2019-20 Catalogs

Course Descriptions

Montessori Early Childhood Education Course List

The following are courses typically found in the Montessori Early Childhood Education programs. For a complete list of courses visit the School of Education and Human Development course listing page at: https://usm.maine.edu/school-of-education-human-development

ECE 510 Practical Applications of the Montessori Method for Students with Exceptionalities
This course offers an overview of the philosophy and methods of Montessori education in early childhood settings, with particular attention to the needs, services, and creation of inclusive environments for children with disabilities. In this interactive format, participants will explore the possibilities of utilizing the elements of the Montessori model for practical applications for all children, including those with disabilities, in their classroom environments. Teachers will have the opportunity to connect Montessori theory and practices, gain an understanding of policy and legal mandates for young students with disabilities and their families; become familiar with the principles of universal design; strategies for working with families, assistive technology, and the transition from pre-school to school-aged services. Cr 3.

ECE 511 Classroom Leadership and Environmental Design in an Early Childhood Montessori Classroom
This course covers Dr. Montessori's theory of the interrelated curriculum as it relates to strategies of classroom leadership and strategies that gain the child's confidence, cooperation and attention, thereby helping to develop a pattern of respect for authority. Environmental design techniques that can be applied to the physical environment and their application to classroom management are also discussed. Students will participate in a practicum experience concurrent with the course.  Prerequisites: Open to matriculated students in the Montessori Early Childhood Education program, or by instructor permission. Cr 2.

ECE 512 Montessori Principles and Philosophy
Through a series of readings, lectures, class discussion, writing assignments, and evaluations this course will discuss Maria Montessori's life, the beginning of the Montessori Method and theory of the interrelated curriculum as developed by Maria Montessori in the early 1900's, its growth over the years, and the specifics of the Montessori Philosophy (i.e., absorbent mind, sensitive periods, logical-mathematical mind, spiritual and moral development of the child, etc.). It will also look at how the Montessori principles, materials, teacher, and environment relate to and respect the developing child from birth through 6 years. Prerequisites: Open to matriculated students in the Montessori Early Childhood Education Program or by instructor permission. Cr 3.

ECE 513 Child Development, Family, and Community in an Early Childhood Montessori Classroom
This course examines Montessori's theory of the interrelated curriculum, in a study of the developmental patterns of young children. The major emphasis is on the intellectual and emotional development of children during the first six years of life. Major topics covered in this course are the writings and philosophies of past and current theorists; current trends in family dynamics; and local community resources. This course also looks at the interactions among children, family, school, peers, media, and community, with an emphasis on ethnic and ability/learning diversity, social class, gender roles, and their impact on behavior, values, morals, and attitudes. Prerequisites: Open to matriculated students in the Montessori Early Childhood Education Program, or by instructor permission. Cr 3.

ECE 514 Practical Life and Daily Living in an Early Childhood Montessori Classroom
This course examines Montessori's theory of the interrelated curriculum, as it relates to five major categories of practical life and daily living: Care of the Self; Care of the Environment; Grace and Courtesy; Control of Movement; and Food Preparation. Prerequisites: Open to matriculated students in the Montessori Early Childhood Education program, or by instructor permission. Cr 2.

ECE 515 Sensorial in the Early Childhood Montessori Classroom
This course examines Montessori's theory of the interrelated curriculum, as it relates to the philosophy and rationale of the sensorial area and presentation of the sensorial materials aiding the development and refinement of the senses. Prerequisites: Open to matriculated students in the Montessori Early Childhood Education program, or by instructor permission. Cr 2.

ECE 516 Assessment and Observation in an Early Childhood Montessori Classroom
This course provides a framework for studying Montessori's theory of interrelated curriculum, by examining the formative use of classroom assessment in an early childhood Montessori classroom. This includes developing skills using direct observation as a tool for studying children, gathering evidence of their learning, using that evidence to design instruction, communicating clear expectations and giving appropriate and meaningful feedback to children and their parents. Prerequisites: Open to matriculated students in the Montessori Early Childhood Education Program, or by instructor permission. Cr 3.

