Montessori and Elementary Education

“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.”

 – Maria Montessori

In partnership with the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee, this program — the only one of its kind in Wisconsin — integrates Alverno’s Bachelor of Arts in Education with a Montessori teacher preparation program. Upon successful completion, you will be eligible for two Wisconsin teaching licenses: early childhood/middle childhood (birth to age 11) and Montessori (ages 3 to 6 or ages 6 to 12). This dual licensure will give you an edge in the job market, as demand for skilled teachers remains strong and as more school districts add Montessori classrooms.

The Montessori philosophy

Developed by Maria Montessori more than century ago, the Montessori approach to education features multi-age classrooms, self-directed activity and hands-on learning. As a trained Montessori teacher, you will understand the importance of allowing a child to develop naturally through appropriate lessons and materials based on each child’s unique characteristics and abilities. You will learn how to act as a guide to students, assisting each child along his or her own path of discovery.

Elementary Education at Alverno

Alverno’s Elementary Education program focuses on the art and science of teaching, helping you develop the knowledge, skills and behaviors to meet the challenges of today’s classroom environment.

You’ll learn from educators who are leaders in their field, who have years of real-world experience teaching in K-12 schools and who are on the forefront of the latest trends and changes in education.

A unique partnership

Designed to be completed in four years, this program weaves together Montessori and traditional education philosophies to prepare you to teach in either setting at both the 3-6 age range and the 6-12 age range. You will have the unique understanding of both approaches to elementary education.

You’ll also benefit from Alverno’s distinctive abilities-based education as well as the specialized expertise of the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee, an Association Montessori Internationale training center.

You’ll discover that the Alverno and Montessori teaching philosophies are complementary. Both emphasize hands-on learning, critical thinking and collaboration priorities that will ensure bright futures for you and your future students.

On-the-ground training

Alverno’s program gives you extensive experience in early childhood or elementary school classrooms, with field experiences starting as early as your second semester. During your final year, you will spend time student teaching at a Montessori school in collaboration with the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee and time teaching at a non-Montessori school.

Alverno is connected to more than 150 private and public schools throughout the Milwaukee area and beyond, and our students do field experiences and student-teach at a variety of urban and suburban schools.


Have questions about studying the Montessori method and Elementary Education? We invite you to connect with faculty to learn more.

Pat Luebke, Dean, School of EducationPat Luebke
Dean, School of Professional Studies