The International Montessori Council was designed to encourage and facilitate a grassroots Montessori movement, through an international confederation of chapters operating at the regional level.
Our goal is to support the development of strong, successful Montessori schools around the world by encouraging local Montessori communities to work together effectively by providing an external structure of resources, programs, services, and support.
Existing Montessori organizations play an essential role by training teachers and providing them with professional certification. Unfortunately, because of this mission, their programs and services tend to focus around promotion of their organization's teacher education centers, and support for teachers who hold their certification. This need to focus on their members has made it difficult for existing Montessori societies to provide a system to help Montessori schools, Montessori educators, and Montessori families to work together at geographically convenient levels.
The IMC is not organized along the lines of a traditional top-down hierarchical model. Instead, we have developed an organization based on Montessori principles.
The concept of the Council comes from the Native American tradition of coming together from time to time to meet as equals for the common good. The Council embodies a spirit of fellowship, trust, and community—a place where all are valued and welcome. Whether at the local, state, national or international levels, the IMC follows the Montessori way of seeking consensus and inviting participation.
The Council was formed to build bridges of understanding and cooperation among all of the many branches of the Montessori community. It offers Montessori schools and educators, as well as parents and friends of Montessori, the opportunity to participate in both an international Montessori forum and a grassroots Montessori movement, helping one another better serve the world's children.
IMC members have begun to organize chapters in several areas around the world. Since so much of what we can accomplish must be done at the local level, we invite you to work with us to organize a local chapter to serve more effectively the Montessori community in your area.
A number of valuable programs and services can be organized at the state or local chapter with assistance from the IMC office:
- An on-going year-round program of inexpensive high quality workshops and symposia for teachers, administrators, and trustees
- A coordinated public- and media- relations program to promote Montessori in the local community
- An accurate census of Montessori school programs and enrollments in your area
- Peer mentoring programs in which experienced Montessori teachers and heads of schools provide informal support and counsel to one another
- Parent forums and parenting skills workshops
- A central information resource about local Montessori schools
- Help for schools working on the IMC school accreditation program.
Local chapters will be asked to establish a small office, most likely in one of the local schools, which could provide:
- A location where the public can call for information about Montessori
- A directory of local schools: perhaps with expanded descriptions and photos
- A lending library of Montessori titles and other resources of interest to parents and educators
- A collaborative program to peacefully resolve conflicts between parents and schools
- Cooperative programs among local Montessori schools, from joint team sports programs to community-wide special events
- A bookstore selling Montessori titles and related materials of interest to parents and teachers
- An educational resources and toy shop for parents
- A Montessori curriculum development lab
- A monthly or bimonthly newsletter for the section’s professional community (with a substantial contribution of content emailed from the international and national offices)
- A Montessori speakers bureau (parents love to hear a fresh new voice)
- The Peacekeepers Program: An international Montessori youth leadership programs to empower Montessori children age 6-18 in community service and teach conflict resolution skills
- A student publication for Montessori children, publishing their art, poetry, short stories, and news articles describing special projects or experiences that they want to share with students in other Montessori schools.