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 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!

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Director of Training

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


Jennifer Wyld, Ph.D (Bio)
Amy Eshelby, M.Ed (Bio)


Academic Year 2019- 2020

Course Dates

August 23, 2019

Elementary course begins
August 26, 2019

First date to last date
August 23, 2019 - June 1, 2020

Daily Schedule

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

Course Documents

View the current Student Handbook


Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)
Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE)

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


Director of Training

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


Ellen Lebitz, M.A. (Bio)
Jennifer Wyld, Ph.D (Bio)
Amy Eshelby, M.Ed (Bio)


Summers 2018, 2019, and 2020

Course Dates

Subject to change
AMI diploma requirements only; does not include Whitworth masters or NCMPS support courses

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

Elementary Summer I, 2018
July 23 - Elementary Presentions Begin, with Elise Huneke-Stone and Ellen Lebitz
August 10 - Final Day of First Summer

First Interim Year - Independent Study
August 2018 Through June 2019
Students complete 90-100 hours of observation in AMI classrooms and prepare teaching albums and materials. This work is structured/supported by two additional courses:
The Philosophy and Psychology of the Montessori Method B (Fall 2018); held remotely, Saturday, November 3 and Saturday, December 1
Elementary Social Studies Methods B (Spring 2019); held remotely, Saturday, March 2 and Saturday, April 6

Elementary Summer II, 2019
June 24 - Course Resumes
July 4 - No Classes, Independence Day
August 2 - Final Day of Second Summer

Second Interim Year - Independent Study
August 2019 Through June 2020
Students complete 120 hours of practice teaching in AMI classrooms and prepare teaching albums and materials. This work is structured/supported by one additonaly course and two practice teaching discussions:
Language Arts Curriculum and Instruction B (Fall 2019); held remotely, Saturday, November 2 and Saturday, December 7
Practice Teaching Discussion and Support; held remotely, Saturday, February 22 and Saturday, April 4

Elementary Summer III, 2020
June 22 - Course Resumes (note: this is a different date than was included in registration paperwork.)
July 17, 20, 22 - Written Exams*
July 23-July 28 - Synthesis and Review (mandatory for all examining students)
July 29-August 3 - Oral Exams* (each student sits one three-hour exam)
August 4 - Graduation*
*Exams to be finalized by AMI by January 2020

Daily Schedule

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


Whitworth University, Spokane, WA


Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)
Montessori Northwest is a Candidate in Good Standing* for its Spokane Elementary Course with the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE)

*Candidate in Good Standing in no way determines the outcome of the accreditation decision by MACTE.

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



View the Current MNW Portland Elementary Academic Year Student Handbook

View the MNW Spokane Elementary Summer Student Handbook 2018-2020 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 in Portland are in class from 8:30am to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday, and many students arrive early and stay late for additional practice. Students in Spokane are in class from 8:30am - 5:00pm. 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, and internet-based college management software, 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 materials fee for Portland students. There are additional books that are recommended, some of which are available for your purchase at MNW.

For Spokane students, you will receive a detailed list of books to purchase.

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. The materials fee for the Portland course covers a portion of these materials requirement. You will be required to purchase anything additional 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 up to $1000 for album making materials, printing, ink, paper, notebooks, binders, and art supplies throughout the course.


Portland Academic Year Course 2019 - 2020

Application fee: $150

Materials Fee: $150
Primary Foundations Course: $2,000
Elementary Course Tuition: $13,650
Exam fee: $350

Elementary Course Total: $16,300
Total includes application fee, some materials, required books, AMI membership, and exam fee.

Spokane Summer Format 2018 - 2020

Application fee: $150

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

Elementary Course Total: $16,000
Total includes application fee, some materials, required books, AMI membership, and exam fee.

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

Course-Related Expenses: Students can expect to spend up to $1000 on paper, binders, notebooks, art supplies, printing, ink, and classroom materials for their albums and $250 on transportation (to and from observation and practice teaching, parking, etcetera).

Students in the Spokane training are required to purchase their own books. Faculty will share the booklist directly.


Montessori Northwest, together with partnering universities and organizations, offers a variety of options for financial assistance to attend our teacher training courses. These include scholarships, financial aid, crowdfunding and school sponsorship.

Click here for an overview of these options and to learn more.


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 through Whitworth 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

Spokane Summer Course Information

Course description

The Spokane AMI Elementary course consists of 15 weeks of face-to-face theory, presentations and supervised practice (plus four weeks of a Foundations course for those who don’t hold an AMI primary diploma) over three summers, 2018-2020. Observation, practice teaching, some album preparation, and material making all take place during the two interim school years in the students’ home cities where possible, structured and supported by occasional weekend webinars with the AMI trainers. All of the AMI requirements for the AMI diploma, including course hours, practicum hours, and exams, are met by this program. Additional coursework (through Whitworth University and National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector) and extended practice teaching sessions can result in a Master’s degree and/or Washington state certification for interested candidates.

Housing in Spokane
For the Spokane course we have on-campus housing in what Whitworth calls “Theme houses.” During the academic year these are houses used by their undergraduate students. They come mostly furnished (though you need to bring linens and cooking supplies and tableware). They will be used this summer only by our students and you would get a bedroom in a house. The house has a kitchen, shared bathrooms, etc. This will be about $400 per month.

Also close by are houses that students rent privately from people and then sublet to our students over the summer. These are usually fairly inexpensive and for the last course several students chose this option (the on-campus housing wasn’t available for the last course we offered at Whitworth). These houses are sometimes also very close to Whitworth. At least one student from Europe was able to stay in a house near campus like this and was able to cope with only a bicycle for the summer. Likewise, one of our staff members stays on campus in a house with other MNW staff and only brings a bicycle. There is a shopping plaza about one mile away which has a Safeway and a Target and a few other stores and restaurants.

For on-campus housing, contact Alan Jacob who is coordinating the housing for Montessori students (identify yourself as such). His email is:

For off-campus housing, please visit Whitworth University's website.

Once you are accepted onto the course you will be invited to the course’s Facebook page (if you are on Facebook) or you can follow the link below and ask to join. Often housing is a subject of discussion and you might find other people there with whom you can connect. Click here.

A beautiful culmination to our hard work!