Trine University in Angola says it will be launching what it calls the first Montessori teacher education degree program in the state of Indiana.
The university says the program is one of only a few undergraduate programs of its kind in the nation.
Trine says graduates will earn Montessori licensing recognized by the state.
“There is a state and nationwide shortage of credentialed teachers,” said Anthony Kline, dean of the Franks School of Education at Trine. “Teachers who lack Montessori credentials must complete rigorous training during the summer. This can place a financial strain on schools and the educators receiving the training.”
The Montessori teaching method is designed to build on the way children inherently learn. According to Trine, Montessori learning involves self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play.
The university says undergraduate students at Trine will receive training to earn Indiana Department of Education licenses in Elementary Generalist (K-6) and Montessori within four years. Trine says through Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) accreditation and American Montessori Society (AMS) affiliation, graduates also will earn credentials to teach students ages 6-9 in Montessori settings.
“We strongly believe that Montessori training will enhance graduates who teach in traditional school settings as well,” said Kline.
The university says it has begun the search process for hiring a director of the Montessori education program at Trine. Once that person is hired, the school will announce a timeline to launch the program.
Trine has teamed up with Oak Farm Montessori School in Avilla to serve as Trine’s primary partner for observation and student teaching opportunities.
Trine received a $385,000 grant from the Dekko Foundation to help with startup costs, program director salary and the creation of a Montessori-style classroom for the undergraduate students.
Anthony Kline, dean of the School of Education at Trine, says there is growing demand in Indiana for Montessori-licensed teachers.