Foundation Degree in  Montessori Early Childhood Practice



This course was developed to provide a degree level qualification for the Montessori community with scope to develop as graduate leaders and Early Years Teachers.

Students who complete the course successfully will receive a Foundation Degree in Montessori Early Childhood Practice awarded by London Metropolitan University. 

The Foundation Degree is offered full-time over two years to new entrants. Full time students attend MCI 2 or 3 days per week and are in Professional Placement in a Montessori setting 2 days per week.

Applicants who hold the former MCI International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy or the current MCI Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – Birth to Seven (Early Years Educator) are awarded 120 university credits (APL) at Level 4 and gain direct entry to Year 2 (Level 5).

MCI graduates choose whether to study full time over one year (2 days study, plus 2 days working with children) or spread  part-time over two years.  You can also choose how much of the course you study online and how much you do at MCI London. We have developed this blended learning approach using our innovative Virtual Learning Environment to support an international community of over 400 learners.


In Brief

  • Study full-time over 2 years – 3 days at MCI London College
  • Blended Learning approach combining online and classroom learning
  • Professional placement in an approved Montessori setting 
  • Meets Early Years Educator criteria
  • Eligible students can apply for a range of support from Student Finance England
  • Option to progress on to a BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
  • Direct Entry to Level 5 (Year 2) for MCI Diploma Graduates 
  • Validated by London Metropolitan University

Discover

One date: Two Open Events!

Discover more about all our courses.

Tuesday 23rd May 2017

Join us online at 5pm or in person at 6.30pm

Why choose the  Foundation Degree?

  • Build your career as a graduate leader
  • Link theory to practice on Professional Placement
  • Combine the international reputation of MCI with the best of contemporary Early Childhood studies

     

 



Doing the Montessori Foundation Degree was the best thing I could have done. It has supported me through my Early Childhood Studies degree and now my PGCE. I couldnt have asked for a better course and tutors – it truly was an amazing experience.

Lucilla

Course Overview

The Foundation Degree in Montessori Early Childhood Practice, validated by London Metropolitan University, has been developed to meet the demand in the work place for well qualified Montessori Early Childhood specialists who can demonstrate high levels of professional competence and apply knowledge and skills effectively in practice. It provides a degree level qualification for the Montessori community.

The focus and context for the study of early childhood is the distinct philosophy and pedagogy of Montessori practice, with the aim to develop reflective practitioners who are forward thinking, responsive and ready to engage in contemporary early years discourse.

The Foundation Degree is offered full-time over two years to new entrants. Full time students attend MCI 2 or 3 days per week and are in Professional Placement in a Montessori setting 2 days per week.

Applicants who hold the former MCI International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy or the current MCI Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – Birth to Seven (Early Years Educator) are awarded university credits (APL) and gain direct entry to Year 2 (Level 5). You can choose whether to study full time over one year (2 days study, plus 2 days working with children) or spread  part-time over two years.  You can also choose how much of the course you study online and how much you do at MCI London. 

The FdA provides a platform for students wishing to progress on academic routes to a full BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with scope to develop as graduate leaders and Early Years Teachers.

Employability and work-based learning is a key aspect of the training. Students who are new entrants to the field combine academic study with practical experience on assessed professional placement in Montessori settings. The vocational nature of the course fully meets the Early Years Educator requirements and enables students to practise as Montessori early years practitioners.

The course also allows graduates of both the former MCI International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy and the current MCI Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – Birth to Seven (Early Years Educator) to develop their careers and study further to access a degree level qualification. This allows practitioners to contextualise their initial training and to further consolidate their professional practice by integrating academic and work-based learning.

MCI is dedicated to promoting Montessori education in the context of the 21st century and working together with the Early Years community.

Please note that this course is not suitable for Tier 4 (international) students.

To see the full Course Specification click here

Course Structure

The focus of the Foundation degree is the interplay between theory and practice. Knowledge, understanding and skills are integrated by learning in a work context, leading to the development of professional as well as academic skills and competence.

