Positive Discipline

in the Montessori Classroom

Dr. Jane Nelsen & Chip DeLorenzo

Have you ever felt like you give a hundred grace and courtesy lessons a day and your class still isn’t normalized?

Have you ever gone home at night and felt utterly defeated by dealing with students' poor behaviors?

Have you ever felt like a referee for professional debaters, and they are four years old?

Have you ever felt you are able to create limits for behavior, yet following through upholding boundaries escapes you?

Have you ever wondered why a student repeats their poor behavior even when others consistently give them negative feedback?

Have you ever wondered how you can foster a climate of respect, kindness, and responsibility in your Montessori Classroom?

The answer to these challenges can be found in Positive Discipline in the Montessori Classroom.

Positive Discipline is a method of child guidance based on psychology of behavior principles and the idea that every human seeks dignity and respect. The course provides you with a framework of child guidance and classroom management tools in alignment with Montessori philosophy, and perfect for every Montessori learning community.

Dr. Jane Nelsen and Chip DeLorenzo have created a flexible learning program that combines the ease of watching videos in your own time, yet when paired exercises worked through in the accompanying Playbook, the principles of Positive Discipline emerge as usable tools that strengthen relationships with and between students.

Based on the work of Alfred Adler and Rudolf Driekurs, this work reveals how well the Positive Discipline philosophy aligns with the goals of Montessori education. The tools they offer cultivate classrooms where students independently resolve conflicts with each other, are better able to regulate their emotions, they take responsibility for their actions, and everyone contributes to maintaining a harmonious learning environment.

A certificate of completion for 12 hours is provided. Learn more about certificates here.

Chapter 1

Classroom Management Tricks Don't Work

Effective Discipline

Examine Positive Discipline principles and their connection to the Montessori method

Curiosity Questions

Learn how reframing your communication can invite different responses

Kind & Firm

Evaluate 4 different parenting styles & their effect on children's behavior

Chapter 2

Why Do They Do That?

Mistaken Goals

Discover common roots of misbehavior & how to encourage positive behavior

Mistakes, Really?

Delve into the idea that mistakes are an opportunity to learn

Top Card

Take a look at how adult personalities and behavior affect the behavior of students

Chapter 3

Getting on the Same Page


Make a plan to reduce difficult behavior during transitions throughout the day

Power of Connection

Explore ways to build trust and show children you are on their side

Teacher Disagreements

Revisit the importance of cooperation & consistency between adults in the classroom

Chapter 4

Tools for Cooperation and Follow Through

Encouragement vs Praise

Examine the difference between praise and encouragement & its impact on motivation

Maintaining Limits

Explore ways to set effective, respectful limits for children's safety & healthy development

Community Connections

Learn how to support a child's innate desire to contribute to the greater good

Chapter 5

Beware of Logical Consequences


Explore how to avoid logical and natural consequences as a disguise for punishment

Problem Solving & Choice

Investigate the power of involving children in discussing & resolving challenging behavior

Deciding What You Will Do

Examine another respectful tool for setting limits & holding boundaries

Chapter 6

Self-Regulation and the Brain

Brain in the Palm

Take a look at brain functions and how emotions can override reason and judgement

Positive Time-Out

Evaluate an alternative to the traditional model that provides regulation & resolution

Wheel of Choice

Develop a tool for guiding children through positive solutions to common classroom issues

Chapter 7

Communicating for Cooperation and Understanding

3 R's of Recovery

Learn a powerful strategy for making amends for mistakes

Curiosity Questions

Explore another way to use questions instead of lecturing

Reflective Listening

Build skills to help children identify and solve problems themselves

Chapter 8

Making Peace

"I" Messages

Assess what communication skills children need so they can express their feelings in constructive ways 

When Conflict Resolution Fails

Explore common mistakes adults make and helpful tools for facilitating conflict resolution

Conflict Resolution Process

Gain a step-by-step strategy for helping children be more effective at getting their needs met in positive ways

