Montessori FAQs


What is a “Montessori” school?

A Montessori school is a school that embraces the educational philosophy and methodology developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 1900’s. The first woman physician to graduate from the University of Rome, Dr. Montessori (1870-1952) developed the method of education that bears her name and is based on her scientific observations of how children develop and learn.
The name “Montessori” is in the public domain and therefore any school can use the word “Montessori” in its name. Accreditation through an organization that accredits Montessori schools is one way to ensure that a school is authentic and meets national standards for quality in Montessori education.

Dr. Maria Montessori

Two of the largest organizations that accredit Montessori schools are Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and American Montessori Society (AMS). St. Paul’s Episcopal Montessori School received its license from AMITOT (Association Internationale Teachers of Texas) in 2009.
Montessori schools are committed to developing the “whole child” – physically, emotionally, socially, and academically. We believe that children learn best in an environment, designed and managed by Montessori teaching professionals, that allows them to move at their own pace academically, make decisions for themselves, solve their own problems, learn to respect others and be an active member of a classroom community.

Montessori classrooms provide children with:

  • Multi-sensory Learning Experiences. Children learn by doing in addition to seeing and hearing. Montessori materials are designed to help the child develop an understanding of concepts, not just memorization of facts.
  • Personalized Instruction. Credentialed Montessori teachers personalize instruction to meet the needs of each student promoting self-paced, self-initiated learning.
  • Multi-age Community of Learners. The 3-year age span in preschool and elementary classrooms allows children to learn from each other as well as their teacher. Children participate in caring for classroom pets, plants, and each other, promoting the development of nurturing, leadership and mentoring skills.

What is AMI?

What is the difference between AMS and AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) schools? AMI was established by Maria Montessori and her son, Mario in 1929 and has international headquarters in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In AMI schools, Montessori philosophy and curriculum are implemented in a way that is consistent with the original approach of Maria Montessori. Additional information can be obtained through www.amiusa.org

What is AMS?

AMS is American Montessori Society, an international organization dedicated to promoting Montessori education and accrediting authentic Montessori schools. AMS was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in New York City. Additional information can be obtained through their website www.amshq.org.

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