Blog: Fuel Your Fascination with Montessori

Our Post Diploma Observation Course is a unique opportunity that every AMI 3-6 Diploma holder working in a Children’s House should consider says experienced Montessorian Catherine Middlemas.

On this advanced online course, you will choose two children in your class to observe as case studies. During the academic year you will follow these children as you record your observations using new tools and techniques. You will learn how to interpret your observations and plan outcomes for the children that will significantly change the path of their development. If you are a graduate of the AMI 3-6 Diploma course, here are seven reasons why this observation course is for you!

1.The Observation Course is truly unique: it will challenge you to think about how you observe in your classroom currently and deepen your understanding of Montessori’s approach to observation enabling you to really “follow the child.” It seamlessly interweaves your classroom observations with online trainer-led sessions and is an exceptional opportunity for a new challenge.

2. At any point in your Montessori journey, this course is relevant for you. For recent graduates, it provides intensive on-going support, helping you to effectively implement the approach in practice in the classroom in your first years of teaching. While for those who gained their Diploma some time ago, the course will refine and refresh your approach. The interactions with the trainer and insights from your fellow students will be cherished just as much as the discussions you had when you first took the Diploma.

3. It will give you a blueprint for effective daily observation: you will learn abbreviated observation codes to observe on-the-go quickly and effectively, analysing interests and outcomes for the child. You will learn how to plot your findings onto weekly graphs, or work-curves, designed specifically for this purpose. You will develop insight into how to identify the stage of development the child is currently in and how to identify patterns and repetitions of interest that you can draw on to support the children on their path to the next stage of development.

4. You will discover how to be the dynamic link between the materials and the child. You will learn to be able to step back to observe their reactions and note their responses and, through greater reflection and insight, learn to decide what to offer them next, bringing you into a continuous cycle of observing, reflecting and planning.

5. Through observing your case study children, you will understand how to search for the very beginnings of interest in each child. On the course you will examine if the interest shown by the child is genuine and how to determine if the activity is at the right developmental level for them. You will consider what the child is finding challenging and learn to give very specific points of consciousness to provide more clarity to support them in making their own discoveries. As Lynne Lawrence, Executive Director of AMI and MMI says: “To get the child connected, to find a resonance between the inner and outer world of the child – this is our responsibility. This is our work.”

6. The course enables you to hear the true “voice of the child” which is now part of the safeguarding requirements of the new EYFS 2021. Through close observation you will be able to genuinely find the interest of the child and open the door to their own development. As Dr Montessori explains: “When a child once shows this deep interest in any one of the objects we present to him as something answering to his psychical needs, he goes on to show a like interest in all the objects and begins to develop activities as by a natural phenomenon.”

7. And finally, the good news is that the Post Diploma Observation Course is potentially accessible wherever you are in the world! The course is offered online starting every October and there is even a Chinese translation option.

So, if you are ready for a new challenge and to meet a new network of fellow Montessorians, please do consider this course – it will fuel your lifelong fascination with the Montessori approach.

Catherine Middlemas trained in Montessori in 2000 and first took the Post Diploma course in 2002 before going on to set up St Edmund’s Montessori Pre-School in Essex. Catherine is now a Montessori Coach and Safeguarding Trustee for the Maria Montessori Institute. She took the Post Diploma for the second time in 2021.

Discover the Post Diploma Observation Course