Non certified or accredited Montessoris - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 3 Old 01-30-2005, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What are your thoughts on schools that are not certified. The school my kids are in isn't and very few of the schools around us are actually certified. Our school is run by a AMI certified directress. She taught in 2 different schools that were AMI-like. I know one of them wasn't certified because I looked at it as an option for us but I'm not sure about the other one because it was out of state. There are 3 other teachers that are AMS certified and the school follows the principles of AMS. There is one major defiation from the typical montessoris. The mixed ages are not exactly the same. The school takes kids at 18 months and she keeps the 18-40/48 months together. It depends on the kids when the move upstairs to the older group which is more like 4-6 year olds with some older 3 year olds in it. I really don't have a problem with the way it is set up and it seems to work okay with my kids. Other than that the school is run very much like I would believe a certified montessori school would be with organized shelfs of montessori materials. So I wonder what the thoughts are of others on non certifed schools.

Also what is your experience with teaching reading with the older kids. How do they do it? Do they use phonics? Reading workbooks? Work pages? This is one area I'm not sure what the "Montessori way" should look like.

Thanks, Micky
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#2 of 3 Old 02-02-2005, 09:28 PM
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Hi,
I am an AMI trained teacher and have worked in both accredited and non-accredited schools.

There are many reasons that a school may not be accredited:

---The school may be small and not able to afford the expense. This is especially true of schools that are not located near a training center. If a school has, say, just one class it may not be a priority for that school to seek accreditation. One of the best schools (Children's House level) in St. Paul isn't accredited and if I was still living there I would have my ds attend even over my own class!

---The school may not qualify for accreditation. They may not be up to the standards of AMI.

---They may be new and not quite ready for accreditation. The school I helped found in 1994 did not get accredited until 1999. Until then we paid consultants to come out and help us get our school to where we wanted it. Most of those consultants were AMI trainers. When we were ready for our accreditation in 1999 we went through the process without a hitch. The school I operate now is brand new (just opened in September) and we won't seek accreditation until 2007 (after our elementary class opens).

---The school may not adhere to the philosophies of AMI and not care to be accredited.


You can ask the administrator or education director of the school what there plans are regarding AMI accreditation and see what they say. If you are worried about standards being met, call AMI/USA (see the link at www.pleasantvalleymontessori.com under links to other Montessori sites - follow the AMI link to AMI/USA) and ask them for a list of criteria. They should be able to send you, or direct you to a place, where you can see the basic criteria for AMI certification. You can then see if you school meets at least this basic criteria. Of course, unless you are a trained trainer and spend several days in each class you won't be able to make a solid judgement, you can sometimes spot a glaring deficit with just the basic list.

Good luck!
Ellen
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#3 of 3 Old 02-03-2005, 05:05 AM
 
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There's only 1 certified Montessori school in my city (it's AMS certified). It's quite large (18 months to 8th grade) and obviously has a lot of $ resources. There are also many schools with Montessori in their name. Some of these do have certified teachers in them and do seem to adhere to Montessori principles, but are not certified. Many of them are quite small, so perhaps that's the reason. We like the certified school, but they require that kids be there 5 days a week, so we are not going to enroll my son there yet.
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