Chapter 9

Putting it All Together

Class Meetings

Bring many concepts together by providing a forum to address the concerns of class members

Meetings for Ages 3-6

Look at the logistics and content of a meeting for students in the first plane of development

Meetings for Ages 6+

Discuss meetings for students age 6+, where students maturity allows for handling topics differently

Chapter 10

Continuum of Change

Belonging & Significance

Reflect on the primary goal of all humans and how it presents in children

Brain in the Heart

Explore the need to bring love into our work with children to temper the brain's directives


Continue to develop the mutual respect and cooperation that is fundamental to a well run classroom

This course includes:

10 on-demand, self-paced online lessons comprised of 37 videos totaling almost 12 hours

1 downloadable PDF Playbook of activities for individual learners and groups that correspond to the 10 video lessons


Dr. Jane Nelsen

Dr. Jane Nelsen is a California licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and author or co-author of 16 Positive Discipline books, and numerous experiential training manuals for parents, teachers, couples, and businesses resulting in Certified Positive Discipline Facilitators in over 80 countries. She earned her Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco, but her formal training has been secondary to her hands-on training as the mother of seven, grandmother of 22, and 18 great grandchildren in partnership with Barry Nelsen, her very supportive husband. She now shares this wealth of knowledge and experience as a popular keynote speaker and workshop leader throughout the world.

Chip DeLorenzo, M.Ed.

Chip DeLorenzo has been a Montessori educator since 1995, and is the founder and former Head of School at the Damariscotta Montessori School in Nobleboro, Maine. He is a Certified Positive Discipline Trainer and has been using Positive Discipline in his classrooms since he was a new teacher. As a trainer and presenter, Chip has worked with thousands of Montessori teachers and parents in teaching the principles and practices of Positive Discipline through various workshops and lectures. He holds Early Childhood, Lower and Upper Elementary AMS certifications, and has worked extensively with Montessori Adolescent students. Chip is also the father of four Montessori children.


Here is what a few Montessorians have to say about the book that inspired the course

​"Positive Discipline is a practical, holistic, non-punitive method that complements the core tenets of the Montessori philosophy of education. This book is an essential tool for Montessori educators and families and provides a transformational framework that supports the Montessori prepared environment and home environment by creating strong, positive, healthy, and respectful expectations for the interactions between the adult and child."
Munir Shivji - Executive Director, American Montessori Society

"​Positive Discipline in the Montessori Classroom is full of practical solutions. It’s a much-needed resource that plugs a significant gap in many Montessori training programs. A comprehensive guide with practical tools for classroom management, this book will help teachers prepare an environment that supports positive socio-emotional development for children from the first to third plane of development. Montessori guides will be pleased to find that all the recommendations align with our training. The clearly articulated strategies, tools, and examples, the well-placed Montessori quotes, and the very relatable examples make this book a necessary addition to every Montessori educator’s toolkit. While it’s targeted to Montessori teachers, I think any educator or caregiver will find it useful in supporting their understanding of and work with children in their care. I highly recommend this fantastic book."
Junnifa Uzodike - Executive Board Member, Association Montessori Internationale; Founder of Fruitful Orchard Montessori School

Positive Discipline in the Montessori Classroom is a practical and thorough adaptation of Positive Discipline, an approach that is closely aligned with Montessori principles and practices. The book looks at the positive classroom leadership through the unique lens of the multi-age level, partnership-oriented pattern found in all true Montessori schools. It is an invaluable expansion on the skills introduced in Montessori teacher education programs, and a perfect refresher for experienced Montessori guides who want to improve their classroom culture, strengthen their relationships with children and families, and create ever more peaceful and harmonious learning communities."
Tim Seldin - President, The Montessori Foundation
"Positive Discipline in the Montessori Classroom is filled with powerful examples from real-life Montessori stories illustrating problem-solving processes that work. The ideas presented aren’t simply tips and tricks for classroom management, but relationship-based strategies, grounded in Montessori and Adlerian theory, that are designed to promote respect and cooperation. The chapters highlight quotes from Dr. Montessori that illustrate the strong link between Positive Discipline in practice and Montessori pedagogy. The content provides not only grounded and life-affirming advice on guiding children to become their best selves, but serves as a mini-Montessori refresher course in its straightforward connections between theories of guidance and practical application."
Teresa Ripple - Associate Professor, St. Catherine’s University

