About Us

Vision Statement

Our Vision is of a world where every child can reach their full potential.

Mission Statement

MIA empowers adults throughout the world to inspire lifelong success through Montessori Education.

Montessori Institute of America (MIA) is a not-for-profit international organization dedicated to advancing Montessori Education in accordance with MIA’s Vision and Mission Statement. MIA sets standards and procedures to be followed by MIA certified Teacher Education Programs throughout the world. MIA awards Teacher certification to adults who have completed the approved training and practicum.

In addition to the educational focus on the intellectual, physical and social aspects of a child, Montessori Institute of America recognizes the importance of Dr. Montessori’s use of the term “spiritual”, when referring to the development of the child. MIA believes nurturing the spirit of the child is an important part of a curriculum. MIA is non-denominational.

MIA is a founding affiliate of the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), an international accrediting agency for Montessori teacher education institutions and programs.

MIA is an international organization made up of individual members and organizational members. MIA was founded in the U.S.A. in 1972.

Our individual members  are parents, teachers, directors, trainers and others interested in promoting Montessori education.  Our organizational members are Teacher Education Programs. All members have voting rights in annual election. Members come from around the world.  

The organization is overseen by an elected  Board of Trustees. Continuing attention to ongoing affairs and concerns is carried out by the Executive Committee (MIA Board Officers) and the chairs of committees. Attention to MIA’s goals and financial affairs is carried out by the full Board of Trustees.

Standing committees include the Event Support Committee, Certification Review Committee, Promotional and Social Media Committee, Membership Committee, and the Procedural Committee.

MIA was founded in the 1960’s as Mid-America Montessori Teacher Preparation Center by Dr. Helen K. Billings. Through her dynamic energy and speaking ability, this organization became the largest Montessori training program in Missouri and Kansas. In 1972 this organization became Montessori Institute of America.

From 1972 to 2014, MIA began expanding to include schools from around the world. In 2014, MIA reorganized to reflect its place as an international organization. With the demand for qualified Montessori teachers growing, the MIA endeavors to meet those demands by training teachers and assisting them to find teaching positions in schools worldwide. Although MIA’s headquarters is in the United States, our training programs reach out and support the international Montessori community.

In 2014, MIA reorganized to better reflect its inclusion of the global community.  While our history is reflected in our name, MIA now has affiliated Teacher Education Programs in China, the Philippines and Thailand.

Dr. Helen K. Billings, MIA’s founder, was born in Missouri in 1901. By 1940, she and her husband William Billings were located in Kansas City, Kansas and Helen was a High School teacher. For many years she was involved with both elementary and high schools in the area.

After the death of her husband in 1959, she traveled to Europe. Following her participation in a Montessori teacher education program in Italy in 1960, she returned to the United States and worked at Highlawn Montessori School in Kansas City. In 1969, she founded Mid-America Montessori Teacher Education Center in Kansas City and actively encouraged others to adopt the Montessori philosophy in their work as educators. She became an inspiring leader in the field of Montessori education. In 1972, this organization became Montessori Institute of America and began expansion across the USA and internationally.

The Helen K. Billings Scholarship Fund was founded to offer financial assistance in the achievement of MIA’s purpose as stated in the MIA Bylaws: “…to foster and encourage the Montessori Method of Teaching throughout the world with particular emphasis on the training and certifying of Montessori teachers…”

Event Support Committee – purpose is to plan and execute an Annual Conference, including arranging for location, venue, speakers, catering, etc, and to support regional workshops and conferences. Email eventsupport@mia-world.org

Certification Review Committee – purpose is to review and evaluate new and renewal applications, to clarify concerns brought before the committee, to maintain statistical data for the Board regarding teaching programs and teachers. Email certification.review@mia-world.org

Promotional & Social Media Committee – purpose is to maintain knowledge of the present Montessori community (international and domestic), review and evaluate such knowledge, and present that knowledge to the Montessori community through newsletter, website, and social media. Email admin@mia-world.org

Membership Committee – purpose is to promote new and renewal membership in MIA through Newsletter, website, and social media and at public venues, such as MIA Annual Conference and regional workshops and symposiums, by staffing a booth or table. Email membership@mia-world.org

Procedural Committee – purpose is focused on the clarification and updating of forms and procedural documents annually to ensure fidelity of information. Email admin@mia-world.org

Dr. Maria Montessori (1913)
Dr. Helen K. Billings