What is the International Montessori Society?

Located in Silver Spring, Maryland, the International Montessori Society (IMS) is a non-profit educational corporation led by founder and director, Lee Havis. Since its founding in 1979, IMS has sought to provide a network of support and resources for learning and developing the spiritual science of observing children to bring about their true nature as discovered by Dr. Montessori in 1907

In the 1960’s, Lee Havis became active in the field of Montessori teaching, first as a teacher, and then later in the development of AMS teacher education. Due to conflicts with AMS, however, he led an effort to form a separate less “political” type of Montessori organization, which in 1976, came to be known as “National Center for Montessori Education” (NCME). By 1979, NCME was providing training through some 26 affiliated programs in the United States. The NCME training model was essentially the AMS “culture” philosophy type, however, similar in form and operation to the St. Nicholas Montessori College.

In 1979, Havis discovered a new understanding of Montessori teaching, which was a way of being committed to laws of nature, rather than the conventional commitment to either personality or culture. Since he found that this approach consistently brought about the child’s true nature, he described this as “true natural” Montessori teaching to distinguish it from the “culture” and “personality” types.

Based on this distinctive Montessori philosophy, Havis established the “International Montessori Society” (IMS) to direct and guide activities and support its practice through training teachers, recognizing schools, and building up an international support network as described and presented at this website: http://imsmontessori.org

After 1979, NCME soon re-formed itself under new ownership, and conducted various training activities until the early 2000’s, which its training centers gradually became affiliated with AMS. Besides NCME, many other groups, centers, and organizations formed and evolved as a dynamic aspect of the Montessori community.

Visit their website on www.imsmontessori.org to know more