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.
But because the word ‘Montessori’ isn’t trademarked, there is nothing to prevent anyone from using it to name their school. That’s where associations like Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA) come in.
AMI 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.
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.
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.
Read our Montessori checklist to learn more about choosing a Montessori school.