Building on the strength and growth of its Franks School of Education, Trine University
will launch Indiana’s first Montessori teacher education degree program to help meet
the growing need for teachers with Montessori credentials.
Trine’s Montessori teacher education program will be one of only a few undergraduate
programs in the nation offered at the university level, and will provide training
that leads toward state-recognized Montessori licensure for both undergraduate students
and teachers already in the field.
“While Montessori schools continue to grow, there is a state and nationwide shortage
of credentialed teachers,” said Anthony Kline, Ph.D., dean of the Franks School of
Education. “In addition, 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.”
“Trine University’s Montessori teacher education program will ensure a pipeline of
high-quality teachers trained through a Montessori lens to focus on whole-child development.
We strongly believe that Montessori training will enhance graduates who teach in traditional
school settings as well.”
“We look forward to the impact this new program will have, not only on our university,
but on future generations of children who will benefit from a Montessori education
and educators trained in the Montessori Method,” said Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Trine
The Montessori Method of education was developed in Italy by Maria Montessori in the
early 20th century and is designed to build on the way children inherently learn. Now practiced
worldwide, Montessori education is known for individually paced learning and fostering
independence, and encouraging empathy, social justice and joy in lifelong learning,
according to the American Montessori Society.
The university has begun the search process for hiring a director for Montessori education
at Trine, and will announce a timeline for program launch once that person is in place.
Undergraduate students at Trine will receive training to earn Indiana Department of
Education licenses in Elementary Generalist (K-6) and Montessori within four years.
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.
Current teachers will be able to earn Montessori credentials through summer training
programs at Trine and at Oak Farm Montessori School in Avilla. Credential offerings
may range from infant to secondary, based upon need. The program could include graduate-level
credit that would lead to a Master in Montessori Education degree.
Oak Farm Montessori School, founded in 2000 by Lorene Dekko Salsbery, also will serve
as Trine’s primary partner for observation, practicum and student teaching opportunities
for students. A variety of local Montessori education settings also may provide clinical
Trine’s new Montessori teacher education program is made possible in part through
a grant from the Dekko Foundation. The foundation, which seeks to foster economic
freedom through education, will provide $385,000 toward startup costs, which include
salary for a program director and redesigning a classroom on the Trine campus to mirror
a best-practice Montessori environment for elementary-age learners.
“As Trine University prepares its students to succeed, lead and serve, and also looks
for new ways to enhance the quality of life in Indiana, we are grateful for generous
partners like the Dekko Foundation,” said Brooks.
“The educators who complete this program will be grounded in the principles of child
development and how to provide high-quality learning environments for young people
that will assist them in building knowledge, skills and character so that they can
grow up to be self-sufficient and ultimately economically free,” said Tom Leedy, president
of the Dekko Foundation.
Top photo: Children work independently or with teacher Debbie Kovets, front left, in the Lower
Elementary 2 classroom at Oak Farm Montessori School in Avilla. Trine University will
launch Indiana’s first Montessori teacher education program and will redesign a classroom
on the university’s main campus to mirror a best-practice Montessori environment for
elementary-age learners, with help from a Dekko Foundation grant. The university also
will partner with Oak Farm Montessori School for observations and student teaching,
and to offer provide opportunities for current teachers to receive Montessori credentials.
Right photo: Students in the Lower Elementary 3 classroom at Oak Farm Montessori School in Avilla
work with guest teacher Carlee Murphy, as other students work independently in the
background. (Photos by Dean Orewiler)
Last Updated: 10/13/2020