Montessori Philosophy

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.

“The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.’ “
– 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.