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.
What is AMI?
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.
Why is it important to look for AMI?
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.
What does the AMI do?
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.
AMI and the AMS
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.
What to look for in a Montessori school
AMI insists every proper Montessori school should have:
• Proper accreditation and teacher training
• Dedicated teaching areas for practical life activities, sensorial, language and math
• Classes with a three year age mix: Montessori Casa or Primary (2.5-6), Elementary (6-9 and/or 9-12)
“Times have changed, and science has made great progress, and so has our work; but our principles have only been confirmed, and along with them our conviction that mankind can hope for a solution to its problems, among which the most urgent are those of peace and unity, only by turning its attention and energies to the discovery of the child and to the development of the great potentialities of the human personality in the course of its formation.”
More info for parents: 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!
List of AMI Schools & Background
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