Montessori Schools are gaining popularity because of their adaptive and individualistic teaching style that will help all children in their educational pursuits. Many people are worried about sending their children to Montessori Schools because of concern about accreditation. I have talked with a teacher of the Montessori School system and gained their insights on the accreditation of the Montessori School system.
Many Montessori schools go through an accreditation process by paying an accrediting organization to certify their school meets certain standards. There are at least four different accreditation organizations specific to Montessori schools. Accreditation only proves that a school meets certain standards, but un-accredited schools often still provide an excellent education.
Children who attend unaccredited schools can still apply to colleges without any problems, and often receive an excellent education.
Why you Need to Avoid Non-Accredited Montessori Schools
Montessori schools are often privately owned and have a very specific teaching style. Accreditation is very important to make sure your child gets a good education. Why is it so important to make sure that your child goes to an accredited Montessori school?
The main reason is that the name Montessori is in the public domain. Montessori is not through one overarching organization that oversees all of the branches of its organization. Instead, Montessori is purely a philosophy on how to teach that people could choose to follow or choose not to follow.
If you send your child to a Montessori school that has not been accredited you could send your child to a poorly developed private school that does not teach with Montessori philosophy. They could be using the Montessori name purely to attract more parents who have heard of the Montessori teaching style and are willing to pay extra for it. However, simply being un-accredited doesn’t mean it’s a bad school–it just means you may want to do some additional vetting to be sure it meets the standards you’re looking for.
Despite common belief, most higher education institutions will not check whether or not your child went to an accredited school, but sending your child to a non-accredited school can still affect their college acceptance. A non-accredited school does not have to follow the educational rules set up by accreditation programs, which in some cases may be a good thing if it allows for entrepreneurial and out-of-the-box education programs.
Types of Montessori School Accreditation
There are three main accreditation systems that Montessori schools use. These are AMI accreditation, AMS accreditation, and MATCE accreditation. Each of these checks for different things regarding your child’s education.
To obtain AMI Accreditation a school’s teachers must have taken classes that gave them a diploma that works for the AMI Accreditation. The teachers need to have five years of teaching experience and three of those five years need to be with the same class doing the Montessori teaching style. The teachers need a bachelor’s degree and membership in the AMI Accreditation program. They then will be required to have an internet observation period by someone appointed by the training group of AMI
To gain AMS Accreditation the school must follow the standards of the Montessori philosophy. The school needs to put together yearly reports on the school’s teachings, faculty, and resources the school offers. This helps the AMS Accreditation program assess if the school is still following the standards of Montessori.
Gaining a MATCE Accreditation can be achieved by proving that the school provides an educational environment that follows the Montessori philosophy and that it has a plan for continual growth and progression. They prove this by creating a Self-Report for the school which covers a list of required questions set up by the MATCE after they have reviewed the Self-Report and decided that the school is promising MATCE sends a representative to do a live viewing of the school to decide whether or not it is worthy of accreditation.
How to Check if Montessori Schools are Accredited
There are many ways to check and see if your Montessori school is accredited. For starters, you can check their website. If it is accredited you should be able to see the accreditation on the website. You should double-check and see if the accreditation is true by backing it up on the website of the accreditation corporation.
Most accreditation corporations have a list of schools they accredited. You can go on the website and check the list and see if the school is actually on that list. If it is then you know the school is a safe place to send your child.
Another option is to call the school you are sending your child to and ask them. They of course can lie to you, but you can always fact-check the answer they give.
When you ask about their accreditation make sure that you get the name of the accreditation resource they used so you can fact check. Also, if a school is lying about accreditation they likely will not know the names of accreditation companies.
Accredited Montessori Schools Can Be Beneficial to your Child
The Montessori school system has a wonderful philosophy. They believe that a child should grow independently and uniquely. Teachers in Montessori school systems will stay with your child for three years so they can build a working relationship with your child and their growth.
Accredited Montessori schools will help your child to be more independent and not be held back by societal stigmas and beliefs. Most Montessori schools have high levels of diversity and believe heavily in equity.
Montessori schools support children in their own unique learning styles. This is great for children with learning disorders. I was taught with a Montessori school philosophy. I have a visual processing disorder that was not diagnosed until higher education because it did not matter to my teacher. She just changed the way they gave tests to me and had me listen to assignments because to them my disorder was not a disorder it was just a different learning style.
This individualized teaching curriculum helps children to be ready for the professional world by helping them understand how they can perform at peak function.