Montessori is an educational approach based on the observation that children have a natural drive to explore, handle, and learn from their environments. Trained teachers present lessons to children in mixed-age classrooms with carefully designed materials from a comprehensive curriculum. Children choose their work according to their own interests as they develop intellectual curiosity, understanding, knowledge, academic and social skills, independence, responsibility, and a sense of community.
The Montessori curriculum concentrates on five areas of critical learning and development- Sensorial, Practical Life Skills, Language, Math and Cultural. Children’s knowledge of the core areas builds each year and by the time they reach the end of kindergarten they have a firm understanding of the material.
Montessori education is the work of Dr. Maria Montessori, who opened the first ‘Children’s House’ for children aged 2½ to 6 in 1906. Today, hundreds of thousands of children up to the age of 18 attend Montessori schools in thousands of classrooms around the world.
The American Montessori Society (AMS) is the foremost advocate for quality Montessori education, an innovative, child-centered approach to learning. AMS sets the high professional standards that inform Montessori education as practiced in AMS-accredited schools and taught in AMS-affiliated teacher education programs.
The AMI was founded in 1929 by Dr. Maria Montessori to maintain the integrity of her life’s work, and to ensure that it would be perpetuated after her death. The AMI is headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The AMI/USA upholds Dr. Maria Montessori’s original vision. Through teacher training programs, school recognition and events, AMI/USA supports the work of Montessori parents, teachers, administrators and schools.