Finding a Montessori that upholds Dr. Montessori’s philosophy and the proper use of the Montessori materials can be a challenge for parents. The Foundation for Montessori Education in Toronto, Canada, has put together a checklist for parents around the world, as they research possible school choices for their children.
A properly functioning Montessori class will have the following elements:
- Montessori teachers trained by an institute such as the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). Teachers should also have specific accreditation for the toddler, primary, elementary and adolescent age group they are teaching.
- Four teaching areas: practical life activities, sensorial, language and mathematics.
- Classes representing a three year age mix:
- Primary or Casa environment: Two – and – a – half years to six years
- Lower Elementary environment: Six to nine years
- Upper Elementary environment: Nine to twelve years
- Between 20 and 40 children per class, including children within three years of each other to ensure social development.
- Five consecutive full days per week for children.
- Three uninterrupted hours of Montessori activities every morning and two hours in the afternoon.
- Children spontaneously choosing their own activities and developing through individual discovery and exploration.
Director of Training
Foundation for Montessori Education