Program Overview

Montessori Teacher Education Programs

Montessori Teacher Education Programs Program Overview

The faculty supporting Montessori Programs at Barry University work with adult learners for the purpose of preparing highly qualified Montessori educators at all levels (Early Childhood, Elementary I-II and Secondary I-II). The Montessori philosophy of education aims to support the development of competent and responsible citizens who engage in critical thinking and value life-long learning. The program supports learning experiences for children of all ages which are based in inquiry, and foster a cooperative environment for learning which is based upon a culture of respect and care.

All courses are held in our fully equipped Montessori demonstration classroom and lab on Barry University’s main campus in Miami Shores. This classroom combines traditional Montessori materials with state of the art technology to meet the needs of today’s educators. Contact us today to schedule a tour and meet with the Program Director and Coordinator.

Accommodating the Working Professional

All classes are held in the late afternoon, evening and Saturdays and are designed for the working professional.

The Montessori Programs are designed to be completed within two years; however, a number of students are able to complete the program sooner.

State Certification

A previous education degree is not required to be accepted to any of the Montessori programs. Many of our students come from other areas and disciplines. The Montessori Programs at Barry University provide their adult learners with everything they need to be successful as leaders in the Montessori classroom.

Our Montessori programs are not state-approved programs and do not lead to state certification, however state certification may be obtained if you fulfill the following three requirements and apply for certification through the Florida Department of Education:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree in any field.
  • Obtain employment as a teacher in a private or public school.
  • Pass the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE) of the level you wish to teach.

For program information, contact Program Director, Leslie Lasseville, EdS (305-899-3736).

History Montessori at Barry University

How the Program Began

Barry University was the first university-based Montessori graduate program established in the state of Florida and one of the first in the Southeastern United States. The Montessori program has built a reputation as an institution where education students graduating from Barry are well prepared to teach.

Over twenty years ago, Barry University was approached by the Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Magnet Programs to offer a graduate program where teachers would earn a master's degree in Montessori education. The idea was well received by Barry University. The Adrian Dominican Sisters had already developed and administered two Montessori schools, one in Adrian, Michigan and another in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Doors opened for the first group of students for the Montessori Elementary I-II program in 1992. MACTE accreditation was obtained in 1993. A year later the Early Childhood program was established and was accredited by MACTE in 1995.

Serving Montessori Schools in the Area

The Montessori program has responded to requests to teach off-campus at schools within the community. Most recently, the Early Childhood and Elementary programs are offered for Broward County Public Schools at Beachside Montessori Village (in Hollywood, Florida), for Duval Public Schools at John E. Ford Elementary (Jacksonville, Florida). In the past, we offered programs for three years at Virginia Shuman Young Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale and Rosarian Academy and Northboro Elementary School in West Palm Beach as well as others in Fort Myers, Florida and St. Petersburg, Florida.

The main campus serves teachers from throughout Florida in addition to teachers from Central and South Americas, Europe and Asia.


The Montessori Program is proud of its alumni. A number of our alumni have continued on to open their own Montessori schools throughout the US. Most of our alumni are lead teachers and directors throughout South Florida’s Montessori private and public schools.

Future of the Montessori Program

Several trends point to a bright future for the Montessori Program:

  • The increasing number of Montessori Magnet and Charter schools organized will need more Montessori certified teachers.
  • The Voluntary Pre-K (VPK) approved by voters by a referendum implemented in 2005 highlights the importance of quality early childhood education. Montessori programs have been successful in offering high standard early childhood education for almost 100 years. The need for early childhood teachers to meet this state mandate continues to be an opportunity for the Montessori Programs at Barry University to prepare teachers for this role.
  • The increasing emphasis for our nation to educate children so they can read, compute and understand science is an opportunity for the Program to increase public awareness that the personalized, hands-on, multi-sensory strategies used in Montessori schools have been effective in achieving those goals. The increased demand for Montessori schools will need a greater supply of credentialed Montessori teachers.

Program Locations

Classes are primarily held at Barry University's Miami Shores campus:

Barry University
11300 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami Shores, FL 33161

With an additionally approved teaching location at:

Beachside Montessori Village School
2230 Lincoln Street
Hollywood, FL 33020

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