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The child is the builder of the man

María Montessori


María Montessori (August 31, 1870 - May 6, 1952) was an Italian educator, scientist, medical doctor, psychiatrist, philosopher, psychologist, devout Catholic, feminist, and humanist. She was born in Chiaravalle, in the province of Ancona, Italy, into a Catholic bourgeois family. Her mother was Renilde Stoppani, and her father, Alessandro Montessori, was a professional soldier who held strict beliefs. At that time, the most common aspiration for women was to become a teacher, although in her family, the right to education for women was recognized to a certain extent.

She began studying engineering at the age of 14, later pursued biology, and was eventually accepted into the University of Rome, in the School of Medicine. Despite initial opposition from her father, she graduated in 1896 as the first female medical doctor in Italy. She became a member of the University Psychiatric Clinic in Rome. Later, she studied anthropology and earned a Ph.D. in philosophy, during which she attended one of the earliest courses in experimental psychology. She was a contemporary of Freud and developed her own classification of mental illnesses.

From an unfortunate romance with Giuseppe Montesano, a psychiatrist and her professor, her son Mario was born. The deep disillusionment caused by the doctor's abandonment led Maria Montessori to become involved in the feminist movement, where she became a representative at the national and international levels, representing Italy at the Berlin (1896) and London (1899) Congresses.


Although Mussolini's regime honored her as an honorary member, she publicly accused fascism of "molding the youth according to its brutal patterns" and turning them into "little soldiers." Her opinions caused so much discomfort to the ruling regime that she had no choice but to go into exile. She left Italy in 1933 when her schools were closed and initially went to live in Barcelona for a while before settling in the Netherlands with her husband and son. She returned to Italy in 1947 to help reorganize schools and resume teaching at the University of Rome.

She became interested in the education of children with mental deficiencies and applied experimental methods to teach these children to read and write. She developed her own methods, which she later applied to all kinds of children. Through her professional practice, she came to the conclusion that children "build themselves" from elements in their environment. To verify this, she returned to university classrooms to study psychology. In 1906, she decided to take care of 60 children whose parents were working during the day.

She founded the Casa dei Bambini and developed what would eventually be called the Montessori method of education. All of her theories were based on what she observed children doing on their own, without adult supervision. The premise that children are their own teachers and that they need freedom and a variety of choices to learn inspired Maria Montessori in all her efforts to reform educational methodology and psychology.


In 1949, she settled permanently in Amsterdam, and that year, she published her book "The Absorbent Mind." In 1950, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Amsterdam. She was nominated for the Nobel Prize on three occasions (1949, 1950, and 1951). She passed away in the Netherlands in 1952 at the age of 82, but her ideas continue to thrive in the many educational institutions worldwide that implement her.



The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) was founded in 1929 by Maria Montessori to preserve the integrity of her life's work and ensure its continuation after her death. AMI is the internationally recognized authority for Montessori education.

Throughout its long history, AMI has fostered the growth and development of Montessori programs and the training of guides (teachers), while also supporting the development and education of children and adolescents in a wide variety of settings around the world.

AMI is a non-governmental organization (NGO) associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information (since 1985) and an NGO that maintains operational relations with UNESCO (since 1962).


The mission of the Association Montessori Internationale is to support the natural development of human beings from birth to maturity, enabling children to become transformative elements in society, leading to a harmonious and peaceful world..

AMI achieves this mission through its:


The study of childhood.

AMI has a unique role as the custodian of the history of the Montessori movement, maintaining the integrity of Maria Montessori's legacy. In this role, AMI is responsible for articulating Montessori philosophy and practice clearly to meet the needs of children and to influence educational paradigms in a rapidly changing world.


Montessori education for all children.

AMI aims to increase its capacity to serve children worldwide by expanding access to AMI training, supporting the professional development of Montessori teachers, providing a comprehensive support system for Montessori schools and programs, offering tools for research implementation and the growth of our humanity, financial and technological resources.


Montessori education for social change.

AMI strives to promote the rights of children worldwide, regardless of their race, religion, political and social beliefs, in cooperation with other bodies and organizations that promote education, human rights, and peace development. The vision is to support educational initiatives through mentoring, resources, and/or financing that focus on the sustainability, expansion, and replication of successful projects. When Montessori principles are applied in the broader context of society, their possibilities are vast and encompass everything.


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iStock-1284853708 2.jpg

International Montessori Congress


The International Montessori Congress is an event held every four years. It offers incredible keynote lectures, exciting sessions, interesting panels, inspiring research posters, a congress fair, a teenage summit, symposiums, a press room, an exhibition, and much more.

Together, we create an atmosphere of collaboration and exchange, and for several days, we enjoy being a vibrant Montessori Congress community.


The first International Montessori Congress was held in Helsinki, Denmark in 1929. Since then, congresses have been held in many countries on various continents.

Next International Congress will take place on Mexico in 2026.


Educateurs sans Frontières

Educateurs sans Frontières (ESF), a division of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), is a network of Montessori practitioners working with communities, governments, and other partners to promote human development from the prenatal stage through early childhood care and education, continuing through primary, adolescence, adulthood, and old age.

ESF strives to promote the rights of children worldwide, regardless of their race, religion, political and social beliefs. ESF is committed to transcending borders to serve children through innovative educational initiatives that utilize Montessori principles and practices.

ESF prepares individuals to carry out the broader social mission of the Montessori movement by deepening their understanding of the needs of humanity and child development by examining Montessori principles and practices from the perspective of society as a whole.

ESF's vision is to support educational initiatives through mentoring and resources, guiding them towards sustainability, expansion, and replication.

ESF builds capacity by connecting teachers, advocates, students, Montessori schools, and organizations with communities, social entrepreneurs, local officials, and policymakers to enhance the visibility and credibility of Montessori education and, consequently, increase its availability and access.

When Montessori principles are applied in the broader context of society, their possibilities are vast and encompass everything.

Montessori Mexico hosted the 7th edition of the Educateurs sans Frontières Assembly in Tepoztlán, Morelos


Montessori Mexico hosted the 7th edition of the Educateurs sans Frontières Assembly in Tepoztlán, Morelos.

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