Lately I have wanted to better understand the major Montessori organizations in the United States. As a member of NAMTA and AMI, I feel it is my right and responsibility to understand how these organizations manage my annual dues to accomplish their goals.
I have also been thinking about the Sierra Club, a volunteer, non-profit that is national, well organized, and a major player in advancing the Environmental movement. I am attracted to this kind of community and political activism and I am searching for an equivalent organization in the Montessori community.
As an initial investigation I have been comparing mission statements (some of these sites have clearly labeled mission statements,and others list member services.)
NAMTA is a membership organization open to parents, teachers, and anyone else interested in Montessori education.
NAMTA provides a medium of study, interpretation, and improvement of Montessori education through its publications, audio-visual collection, electronic communications, conferences, and research and service projects throughout North America and the world.
NAMTA endeavors to provide real services in response to the needs of teachers, schools, and parents.
NAMTA was founded in 1970 and is an affiliate organization of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The Association Montessori Internationale was founded in 1929 by Dr. Maria Montessori to maintain the integrity of her life’s work, and to ensure that it would be perpetuated after her death. AMI’s activities include:
· Providing guidance for AMI training courses;
· Co-ordinating a Training of Trainers programme;
· Guiding the manufacturers recognised by AMI in the production of approved Montessori materials;
· Overseeing the publication of Dr. Montessori’s books;
· Organising congresses and study conferences;
· Affiliating Montessori Societies; and
AMS MISSION STATEMENT
AMS provides the leadership and inspiration to make Montessori a significant voice in education. The Society advocates quality Montessori education, strengthens members through its services, and champions Montessori principles to the greater community.
To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth;
To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources;
To educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.
While I have my own thoughts regarding the various statements, I wanted to present this entry without editorial comments to allow readers to draw their own conclusions.