To understand the distinct advantages that Mountain Shadows offers your child, we’ve included below:
Current educational research indicates that the greatest benefits of a Montessori education accrue from a genuine Montessori program
like we offer at Mountain Shadows.
The Montessori Method
A Montessori education is founded on the idea that all children have an irresistible curiosity and want to discover and learn about their universe. Children thus need a richly prepared environment that is beautiful, simple, and ordered. Three-year age groups enrich this experience, while independence supports great learning. Teachers act as guides for the children, introducing them to materials and activities according to each child’s personal needs. The Montessori teacher is also a collaborator with each child, presenting new ideas for investigation, as well as encouraging that child’s individual interests.
What Are the Differences Between An AMI School and an AMS School?
Because the name “Montessori” is not trademarked, different schools can use it without having to adhere to the strict AMI guidelines established by Dr. Maria Montessori to maintain the integrity of her work past her lifetime. The American Montessori Society (AMS), for example, is an association of schools that offer much of the Montessori approach but do not adhere 100% to these principles.
One way to understand the differences between an AMI and an AMS school is to first explore what the AMI espouses.
Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)
- International Scope: An international committee of educators constantly reviews the AMI educational procedures and monitors all the teacher training centers around the world. This global perspective keeps the focus on universal child development and learning rather than national instruction fads and trends.
- Standardization of Instruction: Teacher training is standardized in every training center. This means that your children will not be taught one way of working with Montessori materials by one teacher, and another way by the next teacher.
- Consistency Between Classrooms: If a child must move to another AMI school because a parent or guardian moves, he or she can make that adjustment with minimal disruption because the Montessori materials, activities, and expectations are virtually identical, no matter which AMI school your child enters.
- Continuity of Concepts: A real advantage of an AMI school is the consistency of instruction and continuity of concepts from earlier classrooms to upper levels of Montessori work. It will not matter which AMI teacher your child worked with, or even which AMI school your child attended before, because the consistency of AMI teacher training supports your child’s experiences. Your child may need some review, but “unlearning” and “re-learning” will not be necessary.
- Emphasis on Independence: An AMI school’s emphasis on helping children develop independence is a critical feature of your child’s development, and is often overlooked in our society today. If a child works for learning, praise by a teacher can become a goal instead. We are careful to help each child value the activities they do, so they continue their quest for self-development and independence.
Nationally recognized research of Montessori School effectiveness supports the strictest application of the Montessori method of instruction in order to achieve superior results. AMI represents the highest standard by which schools can be measured.
American Montessori Society (AMS)
- Blended Program: The national Montessori perspective, with other theories folded in, makes the AMS a blended Montessori program. Various theories of education, and changing perspectives on American education in particular, affect the programs of AMS schools.
- Variations in Teacher Training: Teacher training varies from one training center to another.
- Lack of Continuity: The consistency between classrooms and the continuity of concepts from one level to another in an AMS school depends upon the training of each teacher. Different AMS training centers have different emphases.
Is Montessori Accreditation Important?
Since “Montessori” is not a proprietary name, accreditation gives parents seeking all the benefits of a Montessori education the assurance that a school is meeting the required standards for their child to receive a true Montessori education. The accreditation criteria ensure that every classroom continues to provide the optimal Montessori experience for each child.
What Are the Differences Between an AMI-Accredited and an AMI-Associated School?
AMI Accreditation: Every AMI recognized and accredited school must meet the following criteria:
- Each classroom is facilitated one AMI teacher trained at the appropriate program level.
- Assistants in the classroom are non-teaching aides.
- AMI consultants review the school at least every three years.
- Each classroom contains a 100% complete age-appropriate set of Montessori materials.
- The activities in the classroom are consistent with AMI guidelines.
AMI Association: AMI-associated schools are those in the process of meeting full recognition standards. This associated status has a time limit for the school to come into full compliance.
Building on Your Child’s Early Foundation
Since Mountain Shadows offers the only internationally recognized Montessori school for ages 3-12, you don’t have to give up that academic excellence after the primary years. You can continue your child’s Montessori education all the way through elementary school at the same great school with expert teachers and staff.