International Montessori Council
Welcome to the IMC
Today our members can be found in more than 50 countries around the world. Membership is open to all individuals and organizations with an interest in promoting Montessori. General school membership in the IMC does not imply accreditation or endorsement of any sort. The IMC does offer a voluntary program of Montessori school accreditation.
Our mission is to encourage Montessori educators, parents, and schools to work together regardless of affiliation, and to provide those of us who lead Montessori schools with meaningful resources and support.
Our focus is on issues of concern to Montessori school leaders: administration, curriculum development, recruitment and hiring, supervising teachers and staff, insurance, finance, facilities, working with boards, recruitment, building community, fund raising, public relations, and much more.
Most institutional members of IMC are schools, but others include Montessori professional societies, teacher education programs, retailers and manufacturers of Montessori materials, and other groups with an interest in promoting authentic Montessori practices. In addition, individuals can become members.
School membership is rather inexpensive, and the benefits are of great value to schools.
The cost of school and other institutional membership is $250 USD per year.
A system of schools (defined as three or more Montessori campuses) pays the normal school dues
plus $100 for each satellite campus.
Individual membership is $60.
While this website contains a wealth of information open to the public, many more articles, videos, pdf books and other resources are available to members in our password protected members area.
For more information please contact our membership director:
The Montessori Foundation Bookstore
935 N Beneva Rd Ste 609 #56
Sarasota, FL 34232
Why the IMC Was Founded
Historically Montessori schools and educators have taken a large part of their identity from the Montessori organization from which their teachers earner their Montessori certification. Montessori schools long tended to worked in isolation.
Montessori teachers continue to be in very short supply. Many schools worry about enrollment year after year. Many a school has been offended to learn that another Montessori school in their community makes derogatory remarks about their program. There is a widespread fear of losing families or teachers to other Montessori schools based on years of bitter experience.
These patterns of behavior kept the Montessori community divided.
To much of the outside world, Montessori is considered an oddity. This is not because they reject our approach and philosophy, for in truth many of the practices and insights of what we hold dear have begun to be adopted by leading educational thinkers around the world. The roots of our isolation from the mainstream of education has more to do with our behavior and attitude, both toward one another, and towards schools that we define as “traditional,” which sometimes turns out to be schools who have many things in common with us, but who happen not to see themselves as being “Montessori”.
The International Montessori Council was organized in 1998 under the auspices of the Montessori Foundation to provide an inclusive and affordable membership organization for Montessori educators and schools around the world to work together to promote Montessori to the outside world and help one another to address challenges that we all face. The IMC welcomes all Montessori teachers and schools as members. The IMC encourages members to also belong to in any other Montessori organizations
1. Qualified Montessori teachers continue to be in terribly short supply all over the world, year after year, and decade after decade. We need to find better ways of encouraging talented men and women to pursue a career in Montessori education.
2. After all these years, many parents and traditional educators still do not understand Montessori or feel confident in our schools. It is crucial that we find more effective ways to get our message out to the world.
3. Many parents still use Montessori as a preschool, and moving their children to traditional public or private schools as soon as they are old enough. We need to communicate the benefits of continuing their children in Montessori for the entire program.
4. Increasingly parents pressure our teachers and schools to modify our programs to be more like traditional classrooms, we all need help in making the case that Montessori works, allowing us to remain true to our principles!
5. Because experienced Montessori-trained school administrators are so hard to find, more and more schools are being led by traditional educators, which, in a growing number of cases, has created de-stabilization and turmoil. Montessori schools need Montessori leaders. We all have a stake in ensuring that we are preparing Montessori educators for school leadership, as well as offering ongoing programs of professional development in Montessori leadership.
6. Many Montessori schools are governed by ineffective and erratic boards. It is essential that we organize programs that schools can use to select, orient, and train new board members in effective governance of a Montessori school.
7. Increasingly, parents want assurance that their children’s Montessori schools are accredited. We need to encourage and provide support to help schools go through the process of Montessori school accreditation for the first time.
8. And finally, because parents and educators all over the world are asking to see research evidence that confirms Montessori’s effectiveness, we need to work together to fund and encourage new research and disseminate the results to validate all of the anecdotal and intuitive evidence supporting Montessori’s success in human development and education.
These challenges have plagued our schools for decades. Many are the result of our lack of commitment to organize locally and work together effectively.
Today, we have a choice. We can sit back and continue to accept the situation facing us, but if we do so, there is a real danger that education will cast us aside in the ongoing culture of school reform. Or we can use basic principles of the “Montessori Way” to design and work together in new ways to serve the entire Montessori community.
Working together, we can take Montessori to a new level, and doing so, build tomorrow’s schools to meet the needs of tomorrow’s children.
The IMC celebrates the steps toward collaboration that have begun in the United States and is a proud member of the Montessori Leadership Collaborative.
Upcoming IMC Events
IMC Accredited Schools
IMC School Accreditation just recently completed its initial pilot phase. Approximately 20 schools are in process at this time. The following Montessori schools have completed the accreditation process and have earned full IMC School Accreditation:
|Sea Pines Montessori Academy, Hilton Head Island, SC, USA|
|Bowman International School, Palo Alto, CA, USA|
|The Montessori School of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan|
Ghent Montessori School, Norfolk, VA, USA
|The Westwood School, Dallas, TX, USA|
|International Montessori School of Hong Kong|