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1280 Simmons Avenue
Kirkwood, MO, 63122
United States

(314) 822-2601


What is Montessori?

Dr. Maria Montessori, an educator and the first female physician in Italy, created an educational method and materials by observing how children naturally absorb information and learn at different stages of their development.


Beginning with mentally disabled children, Dr. Montessori discovered, after further study and experimentation, that her principles of education worked with all children. The Montessori movement really began with the opening of the first Casa dei Bambini or Children’s House in Italy in 1907. 

A comprehensive educational method, Montessori fosters learning and helps children with their inner development from childhood into maturity.

Today, Montessori schools—more than 4,000 internationally and 400 AMI Montessori schools in the U.S.—serve children from birth through adolescence and offer children an environment of respect, developing independence and love of learning.

AMI Accreditation

Since the name “Montessori” lacks trademark status, any school or daycare can claim to offer an authentic Montessori education.  However, only those schools accredited by AMI, the Association Montessori Internationale—as Villa di Maria is—adhere to the principles and educational method developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. 

AMI maintains standards of teacher training, offers conferences, approves the production of Montessori materials and through AMI-USA, a branch office, approves accreditation of schools.

For accreditation by AMI-USA, Villa must provide each classroom with these things:

  • Directress or teacher who holds an AMI diploma at the appropriate level
  • Three year age span of children
  • Daily schedule allowing children a three-hour uninterrupted work cycle
  • Full set of AMI approved Montessori Materials

Accreditation also stems from a regular consultation at each level by a trained consultant every three years to insure standards and to offer suggestions on refining the program.

To Learn More

Association Montessori International/USA
North American Montessori Teachers Association
Montessori 101
Montessori Training Center of St. Louis

Reading Suggestions

The Absorbent Mind – Montessori, Maria
The Secret of Childhood – Montessori, Maria
Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work –Standing, E.M. 
Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three – Jessen, Lynn and Paula Polk Lillard
Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius – Lillard, Angeline Stoll
Understanding the Human Being: The Importance of the First Three Years of Life – Montanaro, Silvana
Montessori Madness: A Parent to Parent Argument for Montessori Education – Eissler, Trevor