Montessori Society (AMS)
AMS Philosophy & Practice
The American Montessori Society desires to define Montessori education as it is practiced in AMS accredited schools, taught in AMS teacher education program AMS, and articulated in AMS sponsored publications, symposia and conferences.
The American Montessori Society is committed to promoting quality Montessori education for all children from birth to 18 years based on these key concepts:
- The aim of Montessori education is to foster competent, responsible, adaptive citizens who are lifelong learners and problem solvers.
- Learning occurs in an inquiring, cooperative, nurturing atmosphere. Students increase their own knowledge through self- and teacher-initiated experiences.
- Learning takes place through the senses. Students learn by manipulating materials and interacting with others. These meaningful experiences are precursors to the abstract understanding of ideas.
- The individual is considered as a whole. The physical, emotional, social, aesthetic, spiritual, and cognitive needs and interests are inseparable and equally important.
- Respect and caring attitudes for oneself, others, the environment, and all life are necessary.
The Montessori teacher is educated in these areas:
- Human growth and development.
- Observational skills to match students’ developmental needs with materials and activities. This allows the teacher to guide students in creating their individual learning plan.
- An open-ended array of suggested learning materials and activities that empower teachers to design their own developmentally responsive, culturally relevant learning environment.
- Teaching strategies that support and facilitate the unique and total growth of each individual.
- Classroom leadership skills that foster a nurturing environment that is physically and psychologically supportive of learning.
A Montessori classroom must have these basic characteristics at all levels:
- Teachers educated in the Montessori philosophy and methodology appropriate to the age level they are teaching, who have the ability and dedication to put the key concepts into practice.
- A partnership with the family. The family is considered an integral part of the individual’s total development.
- A multi-aged, multi-graded, heterogeneous group of students.
- A diverse set of Montessori materials, activities, and experiences, which are designed to foster physical, intellectual, creative and social independence.
- A schedule that allows large blocks of uninterrupted time to problem solve, to see the interdisciplinary connections of knowledge, and to create new ideas.
- A classroom atmosphere that encourages social interaction for cooperative learning, peer teaching, and emotional development.
Code of Ethics of the AMS
Principle I – Commitment to the Student
In fulfillment of the obligation to the children, the educator:
- Shall encourage independent action in the pursuit of learning
- Shall protect the opportunity to provide for participation in educational program AMS without regard to race, sex, color, creed, or national origin
- Shall protect the health and safety of students
- Shall honor professional commitments, maintain obligations, and contracts while never soliciting nor involving students or their parents in schemes for commercial gain.
- Shall keep in confidence information that has been secured in the course of professional service, unless disclosure serves professional purposes or is required by law.
Principle II – Commitment to the Public
The Montessori educator shares in the responsibility for the development of policy relating to the extension of educational opportunity for all and for interpreting educational program AMS and policies to the public. In fulfilling these goals, the educator:
- Shall support his professional society and not misrepresent its policies in public discussion. Whenever speaking or writing about policies, the educator should take the precaution to distinguish his private views from the official position of the Society.
- Shall not interfere with nor exploit the rights and responsibilities of colleagues within the teaching profession.
Principle III – Commitment to the Profession
The Montessori educator makes efforts to raise professional standards and conditions to attract persons worthy of trust to careers in Montessori education. In fulfilling these goals, the educator:
- Shall extend just and equitable treatment to all members of the Montessori education profession.
- Shall represent his own professional qualification with clarity and true intent
- Shall apply for, accept, offer, recommend, and assign professional positions and responsibilities on the basis of professional preparation and legal qualifications.
- Shall use honest and effective methods of administering his duties, use of time and conducting business.
As American Montessori Society members, we pledge to conduct ourselves professionally and personally, in ways that will reflect our respect for each other and for the children we serve. We will do whatever is within our talents and capacity to protect the right of each child to have the freedom and opportunity to develop his full potential. AMS requires that all member schools and teacher education program AMS agree to comply with the AMS Code of Ethics. AMS relies solely on self-compliance of this Code.
Adopted by the AMS Board of Directors October 1969. Expanded June 1975. Updated 2005.