Montessori is a specialized education philosophy that Maria Montessori devoted her life to which is centered around the child, instead of traditional teacher-based learning.
Montessori schools have become popular throughout the world for their hands-on approach to education, which develops all aspects of a student's intellectual, spiritual and emotional psyche.
Montessori is more than a name. With more and more private schools operating under the Montessori title, it’s crucial for parents to ensure the school they choose is providing an authentic Montessori experience.
AMI, which stands for Association Montessori Internationale, was founded by Maria Montessori in 1929 to ensure that her methods would retain an original integrity and to ensure that her work would be perpetuated after her death.
Her vision that children learn best in a social environment that encourages individual growth is carried forward by this organization. Accreditation and certification in AMI helps ensure that teachers are as close as possible to her original philosophy and ideals.
While accreditation can vary according to age group, it is often seen in the form of three letters – AMI.
Teachers in the Montessori method must go through years of rigorous training and must be proficient in all the subjects they teach. Proper accreditation and assurance that teachers have the right training (such as AMI training) will make a world of difference in the quality of education your child will receive.
Because the word ‘Montessori’ isn’t trademarked, there is nothing to prevent anyone from using it to name their school. It’s vital for those who have embraced the child-centered, hands-on learning approach that defines the Montessori experience to look for a school and teachers with proper accreditation. That’s where The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) comes in.
The objectives of the Association are to uphold, propagate and further the pedagogical principles and practice formulated by Dr. Maria Montessori for the full development of the human being.
The organization also provides guidance for training courses that will accredit teachers; guidance to recognized manufacturers in the production of approved Montessori materials and oversees the publication of Dr. Montessori’s books.
Additionally, AMI’s activities include organizing study conferences and affiliating Montessori Societies, as well as publishing the AMI bulletin Communications.
In 1960, an internal dispute resulted in the formation of the American Montessori Society (AMS). This dispute has not lasted and today the two organizations have a collegial, cooperative relationship.
Read our Montessori checklist to learn more about choosing a Montessori school.
When is the best time to enrol your child in Montessori? How will your child’s development be monitored? How do you extend the Montessori environment to your home? You can also learn more from the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA).
Below is a list of schools with AMI Montessori certified teachers. Find one near you and learn more!