One of the main institutional goals of the Opera Nazionale Montessori (ONM) is the training of personnel involved in education and school activities. In this respect, a recent ministry decree has recognised the ONM as a credited training institution.
The ONM organises national specialisation courses for:
- Educators working with children aged 0-3;
- Nursery and primary school teachers.
The certificate of specialisation awarded is a prerequisite for teaching in Montessori schools.
The ONM also organises short international seminars (courses or internships) on specific aspects of Montessori pedagogy and methodology: music education, education since birth, environment management, etc.
Furthermore, the ONM is involved in training qualified trainers who can then provide initial training for teachers wishing to obtain the certificate of specialisation in the Montessori method, offer in-service training courses to teachers already working in Montessori schools, and carry out technical assistance activities required by the agreements envisaged in art. 142 of the consolidation act - legislative decree no. 297 of 16 April 1994 (previously law no. 46 of 16 February 1987).
Higher School of Education for Montessori Experts
The Higher School of Education was founded in 1988 in order to meet the needs mentioned above. The school operates at national level and trains the executives of the experts who will receive the precious Montessori patrimony.
Internships and seminars
The first level of the Higher School of Education, which saw the participation of Montessori docents coming from different parts of Italy, was carried out according to the following programme:
- 4 or 5-day internships
- short monographic seminars
- small-group meetings for more in-depth study of specific topics
- individual study
For each seminar, a specific topic was chosen and then studied in depth by means of theory lessons, practical lessons (using appropriate materials), group work, discussions, individual study on specific hand-outs, works by Montessori and by other educationists, questionnaires and so on.