The course offers a holistic approach to the study of Early Childhood, incorporating multiple perspectives and a multi-disciplinary approach drawing on a range of disciplines such as psychology, sociology, education and health. Child development and observation are studied progressively throughout the programme with an emphasis on play as an integrating mechanism in young children s development. Within the core construction of professionalism, perspectives such as children s rights, children s health and well-being, child protection, diversity and inclusion will be considered and applied.

Emphasis is placed on active learning with a gradual transition from more supported and guided study to more independent and self-directed learning. A variety of teaching and learning strategies are used, including workshops, lectures, seminars, guided reading, individual tutorials, independent study and opportunities for reflection on practice. Full-time students participate in timetabled weekly practical workshops to develop competence and understanding in the use of the Montessori learning materials.

At level 5 full-time students are joined by working professionals who are holders of either the former MCI International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy or the current MCI Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – Birth to Seven (Early Years Educator). This facilitates peer learning, with all students benefitting from the professional experience brought to the group.

Teaching and learning strategies also focus on workplace skills and professionalism. Observations, work-related tasks and the use of development planning tools support the growth of practitionersprofessional competence. Students, for example, develop an increasing range of observation skills and techniques; they handle curriculum materials and make evaluations of curriculum approaches and resources. They practise and reflect on techniques to promote effective interactions with parents/carers and other professionals.

Modules of Study

Level 4 Modules

Montessori Early Childhood Practice Curriculum (1) – 30 Credit Module

This module introduces you to key principles and concepts of Montessori philosophy and focuses on how the philosophy is translated into practice. You will be introduced to how to use the Montessori materials to support young children s learning. This module explores the following Montessori areas of learning: Activities of Everyday Living, Sensorial Education and Mathematics. These are considered against the Early Years Foundation Stage areas of learning of Personal, Social & Emotional Development, Physical Development and Mathematics.

How will I be assessed?

Two (2) written tasks where you reflect on different aspects of Montessori philosophy and pedagogy.

A Practical assessment, where you will be asked to present an activity from the curriculum areas of Activities of Everyday Living, Sensorial Education and Mathematics in a role play.

Montessori Early Childhood Practice Curriculum (2)  – 30 Credit Module

This module guides you through study skills and will apply key principles of Montessori philosophy to practice. You will be introduced to how to use the Montessori materials to support young children s learning. This module explores the following Montessori areas of learning; working with babies and infants under 3, Creativity, Literacy and Exploring the World. These are considered against the Early Years Foundation Stage areas of learning of Communication, Literacy, the Expressive Arts and Understanding the World.

How will I be assessed?

You will write an essay where you will reflect on aspects of Montessori philosophy and pedagogy relevant to the curriculum areas you have studied.

You will give a 15 minute presentation where you will reflect on the cycle of observe, plan, do, reflect and relate this to following the child.

A Practical assessment, where you are will be asked to present an activity from the curriculum areas of Literacy and Exploring the World and give one 3 period lesson in a role play.

Perspectives on Children s Development and Well-being  – 30 Credit Module

This module will introduce you to a range of current theories relating to young children s development and how to use a range of observation methods. The module will also look at a range of issues and policies relating to the health, well-being and safeguarding of young children and consider their impact on early childhood provision and practice.

How will I be assessed?

You will use an observation as a focus for an essay on how play supports the holistic development of the child as an integrating mechanism and also look at the role of the practitioner and the environment in supporting children s play.

You will write a patchwork textstitched together from 3 separate written tasks. The tasks are set around 3 topics: (1) promoting children s rights and entitlements in relation to the UNCRC; (2) promoting a selected aspect of health or well-being in the workplace; (3) a written response to a safeguarding case study.

Professional Studies & Practitioner Placement (1)  – 30 Credit Module

You will complete a Professional Placement in a Montessori setting, 2 days per week. This will give you the practical experience to plan, deliver and assess the Montessori curriculum in the context of the Early Years Foundation Stage. You will be supported on a daily basis by an experienced Mentor in the setting and will be visited by your MCI tutor twice during the placement. For more information on the placement and to search for a possible placement school, click here.

How will I be assessed?

You will put together a portfolio of evidence reflecting on your personal and professional development as a Montessori Practitioner.