"I was highly impressed with the usefulness of this book. It is a must-read for both new and veteran Montessori teachers wanting to create a cohesive community where everyone knows how to treat each other with dignity and respect. Teachers who read this book and apply the concepts within will see immediate results."
Jody Malterre - Montessori Teacher Trainer, Certified Positive Discipline Lead Trainer

"The skill of guiding children to become self-aware, interdependent, and responsible citizens of the world often feel elusive. Many Montessori educators need practical guidance so as not to fall back on traditional authoritarian principles. Jane Nelsen and Chip DeLorenzo’s book fills this void with handy, practical support that is compatible with the Montessori approach. This is a long overdue and essential book for every Montessori guide."
Tessa Wessels - Director, Casa Tweetalige Montessori School, Netherlands

"Classroom management can be the most difficult thing for any new teacher to learn; it’s the missing piece in many teacher training programs. Jane Nelsen and Chip DeLorenzo have written the definitive manual for handling situations that can, and do, come up in every Montessori classroom. Its principles (such as Connection Before Correction), reminders (“Limits aren’t limits until they are tested” is my favorite!), and realistic suggestions (like staying “Present, Warm, and Silent”) are backed up with honest scenarios that don’t idealize Montessori students’ behavior, and also address societal changes since Montessori’s time. Each chapter is crowned with helpful self-reflection questions that prompt the reader to dig deep for answers to situations that more often than not begin with the adult! Just like Jane and Chip, Positive Discipline and Montessori go together like PB & J, or Vegemite and lightly buttered toast!"
Mark Powell - Director of Education Services, Montessori Australia

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this course for?

This course is intended for Montessori teachers working with students toddlers through adolescence, assistants, support staff, curriculum specialists, substitutes, school leaders, and even homeschooling families.

Is this a live course?

No. Dr. Jane Nelsen and Chip DeLorenzo have created a flexible learning program that combines the ease of self-paced, online videos with a Playbook of activities to help you put your new skills into practice right away.

When does the course start and finish?

This course consists of pre-recorded videos. You will gain access to all the videos as soon as you register. You have access for one year and you may watch at your convenience, as often as you wish, during that time.

We recommend that you allow yourself at least one week per lesson allowing time to watch the videos and work through the exercises. Practicing your new skills in your classroom environment is an important part of the success of this course.

Will I receive a certificate of completion?

Yes, you can get a certificate of attendance for 12 Hours after completing the sequential lessons. IMPORTANT: Some licensing agencies do not accept credits for online courses that are done on-demand. If you are counting on the credits being accepted, please consult with your licensing agency before purchasing.

Does Positive Discipline cover Anti-bias/Anti-racism training (ABAR)?

Positive Discipline promotes life skills for students generating a sense of belonging and significance while teaching them how capable they are. Classroom communities benefit from conflict resolution skills and structured class meetings. It is recommended that all adults working in educational environments pursue specific anti-oppression training in addition to Positive Discipline.

Is this a Positive Discipline Facilitator training?

If you are looking to become a Positive Discipline facilitator, please check out www.chipdelorenzo.com

Is this a MACTE accredited course?

No. This is an on-demand online course and does not include the timed and in-person components required for MACTE accreditation.

Is this appropriate for parents?

The principles in this course can certainly be applied by parents. However, most of the examples used will be for a classroom setting and will reflect the student-teacher dynamic. We will not be addressing parents' needs specifically.


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