Montessori Organizations: My Thoughts

I began examining the public records regarding finances (IRS form 990) for NAMTA, AMI-USA, and AMS, in this series of articles with the intention of better understanding the role each plays in the Montessori community.  Through the analysis presented in previous articles in this series I have come to several understandings…

  1. AMI-USA, NAMTA,  and AMS are structured (both in revenue sources and revenue expenses) to serve Montessori professionals.  Membership dues contribute the bulk of funding, which is spent on professional conferences and publications geared towards professionals.  My interpretation that these publications are geared towards professionals results from considering the simple  layout of the publications (similar to professional journals rather than popular magazines) and a lack of content geared to varying levels of understanding (most assumes a high level of understanding regarding Montessori).
  2. AMI-USA, NAMTA, and AMS are not structured to engage in political lobbying or otherwise effectively influence public policy  in the field of Early Childhood Education.  This is evident in the lack of revenue expenditures in this area, the scant news in publications relating to doemstic efforts in these areas, and the absence of effort to engage or mobilize members to contact legislators, sign petitions, or appear at rallies.
  3. AMI-USA, NAMTA, and AMS provide few services that appeal to non Montessori professionals.   AMS has endeavored to publish M, a Montessori magazine aimed at a wider audience, and AMI is offering a Parent’s Workshop at the AMI Reresher course this year.  These however appear to me to be atypical of the organizaton’s focus, though I hope these are the beginnings of a shift.

In conclusion, AMI-USA, NAMTA, and AMS are professional support structures.  This is neither good or bad, but simply information that helps guide our expectations for these organizations.  

On a personal note, in my search for organizations that are working to make significant advancements for the Montessori movement through political and social activism, I now have three choices.

  1. Continue searching for organzations with this aim
  2. Appeal to the leadership of these organizations to expand the services and efforts of AMI-USA, NAMTA, and AMS.
  3. Seek out like minded Montessorians to found a new organization structured to make significant advancements for the Montessori movement through political and social activism.

This article is the final installment of an ongoing series examining Montessori Organizations.  The information contained in this article was found by examining public records, specifically IRS form 990, filed by these organizations (found here).  Numbers presented are the average of the years 2005 & 2006.  I also include Sierra Club information as an external comparison to a highly successful and influential organization in the environmental movement.

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