You will write a child study (of 2,500 words) based on a series of five observations and other supporting material from your portfolio, drawing on your knowledge of child development theory.

You will reflect and self-assess your practice against a range of criteria, on 5 occasions through your placement to identify your areas of strength and areas for development. You will be supported by your Placement Mentor and Placement Tutor who will carry out observations to confirm your progress.

Level 5 Modules

Approaches to Pedagogy and Curriculum in the Early Years – 30 Credit Module

You will examine approaches to the early childhood curriculum and consider how these relate to the Montessori approach, a range of theories of learning and other pedagogical approaches. The relationship between pedagogy and curriculum will be located within social and political contexts and the practical implementation of curriculum within Montessori settings will be explored.

How will I be assessed?

You will write a series of 4 patchwork texts of writing on different aspects of pedagogy or curriculum. These will then be stitched together into a 6,000 word essay discussing pedagogy and curriculum in the early years.

Supporting Diversity in Early Childhood – 30 Credit Module

In this module you will consider issues of identity development and diversity and what this means for the care and education of young children. You will explore equality issues, legislation, children s curricular entitlement and look at how we develop a listening culture to take on board the voice of the child. You will also look at the social and cultural aspects of communication in a multilingual environment.

How will I be assessed?

You will write an essay based on a chosen area of potential inequality. You will look at how we challenge inequality through anti-discriminatory practice in an early years setting.

You will also design a leaflet for parents/carers explaining how a setting supports multilingualism and write guidance to support practitioners working with children who are bilingual or multilingual 

Professional Studies & Practitioner Placement (2) – 30 Credit Module

This work-based module will introduce action research and allow you to affect a change in your setting, consulting with staff, parents and children. You will present your proposal in the first semester and be visited during the second semester to give a guided tour of the setting and explain how your change has impacted practice. During the module you will continue to reflect on your experiences with children in your Professional Placement portfolio.

How will I be assessed?

You will compile a portfolio evidencing and reflecting on your growing personal and professional development as a Montessori Practitioner. The portfolio will include a reflective journal which will form the reference point for a reflection on your development as a Montessori professional practitioner.

You will write a report on an action research project evaluating an aspect of practice that is modified after consultation with practitioners, parents and children.

Creative Thinking and Representation from Birth to Six – 15 Credit Module

This module focuses on how children represent ideas, express feelings and problem solve. The module will also discuss how the Montessori materials and early years provision support creativity and learning for children. 

How will I be assessed?

Child Study: You will write a theoretical analysis based on an observational study of a child s creative thinking and representation, reflecting on learning for the child and for yourself. The study will make links with practice and evaluate how we support children s creative expression.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development Matters – 15 Credit Module

This module explores theoretical perspectives on young children s personal, social and emotional development from birth to six. You will explore ideas of self-identity and self-esteem, confidence and independence and consider their impact on children s learning and development. You will consider the impact of cultural and social factors and explore the implications for provision and practice with children.

How will I be assessed?

You will write an essay that analyses how the Montessori favourable environment supports children s personal, social and emotional development from birth to six. You will draw on observations from practice and a range of theoretical perspectives making links between theory and practice.

How long is the course?

New  Entry

New entrants study over 2 semesters (30 weeks) for 2 years full time.

For a sample timetable  click here

Timetable   

Your final timetable and student handbook will be sent to you two weeks before you start the course. 

Direct Entry – to Level 5 (Year 2) – MCI Diploma Graduates Only

Do you have the MCI International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy or the MCI Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – Birth to Seven (Early Years Educator)? 

You are awarded 120 university credits towards the FdA, which is the equivalent of the first year of university and study for a further 120 credits at Level 5. You can choose to study full time over one year or part time over two years and combine how much you study online or at London MCI. Click on the links below to see timetables for the 5 pathways of study. 

Click on the pathway to see timetable

Timetable

Full-time or   part-time?

Attend at MCI London or online? 

Which day(s)?How many modules online? 

