Dáil Éireann - Volume 492 - 23 June, 1998

Written Answers. - Teaching Qualifications.

[1743] 334. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Education and Science the proposals, if any, he has to recognise Montessori trained teachers as fully qualified teachers in the primary school system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14801/98]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): Teachers with the Montessori qualification which is awarded on completion of the three year full-time course in the Association Montessori Internationale — AMI — College in Milltown, Dublin are recognised by my Department as qualified to teach in special schools for the mentally handicapped, the emotionally disturbed and the hearing impaired.

In addition, the recent national forum on early childhood education considered all aspects of this issue, including the Montessori method. An independent report on the forum is being prepared by the independent secretariat and will be published under the authority of the secretary general to the forum. This report will be an important document, and will form an important input into a White Paper on early childhood education which I intend to publish later this year. It would not be appropriate for me at this stage to pre-empt the outcome of this process by commenting on possible future roles for Montessori teachers.