In June, the International Montessori School of Prague, also known as IMSP, celebrated 20 years since we first opened our doors to the Prague community.
Two decades spent working with parents, teachers, and staff that share our same passion for holistic education is something we’re proud of. The Montessori method is community-driven, and as we look back on our achievements thus far, we’re delighted to invite interested families to join us in our joy of learning.
“The education of a very small child does not aim at preparing him for school but for life.” Dr. Maria Montessori
“At first, I just wanted to prepare my own children for the world,” recalls Kateřina Stanislavová, IMSP Founder and Executive Director, in an interview with Forbes. Stanislavová was selected by the magazine to be featured as one of their ‘Forbes Women’, but success was not her inspiration when she opened IMSP’s doors twenty years ago. Instead, she founded the school to fill what she saw to be a gap in Prague’s education system, as she searched for a school for her own children. Taking matters into her own hands, she sought to open a school that was equal parts international, nurturing, and deeply rooted in respect for the child.
“Being a Montessori child myself, I was shocked and dismayed, as an adult (studying pedagogy in college) to discover traditional education. Where was the freedom, what happened to individual students’ curiosity and interests? Where was the respect for the child’s spirit?” reflected Pherooz Karani, IMSP’s Head of School. Karani attended a Montessori school herself and credits the educational model with developing in her the skills and passions that guide her work today. She herself has been in the Montessori education sector for over twenty years, teaching in Infant, Toddler and Primary classrooms before moving into administration – it is her greatest joy to pass on the legacy of Montessori education to new generations of children.
IMSP has been a community effort since the beginning. Our school began small, inviting just five students to participate in what would later become Prague’s first and only school to be accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS). Bringing together families with a shared interest in high-quality and holistic education for their children, Stanislavová’s vision is the basis for IMSP’s current mission statement.
IMSP is an international school offering authentic Montessori education. Embracing each child’s unique potential, we empower our students to achieve academic excellence and become confident, compassionate, and engaged citizens of the world.
IMSP’s mission reflects the school’s passion for educating the whole child. The Montessori pedagogy hinges on a profound admiration for a student’s independence in work, in play, and in life. Providing a nurturing environment through education allows children to grow in a way that prepares them for the future ahead. Stanislavová – echoing Maria Montessori’s call for education as a tool for life as well as school – designed IMSP to best support the students we work with.
“Much has been written about the educational genius of Dr. Montessori, about the quality of her materials and the academic or entrepreneurial successes of Montessori graduates. Funnily enough, when I went through my own teacher training, I found I barely remembered anything of those materials I used in my childhood and how they were used to help me learn to read, write or count – although they certainly did so well. However, I will never forget the joy, dignity and discovery that was synonymous with school to me. That experience shaped who I am today and is what I hope to share with each student in our care,” added Karani.
The success IMSP has seen over the past two decades isn’t ours alone. Instead, we’d like to thank the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends, and all those who have helped shape IMSP into what it is today. We are humbled by the unwavering support we have been shown, and would like to take a moment to reflect on words sourced directly from the IMSP community.
Here’s what our parents have to say:
“When you attend the class, you can see in the kids’ eyes their passion to learn, their ability to cooperate with other kids and adults, and finally the unbelievable easiness of just being in the class. It’s a place where I would love to study myself.” – Dagmar N., IMSP’s Elementary parent.
“Cannot think of any better way of money spent. The attention and love my kid receive from teachers is priceless, beyond numerous benefits of perfectly implemented Montessori teaching approach.” – Zane S., IMSP’s Toddler and Primary parent.
“We are very happy we could join this great school. Montessori system is perfect for our kids, we like the respect and kindness with which they are educated. Lovely teachers, assistants, and all staff. No problem with our son’s special needs as well. We can ardently recommend IMSP.” – Karolina B., IMSP’s Primary and Elementary parent.
Reflecting on IMSP’s journey over the past 20 years, we are proud of the community we’ve built and the students we’ve fostered. Watching our alumni and graduates grow into passionate and engaged citizens of the world, it is clear to us that education should be an act of liberation for the child, never just a means to an end. To learn more about where they are now and hear what they have to say, tune in to our IMSP podcast collection.
We’re excited to open this opportunity to the greater Prague community, offering limited spots in our Toddler and Primary programs. Join us at our upcoming Interactive Open House on Thursday, November 10th and discover your child’s love of learning through our school’s Montessori programs.