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Montessori training coming to Irvine
By LAUREN JOW



If you've ever wondered what's behind the free-form, self-directed Montessori style of teaching, you can now take a course on it in Irvine.

For the first time in Orange County, Montessori Institute of San Diego will be offering an 18-month training course approved by the Association Montessori Internationale on Saturdays near the Irvine Spectrum.

The early-education course will focus on teaching children from birth to 3 years old and includes an in-depth study of Montessori theory, the science of child development, practical class observations and an oral and written exam at the end.

Previously, interested teachers had to take off time to make the trip down to San Diego and attend the yearlong training, which severely limited the number of available teachers, said Ray Girn, CEO of LePort Schools, a Montessori school for infancy through eighth grade.

"This is a chance for them to advance their career while still continuing to make an income and without jeopardizing their current employment," Girn said.

With more local teachers trained in Montessori theory, Girn said LePort Schools can go ahead with its plans for expansion, including offering a Mandarin immersion program and opening two to three preschools per year.

Assistant teachers will be able to move up the ranks to lead teachers at LePort Schools, where Montessori training is required for advancement.

But not all those who attend may be in the industry. Some trainees may also include those looking to change careers or those working in childcare-related fields who simply want to educate themselves, Girn said.

"(The course is) really treating early education as a critical development period that needs to be approached as a science that includes both theory and practice," he said.

Information: misdami.org

Contact the writer: 714-796-7944 or ljow@ocregister.com






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