UBC’s Montessori Cohort Bachelor of Education Program
About the Montessori Cohort
Teacher candidates selecting UBC’s Montessori stream are interested in developing a preliminary understanding about the Montessori approach to education — a child-centred approach wherein children develop cognitively and socially through direct experience within their learning environment, learning independently but with guided support from their teacher.
Children develop independence and take responsibility for their own learning in a multi-grade grouping, guided by a teacher who emphasizes use of Montessori materials and the Montessori curriculum in a non-competitive, prepared environment. Subjects are integrated through project-based and cooperative learning. Teacher candidates will work with children aged 6 to 12 in Montessori classrooms in public schools throughout the Lower Mainland.
Testimonials from Teacher Candidates:
All candidates in the Montessori cohort complete a pre-BEd-program online Introduction to Montessori Foundations course that can be completed at one’s own pace between May to August. Those who wish to have their BEd program recognized towards continuing Montessori professional development will register in an additional 6 credits of Montessori coursework and one on-campus course at UBC during the week prior to starting the BEd program in September. These courses, together with the BEd coursework and practica, will be recognized as partial laddering towards an AMS credential should the teacher candidate wish to continue their professional development by enrolling in an AMS-affiliated Montessori Teacher Education Program. Please see the Certification Pathways page.
Once admitted to the BEd program, teacher candidates may select their cohort/option when they register in May. Prior experience with Montessori is not a pre-requisite. A registration information package will be sent to all with more specific details.
“I first attended a Montessori school at the age of three and continued throughout my elementary years. I have great memories of learning in an environment of structured exploration and was inspired to pursue a degree in education. During my Montessori program, I realized this holistic and unique approach to education at my young age had strengthened me to become a confident and self-determined person. As I continue my Montessori journey as an educator, I hope to guide and inspire children to make new discoveries and become contributing members of the community.”
Angela Sullivan, Montessori Educator in Victoria
“From all of the schools I researched when I was studying in Prince Edward Island, UBC had the only program I felt would prepare me how to teach children, not simply what to teach children, to give them a holistic learning experience. I was drawn to the idea of choosing a cohort where I could learn a unique specialization. Even before I began my own teaching education, I knew that there was so much more to education than subject or content areas. I am really proud to be in Canada’s first university-based Montessori cohort and am excited to see how the program grows. I know it will become something really special.”
Cora Wong, Teacher Candidate (2015/16)
“Montessori graduates are in demand—even before they graduate. The Coquitlam School District interviewed and offered teaching positions to 7 Montessori candidates during their final practicum!”
Randy Manhas, District Principal, Human Resources, School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
“I have had the privilege to visit numerous Montessori classrooms over the last two decades through both my research and by witnessing my own children’s education. The opportunities for children to follow their interests and questions always struck me in these class observations. The independent, yet guided, learning approach provides children a flexible framework to explore their curiosities. The Montessori environment and materials break down abstract concepts for children, and at same time ignite their imagination. Montessori classrooms invite children to develop as individuals, fostering life long, self-motivated learners.”
Dr. George Belliveau, Professor, UBC
“I knew nothing about Montessori when I did my teacher education program to become a high school teacher years ago. However, as my own children grew, I observed how they learned and realized that Montessori offered the kind of kinesthetic, sensorial (learning through the senses), independence-fostering, follow-the-child model that best suited their learning, and the learning of all the children I knew. I took the Montessori training through the Vancouver School District (MACTE accredited, AMS affiliated) and have taught in elementary Montessori in public schools for almost ten years. It is a decision I have never regretted and an opportunity I am so grateful was available to me. Since then I have invited many practising teachers and teacher candidates into my room to share this dynamic, brain-based learning philosophy. We do not have enough fully trained Montessori teachers to meet the public demand.”
Kirsty Gourlay, Montessori teacher, Richmond School District
“The professional use of individualized materials in a Montessori classroom requires appropriate and deliberate choice and application within a Montessori framework. Training, discussion, practice and peer support are vital to teachers preparing to teach in these vibrant and challenging environments. Introduction to Montessori pedagogy and methods at the BEd phase is an advantage to both teacher and students and a tremendous step forward.”
Tom Grant, Retired Superintendent, Coquitlam School District
“Successful Montessori teachers guide their instructions with the fundamental principles of following the interests and needs of the child, working from the concrete to the abstract, and supporting the students in acquiring the practical life skills for future success. The work of the child is to explore their world through carefully prepared environments with the support and guidance of their teacher. We believe children have the ability to construct their own knowledge and understanding of the world and they are empowered to do so by having the choice and freedom to follow their own interest. We support this through focusing on individualization, citizenship and experiential learning.”
Michael Piper, Montessori Department Head, Coquitlam School District
“Montessori programs offer children and their families a choice in the school system with a focus on independence and natural child development. For Montessori programs to be successful, it is essential for the teachers to be well versed in the approach to education and in the principles and practices of Montessori. UBC is to be commended for its forward thinking in offering a Teacher Education program that supports Montessori Education. School Districts will be anxious to recruit teachers who have this background.”
Dr. Valerie Overgaard, Retired Associate Superintendent, Vancouver School District
“In my role as a Montessori educator, I act as a guide by following and directing the perfect balance between freedom and structure for each individual child, presenting lessons in small groups, and presenting the curriculum from concrete to abstract and from whole to parts. To support the whole child I offer the child strategies and practice within the framework of Peace Education to express and regulate feelings and emotions. As a result, the child becomes a self-regulated learner who is intrinsically motivated. The Montessori philosophy allows me to meet the needs of each child by fostering a cooperative, peaceful and enriching learning environment.”
Marjan Oghabi, UBC Teacher Education Alumna (2010), Grade 2/3 Montessori, Delta