Teacher Education

MSEd in Teaching and Learning - Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Education Program (MECTEP)

As a program concentration within the Master of Science in Education in Teaching and Learning, the 45 credit hour Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Education Program focuses on preparing professional teachers to understand the theory and practice of teaching and learning. Through the program, students complete all requirements for American Montessori Society (AMS) and Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) credential, Maine’s Department of Education early childhood (ages 2.5-6) teacher certification (081), and the Master of Science in Education in Teaching and Learning.

The program is a collaboration between the Teacher Education Department and the Maine Montessori Institute located at Winfield Children's House in Falmouth, Maine. Winfield Children's House is an AMS accredited early childhood program serving children ages 12 months-age 6. The Maine Montessori Institute is a full affiliate training site of the American Montessori Society and is a MACTE accredited teacher training center. Students learn the practice of teaching through a year-long internship and explore the theoretical and research-based principles of the Montessori method and materials design by Dr. Maria Montessori.

This cohort based, full-time, one to two year-long program begins in the summer and continues through the following two academic years. Coursework located at Winfield Children's House is concurrent with an internship in a program approved Early Childhood Montessori school. In addition to the courses offered through the Maine Montessori Institute, students in the program take two research courses, EDU 600: Research Methods and Techniques and EDU 643: Inquiry in Education (may also substitute: EDU 607 Teacher Research in Literacy, SED 699 Directed Study in Special Education, or EDU 667 Professional Educator Capstone), at USM.

Course Requirements (45 credits)

ECE 510 Practical Applications of the Montessori Method for Students with Exceptionalities
ECE 511 Classroom Leadership and Environmental Design in an Early Childhood Montessori
ECE 512 Montessori Principles and Philosophy
ECE 513 Child Development, Family and Community
ECE 514 Practical Life in the Early Childhood Montessori Classroom
ECE 515 Sensorial in the Early Childhood Montessori Classroom
ECE 516 Assessment and Observation in an Early Childhood Montessori Classroom
ECE 520 Language Arts in the Early Childhood Montessori Classroom 
ECE 521 Mathematics in the Early Childhood Montessori Classroom
ECE 522 Science in the Early Childhood Montessori Classroom
ECE 523 Social Studies in the Early Childhood Montessori Classroom
ECE 525 Early Childhood Practicum in a Montessori classroom
ECE 526 Early Childhood Internship in a Montessori Classroom
EDU 600 Research Methods and Techniques
EDU 643 Inquiry in Education


For course descriptions, please click here: http://usm.maine.edu/sehd

Tk20 Subscription:

All undergraduate and graduate students who matriculate into an Educator Preparation program or pathway in USM summer 2013 or later are required to subscribe to the Tk20 online data management system. The subscription allows students to use the system for assessment, advisement, field-experience and career portfolio management. The subscription fee of $103 covers some of the expenses related to the administration and assessment of the program. For loan purposes, it will be eligible for consideration as part of costs. The subscription is a one-time payment and must be made by each student during the first semester of program or pathway matriculation (check with individual programs and pathways for specific subscription timelines). Subscription instructions are posted on the Office of Educator Preparation web site: http://usm.maine.edu/educatorpreparation

Please note Professional Education Council Policy:  In order for USM’s Education Preparation Unit program completers to be recommended by the institution to the state for certification or licensure, the candidate must provide evidence of meeting all certification requirements including proficiency on the standards relevant to his/her state approved professional program and this evidence must be compiled and assessed within the context of the Unit’s data management system (i.e., Tk20). 

Minimum Requirements: Academic Preparation

An earned bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. A cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in a baccalaureate degree program. Applicants who do not have a 2.5 overall GPA must enclose a letter asking for special consideration, in which they provide evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who fail to meet eligibility requirements may be automatically denied.

Application Deadlines:

  • January 9: First Round
  • Rolling after March 8th

Candidates should submit all application materials to the USM Office of Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104-9300 by the application deadline.

Application must include

  • A submitted online graduate admission application.
  • The application fee of $65.00.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine system. A transcriptis official when it comes directly from the institution. If an applicant is submitting an official transcript, it must be in a sealed envelope from the institution indicating that it is an official document. If the envelope has been opened prior to arriving at the Office of Graduate Admissions, it is no longer considered an official transcript.
  • Praxis Core Test report.
  • Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's potential for pursuing graduate level academic work, experience working with child and youth, and dispositions for being a professional teacher. Recommendations are easily submitted using our online application form. You will simply need to provide the name and email address for each of your recommenders during the application process. Once you submit your application, an email will be automatically generated to your recommenders directing them to fill out the electronic letter of recommendation. The recommendations should be from persons able to comment from direct knowledge of the applicant's potential for success as a teacher and graduate student.
  • Resume showing history of employment, education, and community service.
  • Essay (see below).
  • Catalog of Experiences (see below).
  • Certification of finances (international students only).
  • Submission of official TOEFL or IELTS scores (if English is not first language).
  • In addition to the above submitted materials, applicants must complete a free Tk20 Application in order for your application to be reviewed. The link to the instructions can be found here: http://usm.maine.edu/sites/default/files/educatorpreparation/How-to-Create-Free-Admission-Application-Account-in-Tk20.pdf

Special Essay Question

The essay applicants submit is a replacement to Question 17 in the Graduate School Application. It is a thoughtful response to the following prompt:

  • Why do you want to become a Montessori teacher?
  • What characteristics do you possess that you feel will make you successful in the area of teaching?
  • What is your personal style of teaching?
  • How will you incorporate the material learned in the Montessori early childhood education program into your own style of teaching?

Catalog of Experiences

Provide an annotated list of experiences particularly significant in your development as a learner and prospective teacher. The catalog should describe your experiences working with children and any events that have led to a deeper understanding of the content area(s) you will teach. It should also include the insights you have gained from those experiences.

Testing Requirements

All individuals seeking Maine teacher certification must achieve minimum scores on a basic skills assessment in reading, writing, and math. Praxis I is therefore a requirement for admission into the MTL. To pass Praxis I applicants must have a composite score of 526 (or higher), including all scores within three points of passing. Passing scores: Reading: 176, Writing: 175. Mathematics: 175. After Aug 2014, Praxis I will not long be available and is being replaced by Praxis Core.  To pass Praxis Core applicants must have a composite score of 468 (or higher), including all scores within three points of passing.  Passing scores: Reading – 156; Writing – 162; Math – 150.

Professional Licensure and Certification Notice

Students who are pursuing degrees leading to application for professional licensure or certification, and/or who will be participating in clinical placements, internships, or practica through their USM program should be aware that their host facility may require a criminal background check, finger printing, or drug screening. In such situations, each student is responsible for obtaining and paying for the background check or other screening process and for delivering required documentation to the facility. Although the University will make reasonable efforts to place admitted students in field experiences and internships, it will be up to the host facility to determine whether a student will be allowed to work at that facility. Students should further be aware that a criminal record may jeopardize licensure by the state certification body. Students may consult the certification body corresponding to their intended occupation for more details. Successful completion of a program of study at USM does not guarantee licensure, certification, or employment in the relevant occupation.