Pathway 1  

full-time over 1 year
attend MCI London 2 days per week 
Monday and Tuesday
one module online
Pathway 2
full-time over 1 year
attend MCI London 1 day per week 
Tuesday
two modules online
Pathway 3 
full-time over 1 year
Attend MCI London for induction week at start of Smester 1 and for engagement week at start of Semester 2
all modules online
Pathway 4 
part-time over 2 years
attend MCI London 1 day per week
Tuesday in 1st year, Monday  in 2nd year
one module online
 Pathway 5 
part-time over 2 years
Attend MCI London for induction week at start of Smester 1 and for engagement week at start of Semester 2
all modules online

 

Where will I study?

MCI London

web_version_for_mallinson_library20080702_Montessori_092workshop

We are currently based in Mayfair in Central London, just opposite Selfridges.  

Our teaching spaces are set out with the full range of Montessori materials.  

We have a specialist Montessori & Early Years library and you also have access to the Learning Centre at LondonMet on Holloway Road and have access to a wide range of eBooks and eJournals.  

Students have their own common room and can make use of our outside space.

 Please note that the current location of delivery will be changing to a new site in Central London 

Student Union

Students are welcome to join the student union at London Metropolitan University.

At MCI student reps help enhance our provision through student committees.  

Students communicate with each other on MCI Meeting Point to discuss college wide issues.

Accommodation

MCI does not own or manage any Halls of Residence or offer student accommodation. Students can view information provided by the London Metropolitan Accommodation Bureau on privately owned Halls which they can apply to directly. To view the Accommodation Bureau information,  click here.

How will I be supported during my studies?

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Brilliant teaching, well organised and structured, delivered at a pace I could follow, support offered when I needed clarification or got stuck on something.
FDA Student

 

The team at MCI is committed to creating a supportive learning environment for our students. All students are allocated a Group Tutor as their first point of contact throughout your studies. We have a full-time coordinator for students with specific learning differences and a full-time Professional Placement Coordinator to support students with placements. On Professional Placement you will be also have the support of a Placement mentor and Placement tutor.

  • All our tutors are passionate about Montessori and teaching and learning

  • All our tutors have MCI Diplomas and are experienced Montessori practitioners

  • All our tutors have completed the specialist MCI Trainers Workshop and hold relevant assessor qualifications including qualifications in teaching and learning in Higher Education

  • All our tutors have Degrees and most also have postgraduate qualifications

  • Each tutor has a subject specialism

  • All our tutors are committed to ongoing training and professional development

  • Many of our tutors give guest lectures and have contributed articles on Montessori education

 

20080627_Montessori_058

 
 

Students were unequivocal in their praise for the high quality and speed of feedback  from tutors  for both  their work  in lectures  and in their written assessments.  – School Inspection Service Report, 2014

 

 

Where could this course take me?

Career Opportunities

The course also allows practitioners to develop their careers and access a degree level qualification which can allow them to move up to more senior roles as room leaders, lead practitioners or managers.

MCI graduates have the knowledge and skills needed by the Montessori community, employability and work-based learning are key aspects of the training. MCI works closely with the Montessori Schools Association to ensure the training meets the needs of employers. Students gain a full and relevant qualification that fully meets the  current  Early Years Educator requirements.

The level of MCI training has hugely grown and improved to a much higher level.
–  Montessori Manager,
MEAB Conference, 2016
We only ever employ Montessori trained practitioners and they’ve all been MCI trained.
–  Montessori Manager,
MEAB Conference, 2016
Very thorough training – well equipped for undertakings of their post.
– Montessori Manager,
MEAB Conference, 2016

What are our Students doing?

  • Room Leaders in Montessori settings

  • Managers or Owners of Montessori settings in the UK and abroad

  • Working as Childminders

  • Teaching in Montessori Primary Schools

  • Teaching in State  Primary Schools

  • Working in Play  Therapy

  • Working as Educational Psychologists

  • Studying towards PGCEs

  • Studying towards Master’s Degrees

Progression Opportunities

The majority of students continue their studies on completion of the Foundation Degree using it as a platform to gain a  BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, with an option to study further towards current relevant qualifications such as Early Years Teacher or PGCE.

MCI students have direct progression to London Metropolitan University and complete an additional 150 credits at Level 6.