Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952)


Dr. Maria Montessori was a three time Noble-Prize nominee, a visionary, educator, and physician, far ahead of her time. 

In January 1907, Dr. Montessori opened a school in the slums of Rome, Italy, to test some new theories she had about children. She offered a prepared environment, equipped with scientific, purposeful activities and materials to foster the children's developmental needs. Her approach supported the full development of the human being, and news of the school's success spread from coast to coast. 

Acclaimed for her educational methods that build on the way children naturally learn, Dr. Montessori discovered that the children had the ability to educate themselves. She recognized that children absorb their environment effortlessly, and through their work, develop concentration and joyful self-discipline.


Not all Montessori schools are the same.

Global TV in Toronto, Canada offers parents news on how to identify a real Montessori school. 

At Ellesmere Montessori we encourage parents to take the time to do their research before deciding on a school. Come for a visit or book an observation in one of our classrooms .

Montessori Accreditation


AMI Canada

  AMI (Canada) is an Affiliated Society with the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), which is the organization Dr. Montessori established to protect the great body of work she did in her lifetime. AMI is an international authority on education, and a member of UNESCO as well as a non-governmental organization with the United Nations. AMI diploma holders, assistants, administrators, teachers from other methodologies, parents and anyone interested in the natural development of the human being is welcome to join AMI Canada.  


Montessori Quality Assurance

   Montessori Quality Assurance is a voluntary programme for Montessori schools in Canada. Those schools requesting AMI Montessori Quality Assurance seek to identify themselves as schools that are committed to AMI educational principles and practices.   

Dr. Angeline Lillard

 Dr. Angeline Lillard is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. She has been studying the Montessori Method for over two decades. In her book, Montessori: The Science behind the Genius,  Dr. Lillard presents Montessori’s theoretical principles, how they are implemented in Montessori classrooms, and supporting science research.  


Designed for parents to consider when visiting a potential Montessori environment.


Essential Characteristics of Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Environments

  • Mixed-age groups with full range for each level
    • Nido: 2 months to walking 12-15 months
    • Infant Community: walking 15 months to 2½/3 yrs
    • Primary: 2½/3- 6 years
    • Elementary: 6-9 years, 9-12 years or 6-12 years

  • Class Size
    • Nido: 2 months to walking 12-15 months: enrollment up to 6 children
    • Infant Community: 15 months to 2½/3 years: not intentionally less than 12 children (except where due to establishing a new class or government regulations)
    • 3-6 years and 6-12 years: enrollment numbers per class not intentionally less than 28 children (except where due to establishing a new class or government regulations)

  • The Teacher and Assistant
    • One trained AMI teacher per class and the minimum number of non-teaching assistants as allowed by government regulations

  • Materials
    • A full set of Montessori materials as per the training albums

  • Program
    • 0-3 years: minimum of 4 consecutive days per week
    • 3-6 years and 6-12 years: program runs 5 days per week;

  • Uninterrupted Work Cycle
    • 0-3 years: minimum 2 hours per day;
    • 3-6 years: minimum 3-hour uninterrupted morning work cycle and 2-3 hour uninterrupted afternoon work cycle;
    • 6-12 years: minimum 3 hour uninterrupted work cycle in one half of the day and 2-3 hour uninterrupted work cycle the other half of the day. One 2-3-hour work cycle per week may be used to accommodate special subjects such as foreign language.


AMI Montessori vs. Conventional Education

Trevor Eissler, father of three Montessori students, a business jet pilot, author, and international speaker, shares his experience with Montessori Education.