The Montessori Philosophy
Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was an Italian medical doctor who studied children’s development and learning processes. Drawing upon the disciplines of biology, anthropology, and psychology, she observed and documented how children learn from birth to adolescence, and developed an educational philosophy that thousands of schools worldwide use to guide their programs today.
At the cornerstone of her theory is the idea that children are born with the need to explore and discover, and a strong desire to learn. The Montessori classroom is set up with a rich collection of developmentally-appropriate materials that allow students to be active participants in the planning of their work. Because each child’s learning and development is based on individual interests, strengths, and challenge areas, students are able to progress far beyond grade-level constraints, yet there is no stigma surrounding the fact that each child will progress at a different pace.
– Maria Montessori
Montessori Resources for Parents
This trailer for the documentary Building the Pink Tower provides a vibrant glimpse into the Montessori philosophy in action.
Trevor Eissler’s book Montessori Madness
is an excellent introduction to the Montessori philosophy.
Many more resources are available via the American Montessori Society online.