The International Montessori Awards

The International Montessori Awards, launched by the Montessori Group, acknowledge excellence within the early years and primary/elementary education. They recognise efforts to make early years a diverse and inclusive sector, celebrating the individuals learning, working in, and promoting a Montessori-inspired approach to education – as well as organisational contributions towards giving children the best start in life.

2022’s awards were open to anyone working in early years or primary/elementary education. Nominees did not have to be Montessori in name, but promote a firm commitment to quality education and clear support for social and emotional learning.

We’re delighted to announce that our 2022 winners are:
Storyteller of The Year

Laura White and Janet Black – Volunteers at Greenhill Community Library, Sheffield, UK

Justin Ajagu – Educator at Vincerola Widdersdorf, Germany

Commitment to Sustainability

Evangelos Kougkoulos, at Vincerola Mülheim, Germany

New Researcher of the Year

Christina Carroll – Researcher and PhD student at the University of Virginia, USA

Professional Support Staff of the Year   

Cornelius Steffen – Educator at Vincerola Aachen, Germany

Outstanding Contribution to Montessori in Practice

Amira El-Aghel – Education Management Professional, Laila’s Montessori Ltd , Greenford, UK

Soraya Cofie – Founder and Director of Montessori Center Ghana and its virtual campus – Montessori Center Ghana Online

Impact and Change: Social Impact Award

“Montessori on Wheels” – Freethinking Foundation, Bengaluru, India

Udruga IKS, Croatia

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winning settings, researchers, practitioners, support staff and children from around the world.

Winners will be congratulated publicly by the Montessori Group and we look forward to sharing the good practice they demonstrate in the coming months.

This year, we also awarded a Special Recognition of Services to Storytelling award to 
Sarah, Duchess of York (Fergie and Friends)

Award Categories

The 6 Award Categories were:

This award is designed to enable children to support public recognition of the teachers/support staff/ inspirational individuals who enhance their daily learning experiences through innovative and engaging storytelling in practice.

We want to hear from children who are so proud of their key workers, practitioners, adult role models…. the list goes on. Let us know why you are nominating them, and how they make a difference to your learning and enjoyment in books, stories and tales. We welcome applications from children (and/or their adult representatives).

Judges will look for:

  • Evidence of a well-established commitment to story-telling facilitation
  • Evidence of impactful contribution to the lives of young people
  • Evidence of innovation in enhancing engagement in stories, books and tales.

This award is designed to enable our communities to show our appreciation and gratitude to those who work tirelessly to promote and champion Montessori in practice. Nominees are successful in enhancing learning and teaching experiences for children and colleagues and celebrate their achievements together with their wider communities. Family, friends, children or other related parties can nominate you.

Judges will look for:

  • Evidence of long-standing engagement with excellence in educational practice and the Montessori Approach
  • Evidence of impactful contributions to the lives of children and communities relevant to teaching and learning experiences.

This award is open to anyone who is currently completing or recently completed work within professional or academic insight projects and / or collaborations leading to sector or academic developments and/ or publications. In the case of those with publishing experience, earliest authored material must be within the last 3 years.

Judges will look for:

  • Someone who really makes an impact on a project through their creativity, ideas and ability to improve a given brief through the quality and invention of their thinking
  • Evidence of outstanding personal achievement in handling research projects/ project involvement, showing creativity, relevance to brief and results.
  • Evidence of sharing knowledge and skills with other colleagues.

This award is to recognise the dedicated support staff across schools, settings and education providers who inspire children and help to create rich, engaging and rewarding learning experiences through their invaluable contribution each and every day. The award is open to all support staff including, but not limited to, teaching assistants, office staff, caretakers, cleaning staff, activity coordinators and supervisors, cooks, chefs, kitchen staff and business support… the list goes on!

Judges will look for:

  • Evidence of commitment to enhancing everyday experiences for children and their learning environments.
  • Someone who makes an impact and is integral to their educational community.
  • Evidence of sharing knowledge and skills with other colleagues and members of the community.

This special award will be presented to a child who has shown a dedication and passion for protecting the environment. All shortlisted nominees and the settings that supported their projects will each receive a £200 prize with the overall winner receiving a special cash prize for their setting plus the opportunity to have their contribution recognised publicly.

This is a prize awarded annually to young people taking actions to bring sustainable solutions to our planet. The prize celebrates and sheds light on young innovators, entrepreneurs, changemakers and conservators in order to spread hope and inspire others. Family, friends, teachers or other related parties can nominate you. You can also nominate yourself!

Judges will look for:

  • Evidence of an exciting, impactful project
  • An initiative/ invention/ innovation that has been designed to develop and enhance a specific issue, challenge or area of particular focus relevant to supporting the environment, locally, regionally, nationally or globally
  • Evidence of students actively seeking to understand and learn more about issues including, but not limited to, climate change, the environment, nature and/or animals.

Awarded to those seeking to make a positive difference for young people. Nominees can be individuals or projects/initiatives focussed on making innovative change within their communities.

Judges will look for:

  • Any tangible examples (case studies, quotes, videos, images etc) of how the person, people or project is making or has made a positive difference to people’s lives
  • Evidence of using Montessori values – such as perseverance, collaboration and problem-solving – to benefit children and families.

Within these categories, the awards will aim to celebrate the high standards of effort, determination and commitment that can be found within every individual who makes positive learning experiences for young people possible, from academic researchers to practitioners and support staff.