This website provides a place for communication, sharing experiences and ideas, asking questions, finding resources, and learning. Engaging in this type of exploration and discourse helps teachers, parents/caregivers, school and program leaders and medical professionals develop shared perspectives so they can work together more effectively as a team, cultivating successful inclusion programs.
We want to connect Montessori teachers and school leaders to resources that will help them learn practical methods of including children with special needs and teaching all children together. This is accomplished through preparation of the environment. By modifying the environment, the materials and the presentation of lessons teachers support the individual development of each and every child in the classroom to reach their fullest potential. This means creating pathways to access the materials and lessons for all members of the classroom community. Once applied, these modifications make it possible for the child with challenges to succeed right alongside their typical peers. Success breeds confidence and interest and supports development of intrinsic motivation. Motivation leads to increased engagement, which means more opportunities for skill building and learning.Contact Us
Montessori Medical Partnership for Inclusion (MMPI)
Montessori and Medicine working together to include all children!
Helping Montessori schools and programs around the world increase their capacity for successful and developmental inclusion.
Access to Important Inclusion Resources
We promote access to programs and resources that help parents, teachers, medical professionals and school leaders learn more about, participate in and implement successful inclusion programs. Implementing a leading-edge inclusion framework aids the optimal growth of children and adolescents who are typical, learning different, or differently-abled, all together in nurturing, social, learning communities.
The framework that we endorse is based on ensuring comprehensive preparation of the environment for all children. This is a whole-school environment approach that encompasses not only the preparation of the classroom and the playground, but also hallways, entryways, walkways and the entire building. In addition to the physical environment, we endorse comprehensive preparation of the psychological environment and the adults. We strive to help schools find a path to collaboration between medical professionals, teachers, administrators, and parents. By sharing knowledge and expertise, together we can successfully include more children in the Montessori classroom. We want to create an online community where information about strategies that comply with best practice can be shared and exchanged. We promote practices that are evidence-based and rooted in the latest neuroscience, medical, developmental, educational, and psychological research.
Our mission is aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as the UNICEF document “Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities”
The Right of Every Child to be Included
It is the right of every child to be included as fully as possible and we see the Montessori curriculum as the best path toward that goal. It is uniquely designed to support the inclusion of all types of children.
Incorporation of medical and developmental science into the curriculum makes it particularly well suited to serving the needs of differently-abled students. The individualized, multi-age, flexible learning environments in Montessori education allow easy integration of specialized therapeutic services into daily routines. In addition, the rich multi-sensory Montessori materials can be employed diagnostically and therapeutically by medical specialists working in the Montessori environment. By providing targeted training to medical specialists, we help them understand and appreciate the multitude of therapeutic and developmental opportunities afforded within the Montessori curriculum. At the same time, targeted training of Montessori administrators, teachers, and classroom staff provides a deeper understanding of the work of the medical specialists and of the developmental needs of children who are learning differently or are differently-abled. This fosters mutual respect and understanding and provides the basis for deep collaboration which leads to successful outcomes. We also endorse development of community-based programs and community involvement in our schools. A school community is not fully inclusive without involvement of families and the wider community in which the school exists.
Catherine Nehring Massie
Catherine has been studying and researching Montessori education, Special Education and the uniquely powerful developmental impact of combining the two. She studied Montessori Education at CISM, Bergamo, Italy, and has a Masters degree in teaching Elementary and Special Education. Catherine has experience as a Montessori mom of 4 children, an Orff Schulwerk music teacher, a Montessori teacher, a dyslexia tutor and a Montessori school director. She was a founder of two (including the very first) Montessori Public Charter Schools in Maryland. Catherine has travelled and presented internationally advocating for inclusive Montessori schools through the integrated application of Scientific and Medical Pedagogy.
Barbara Luborsky, OTR/L
Barbara is a pediatric occupational therapist with 25 years of experience as a developmental practitioner and 17 years as a Montessori mom. Barbara has long recognized the strong affinity between occupational therapy (OT) and Montessori education. While Barbara had provided workshops and consulted with Montessori teachers for several years, her work became more focused in 2010 when she began collaborating with Catherine to look at the issue of inclusion in Montessori education through integrated practice. Barbara has traveled and presented internationally to Montessorians on the "Kindred Spirits" of OT and Montessori practice and the benefits of working together in a Montessori environment.
Through a shared interest in helping children with disabilities in a Montessori environment, our collaboration led us to surprising results.
We observed at schools around the world, worked together in Montessori classrooms with children of various ages with a variety of challenges, and studied. We came to the conclusion that the biggest impediments to successful inclusion are a lack of appropriate preparation of the environment and the staff and inadequate communication among practitioners. This holds true at both the school level and in terms of communications among schools and learning communities who are working to implement innovative programs. When everyone works in isolation, no one benefits from each other’s experiences and this is a great impediment to moving forward toward the big goal. Sharing information about unsuccessful attempts is as helpful as sharing successes. Without it, we may all be repeating the same mistakes.
Board of Advisors
Prof. Michelle Lane-Barmapov
Margaret Jane Nehring
Self-Advocate, Art & Music Teacher, and Montessori Assistant
Joyce S. Pickering, Hum.D.
SLP/CCC, CALT/QI, Past President AMS, AMS Teacher Trainer (Primary, Elementary, MACAR and more)
Padagoge Joachim Dattke - Prof. h.c. Dipl.
Dattke, Montessori Teacher Trainer (Children’s House, Elementary, Special Education Courses), AMI Diplomas (Elementary)
Prof. Michelle Lane-Barmapov
B.A. Psychology/Sociology, M.H.S., AMS Diplomas (Primary and Elementary)
Lucette van Someren Boyd
RN, M Ed Special Education, Grad Dip C&FHN, ECE, Edu-K, AMI Diploma (Children’s House)
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