ECE 520 Language Arts in the Montessori Early Childhood Classroom
Montessori's theory of interrelated curriculum is examined as it relates to the philosophy and rationale of the language arts area and its materials. Major topics covered are the materials and exercises that foster receptive and expressive language experiences, visual and auditory perceptual experiences, vocabulary development and enrichment along with reading and writing development: pre-writing exercises: metal insets, small muscles exercises; vocabulary cards, story reading, letter recognition games, sequencing activities, etc.; early writing exercises: tracing and writing individual letters; early reading exercises: sounds of individual letters, moveable alphabet to form words, object or picture classification to isolate individual vowel and consonant sounds; non phonetic words; blends; diagraphs; long vowel patterns; reading as a tool: word definition cards; grammar: noun, verb, adjective; writing simple sentences; writing poetry; and writing descriptions. Students will also become familiar with children's literature and learn skills in reading books to children using expression, intonation, inquiry and prediction. Prerequisites: Open to matriculated students in the Montessori Early Childhood Education Program, or by instructor permission. Cr 3.

ECE 521 Mathematics in an Early Childhood Montessori Classroom
Montessori believed that a child's' mind was mathematical and based on the order and perceptual awareness found in the development of the senses. The acquisition of mathematical principles is seen as developing logically from concrete to abstract and simple to complex. This course examines Montessori's theory of interrelated curriculum, by exploring the philosophy and rationale of the Montessori curriculum in the mathematics area and the presentation of the Montessori math materials that aid in the development of Mathematical concepts and skills: introduction to numbers, counting, the decimal system, the four basic operations of the decimal system, understanding and recall of facts, and fractions. Prerequisites: Open to matriculated students in the Montessori Early Childhood Education Program, or by instructor permission. Cr 3.

ECE 522 Science in an Early Childhood Montessori Classroom
Montessori's theory of the interrelated curriculum holistically joins the sciences. Students will become familiar with the Montessori presentations in science as they relate to contemporary educational thought. Activities are demonstrated that focus on the characteristics, parts, and classification of plants and animals as well as simple science experiments that children can do independently. Prerequisites: Open to matriculated students in the Montessori Early Childhood Education Program, or by instructor permission. Cr 3.

ECE 523 Social Studies in an Early Childhood Montessori Classroom
Montessori's theory of the interrelated curriculum holistically joins history and geography. Students will become familiar with the Montessori presentations in these subject areas through study of globes, landforms, puzzle maps, flags, timelines, and the concept of time. Prerequisites: Open to matriculated students in the Montessori Early Childhood Education Program, or by instructor permission. Cr 3.

ECE 525 Early Childhood Practicum in a Montessori Classroom
The purpose of the Practicum is to provide the intern with the opportunity for personal and practical experiences in a teaching / learning experience as an Early Childhood Montessori teacher with children ages 2 1/2 through 6 year age. It also provides a period of observation, internalization, and further study, to bring together the theory and practice of Montessori education. This course is intended to allow the student time to experiment with teaching the cosmic lessons, develop new curriculum materials, as well as manage the daily routines of an early childhood classroom. Prerequisites: Open to matriculated students in the Montessori Early Childhood Education program, or by instructor permission. Cr 2.

ECE 526 Early Childhood Internship in a Montessori Classroom
This course is a full-time, supervised internship experience in applying knowledge and skills to the practice of teaching in an early childhood Montessori classroom. The purpose of the internship is to provide the intern with the opportunity for personal and practical experiences in a teaching / learning experience as an Early Childhood Montessori teacher with children ages 2 1/2 through 6 years of age. It also provides a period of observation, internalization, and further study, to bring together the theory and practice of Montessori education. This course is intended to allow the student time to experiment with teaching the cosmic lessons, develop new curriculum materials, as well as manage the daily routines of an early childhood classroom. PrerequisitesOpen to matriculated students in the Montessori Early Childhood Education program, or by instructor permission. Cr 2.

EDU 600 Research Methods and Techniques
This course studies the concepts, principles, and techniques of educational research with an emphasis on scientific inquiry and problem solving, designed for both the producer and consumer of educational research. Individual critiques and research reviews are completed. Prerequisite: open to matriculated students only. Cr 3.

EDU 643 Inquiry in Education
This course focuses on inquiry in the field of education, including the development, implementation and evaluation of research project focused on classroom practice or educational policy issues. This course is designed as a capstone for the master's in Teaching and Learning and is taken in the last semester of the MTL program. Candidates completing special education or ESL certification will conduct research in their respective field. Prerequisites: Completion of ETEP teacher certification internship and EDU 600; or by special permission of the instructor. Cr 3.