History and Organization

In 1969, Lee Havis began to study Montessori, first as a classroom teacher and then later by directing teacher education in the field. In 1979, this activity led to a sudden and unexpected personal experience of Montessori teaching as a scientific way of being to bring about the child's true nature - the experience of the normalized child discovered by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1907. Based on this experience, he founded the International Montessori Society (IMS) to support the effective application of this true natural Montessori teaching throughout the world. IMS is organized as a non-profit corporation directed by Lee Havis, with main offices in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The International Montessori Society views Montessori teaching as a way of being committed to infinite and eternal laws of nature, identifying this as closely related to following three fundamental principles; i.e., (1) Observation (2) Individual Liberty and (3) Preparation of the Environment. IMS supports the complete and effective application of these principles through their experiential understanding. It provides this support through such means as teacher education, publications, workshops, seminars and consultation.

In 1980, the International Montessori Society began to publish its newsletter entitled Montessori Observer. Soon thereafter, it included the 8-page newspaper Montessori News, which is oriented more to non-professionals. These Montessori publications are provided free to Society members. Non-members may receive a free sample copy upon request .

The International Montessori Society initiated its Montessori teacher education program in California in 1982, and presently conducts this "inner preparation" learning experience for Montessori teaching through mail correspondence to persons throughout the world.

In 1986, IMS began offering a series of two-day weekend workshops, entitled “Creating the New Education”, which have been elaborating and developing the technical knowledge of Montessori teaching throughout the world.

In 1994, the International Montessori Society helped establish the International Montessori Accreditation Council (IMAC) to provide an inclusive umbrella accrediting agency for the entire Montessori community. The IMS Montessori teacher education program holds its accreditation through this IMAC agency.

For further information about the International Montessori Society and its work of "creating the new education", use the application and response form provided, or e-mail to havis@imsmontessori.org

Lee Havis, Director
International Montessori Society

Lee Havis began teaching in the Peace Corps in 1967, as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Panama. Returning to the United States, Lee began teaching young children in 1969, and continued in this classroom itedteaching in different situations for five years. In the 1970’s, he completed graduate study in early childhood education at the University of Maryland and a JD in law at Catholic University of America (Washington, DC).

In 1976, Lee completed a Montessori diploma course with internship (primary level, 2-6) and conducted Montessori teacher education in the new organization National Center for Montessori Education he helped to establish. About this time, he initiated a tutoring program to provide one-to-one instruction to children in all subjects and ages in their home it is now operating as Trust Tutoring (http://trusttutoring.com)

In 1979, he formed International Montessori Society (IMS), assuming the duties of its executive director and editor of its periodicals, Montessori Observer and Montessori News. Since 1986, he has conducted workshops and consultation to help improve Montessori teaching. In 2003, Lee discovered and consolidated a technology for the practice of true natural Montessori teaching which he discovered in 1979.

In 1994, he organized the basic operating documents for the new accrediting agency, International Montessori Accreditation Council (IMAC), becoming its director and now serving as well on its generic review committee. IMAC provides accreditation for Montessori teacher education, based on broad, inclusive standards to encourage the participation of all interested parties.

Lee has contributed to a number of Montessori texts, including introduction to Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work, by E.M. Standing (publ. 1998); Foreword to The Essential Montessori by Elizabeth Hainstock (publ. 1995); Foreword to Teaching Montessori in the Home – preschool years; Foreword to Why Montessori? by Aisha Abdullah (publ. 2001). He is also author of the Evaluation of Basic Skills, standardized test materials for children aged 3-18 (1996).
Advisory Board
Elizabeth Hainstock, Educator, Author of " Teaching Montessori in the Home" and "The Essential Montessori"
John Bradshaw , Author of best-selling book "Creating Love" ; PBS TV series host, "Homecoming"

My work and Discoveries in Montessori Teaching (by Lee Havis)