of Training

Elise Huneke-Stone, M.Ed. (Bio)


Ellen Lebitz, M.A. (Bio)


Summers 2018, 2019, and 2020

Course Dates

Primary Foundations*
June 25, 2018 - July 20, 2018
*This course is required for all students who do not hold an AMI Primary diploma

Elementary Summer I
July 23, 2018 - August 10, 2018*
*Pending course format approval

Elementary Summer II
Summer 2019

Elementary Summer III
Summer 2020
Summers II and III dates forthcoming

Daily Schedule

Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm


Whitworth University, Spokane, WA
Note: All courses are contingent upon the required minimum number of students


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.


What books will I have to buy?

The required books for your course are covered by your new student fee. There are additional books that are recommended, available for your purchase at MNW.

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.


Portland Academic Year Course 2017 - 2018

Application fee: $150
Primary Foundations Course: $2,000
Elementary Course Tuition: $13,500*
*Tuition includes membership to AMI and EAA

Spokane Summer Format 2018 - 2020

Application fee: $150
Primary Foundations Course: $2,000
Elementary Course Tuition: $13,500
Exam fee: $350

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 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 Whitworth University admissions for more details at or (509) 777-3222

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.


Portland - Loyola University Maryland

Loyola University Maryland’s partnership with (insert your Institution here) provides students with the opportunity to complete a M.Ed. degree in conjunction with the AMI diploma. If accepted into the Graduate School at Loyola, students earn 27 credits through the completion of their Primary, Elementary or A-to-I AMI diplomas. The final 9 credits are completed in a 4-week intensive experience in residence at Loyola University Maryland’s Evergreen Campus in Baltimore.

For more information on Admission Requirements and Application Deadlines, please visit and navigate to the “Off-Site Partner” tab under Program Options, or Attend a Virtual Information Session .

Spokane - Whitworth University

Students in the Spokane Summer 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 with Emphasis in Montessori Education through Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, where the summer elementary course is held. Montessori courses meet on campus during the summer; core education courses are available on campus or online. Participation in this program also allows qualifying students to apply for federal financial aid (see section on Financial Aid).

The AMI Montessori course (and the AMI Observation and Practice Teaching requirements) can also be applied as graduate credit toward a Washington state teaching certification.

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

Graduate Studies in Education