Professional Development

Seton Montessori Institute has developed a dynamic series of Professional Excellence Seminars designed to engage the Montessori educator in creative exploration, discussion and extended learning.

These seminars support educators in fulfilling the new Professional Development requirement for teachers certified by the American Montessori Society (AMS) of demonstrating 50 approved hours of documented professional development every five years.

Montessori learning is a life long process. We encourage you to continue your development as an educator and a professional and we look forward to welcoming you often!

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Introduction to Child Development, an Online Course

February – March 2018 Cohort

In response to requests from our community, and recognizing the importance of having a solid understanding of Child Development for all who work with children, we are excited to offer this online course to the general Montessori community for all to benefit. There are no pre-requisites other than the capacity to participate in an online course – all are welcome. Please see the information provided below and let us know if you have questions!

To participate in this course you must commit to participating in the two required video webinars to begin and wrap up the online course: one held on Tuesday, February 6th at 7:00 PM CST and the other on Tuesday, March 13th at 7:00 PM CST.

What am I going to learn in Introduction to Child Development (ICD) Course?

  • This course is an intro-level course, designed for those who do not have a strong background in Child Development.  Many who work in Montessori schools, as well as about half of the students coming into Seton Montessori Institute’s programs have come from different backgrounds and have not taken a Child Development course in recent years, if ever.  Through participating in this course you will learn about child development from conception through early adolescence, providing the strong foundation for your Montessori certification program and internship experiences. The major theme of the course will be the “whole child.” The course has also been designed to introduce online learning to all students in the first week to help you feel more comfortable with digital learning experiences.

 How will I take this course?

  • Introduction to Child Development will be delivered in an online format. The ICD course is one that has a majority of its work completed online. The course will begin and end with an online video teleconference for all class participants. All of the course design integrates Montessori principles.   
  • Students are required to purchase the magazine format textbook CDEV by Rathus, available on and other online retailers.

What will I be doing in Introduction to Child Development? 

  • There are several components to the course. Since it is on the web, much of the “classroom discussion” takes place through journals and discussion boards. There will be one writing assignment and one non-writing assignment. There are two required video webinars that you must participate in that will be held on February 6th and March 13th at 7:00 pm Central Time.  The rest of the coursework is completed at times that work well for your schedule.
  • The program has been thoughtfully prepared to be an appropriate pace for participants.

How often will I need to log in?

  • The majority of the course is asynchronous, meaning that each person logs on at their own time, and you typically do not need to log in at the same time as all the other students each week.  There will be some students who are able to complete their work only needing to long in once a week while others will need to log in three to five times in order to be successful. It depends on the type of learner you are, how much time you take to complete the various assignments, and whether you learn best from doing your work in one longer session or in several shorter sessions.

When will my work be due?

  • You will have one to two due dates per week, but you can always turn your work in earlier. Your work is due at 11:59 pm of your time zone.  

Course Fee: $350 (CDEV book purchase is responsibility of the student and an estimated additional cost of $55). 

About our Instructors 

Our instructors are all members of the Seton Montessori Institute faculty who hold graduate degrees in Education and have had extensive coursework and research on Child Development and related topics.

Register Now!

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Seton Montessori Institute is proud to offer our 2017 November Seminar

Preparing Montessori Environments for Ecological Literacy and Wonder


Saturday, November 11th from 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

at The Christian Church of Clarendon Hills

5750 Holmes Ave, Clarendon Hills, IL

Seminar Fee for Saturday, $45

Preparing Montessori Environments for Ecological Literacy and Wonder

Meaningful and recurring experiences in nature are essential both to children’s inner well-being and to their gradually developing awareness of themselves as stewards of the planet.  Come revitalize your own relationship to the natural world and to your role as guide and companion to children in their nature exploration.  Learn how to integrate nature discovery as a central element in the community life of your class, gain an understanding of the relationship of nature and human evolution as they relate to the development of the child, and explore nature through stories, art, writing, silence and listening activities and creative play.

About our speaker:

Geoffrey E. Bishop, our keynote speaker, hails from the bush in North West NSW, Australia. After his childhood spent on his family’s sheep station he went to an agricultural boarding school for five years, and then to University in both Sydney and Melbourne where he studied Horticulture and Landscape Architecture.
For the next 10 years he traveled the world, visiting over 80 countries, where he spent most of his time trekking in rural areas, learning cultures and understanding his place in the world.
In 1996 Geoffrey started Nature’s Classroom Institute of Wisconsin, Inc.. NCI is a residential environmental education program serving schools throughout the Midwest. The Nature’s Classroom Institute program helps students understand the natural environment, participate in ecosystem exploration and study, and work together with their peers and teachers as a community. The program includes activities such as confidence-building, group challenges, historical simulations, scientific explorations, and many more hands-on academic lessons.
After developing a strong academic and environmental outdoor based curriculum, he formed Nature’s Classroom Montessori School that blends the core philosophy of Montessori with his environmental principles. The past Board Chair of the Wisconsin Association of Environmental Education (WAEE), he has been honored by WAEE as Wisconsin Non-Formal Educator of the Year.
Nature’s Classroom is on 400 acres in the small rural community of Mukwonago, Wisconsin. Geoffrey’s passionate and sustained focus over the past 15 years has been on organics and sustainability in schools while promoting getting children back outdoors and helping adults understand the importance of instinctive play in the natural world. 

© 2017 Seton Montessori Institute • 5728 Virginia Street, Clarendon Hills, IL 60514 • Phone: (630) 654-0151 • All rights reserved.

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