Bridging the Gap Between Montessori and NEAYC

Abida Ripley, Concordia University, St. Paul


This paper explores the apparent contradictions between the Montessori model and accreditation standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). There are minimal differences in the spirit of both systems. However, differences in interpretation and practice can make accreditation of Montessori schools, by the NAEYC standards, problematic. In this paper, I shed light on the Montessori ways to address the issue of adult-child interaction and recommend modifications to certain NAEYC standards. I also propose a curriculum for training NAEYC validators and commissioners. The purpose is to allow NAEYC representatives to apply their standards to Montessori schools without violating the spirit of either model.