AMI pedagogical standards maintain the level of excellence that Maria Montessori envisioned. Established by the AMI Scientific Pedagogy Group, the standards insure that each school offers programs for their children that allow for their full intellectual, social, and psychological growth and that the approach is consistent with what is presented in AMI training courses worldwide.

Due to COVID-19, certain allowances are being made for currently recognized schools who are unable to meet all of the standards this year.

The Teacher

There will be one AMI teacher trained at the appropriate age level in each class.

“We must support as much as possible the child’s desires for activity; not wait on him, but educate him to be independent. It is necessary for the teacher to guide the child without letting him feel her presence too much, so that she may always be ready to supply the desired help, but may never be the obstacle between the child and his experience.”
~ Dr. Maria Montessori


Each primary and elementary class may have one non-teaching assistant. The classroom assistant should support the teacher by making materials, noting observations, supervising outdoor activities, and assisting with “going-outs.” For assistants to infancy classes, the adult to child ratio should be 1 to 5.

The Materials

In order to ensure a prepared environment that is consistent with AMI standards, each Montessori classroom must be equipped with a complete set of Montessori materials. These materials should be purchased from an AMI authorized manufacturer. A “complete” set of Montessori materials is all materials needed by AMI trained lead teachers to present the lessons in their albums in the way that their training intended.

“The fundamental fact in the preparation of the environment is to have only one set of each type of material. When there is only one specimen of each object, and if a piece is in use when another child wants it, the latter will wait for it to be released. Since this happens every hour of the day for years, the idea of respecting others, and of waiting one’s turn, becomes a habitual part of life which always grows more mature.”
~ Dr. Maria Montessori

Materials beyond the scope of the AMI lead teacher’s training may be considered extraneous with a requirement for them to be removed.

The following companies manufacture materials according to detailed blueprints provided by AMI:

Nienhuis Montessori by Heutink International

Gonzagarredi Montessori

Matsumoto Kagaku Japan

Agaworld Montessori

NOTE: Not all of the materials in these companies’ catalogs are AMI-approved materials. Please, look for the AMI logo next to those approved by AMI.

Digital Materials

AMI Digital provides a large range of digital Montessori materials including charts, classified cards and publications. The materials can be purchased and downloaded ready to print at

The Classes

Number of Children

Classes include a well-balanced division of ages as well as an appropriate number of children to ensure social development:

Toddler: 10-14 children Primary: 24-35 children
Elementary: 24-35 children

“When classes are fairly big, differences of character show themselves more clearly and wider experiences can be gained.”
~ Dr. Maria Montessori

AMI advocates for large numbers of children per class whenever possible as part of an ideal Montessori Prepared Environment but recognizes that schools may not always be able to achieve the recommended minimum number in each environment. In these circumstances full recognition may still be granted if the Recognition Consultation determines that the expected outcomes are present, and the environment is otherwise functioning in ways which warrant recognition.

Age Range

Classes are made up of children in the following age ranges (ages listed are approximate):

Nido (infant environment):
2 months to 12/15 months
Toddler Community:
12/15 months (walking well) to 3 years
Primary class:
3-6 years
Elementary class:
6-9, 9-12, or 6-12 years

“There are many things which no teacher can convey to a child of three, but a child of five can do it with the utmost ease. To understand what the older ones are doing fills the little ones with enthusiasm. There is a communication and a harmony between the two that one seldom finds between the adult and the small child.”
~ Dr. Maria Montessori

Uninterrupted Work Period

Classes are scheduled five days per week (unless specified otherwise) with substantial uninterrupted work periods every day:

  • Toddler: 2 hours per day, at least four days a week
  • Primary: 3 hours per day every morning for all children, and 2-3 hours per day every afternoon for the older children (Full-day)
  • Elementary: 3 hours per day every morning, and 2-3 hours every afternoon with an allowance of one morning or afternoon work cycle for specialty programming

“Left to themselves, the children work ceaselessly; they do not worry about the clock … after long and continuous activity the children’s capacity for work does not appear to diminish, but to improve.”
~ Dr. Maria Montessori

AMI Recognized

To receive the AMI certificate of recognition indicating that a level is fully recognized, 100% of the lead teachers at that level are AMI trained and all of the AMI standards must be achieved.

For schools that do not meet all of the standards, AMI/USA offers two alternatives:

AMI/USA Affiliated

To qualify for the Affiliated status, two out of three classrooms or three out of four classrooms at that level or multiples thereof, are led by AMI teachers.  The level meets all other AMI standards.


AMI/USA Associated

To qualify for the Associated status, 50% of the lead teachers must hold an AMI diploma.  The Associated status is also a transitional category for schools that are in the process of developing programs that meet all of the AMI standards.


Grace Period

Affiliated and Associated statuses are granted for levels aspiring to become AMI Recognized. Typically, a three year grace period is given within which the requirements for AMI Recognition should be met.


A school visit by a trained AMI consultant is required in the school’s first year of application and every 3 years as a part of the recognition process. The purpose of the consultation is to assess the school’s compliance with AMI pedagogical standards and to assist the school and its teachers in providing the best Montessori education possible.