Dr. Maria Montessori, the first female physician in Italy, devoted her life to the study of how children learn. Based on her scientific
observations, she developed a comprehensive, child-centered approach to education founded on the following principles:
Dr. Montessori's background in science, psychology and anthropology, along with her deep humanitarian interest, influenced her
ideas of educational reform. Today, her findings influence teachers in schools throughout the world. In the United States alone, some 200
public schools and close to 4,000 private schools trust in the Montessori method's proven success.
- Education should prepare children for life - intellectually, emotionally and physically
- Children learn best without undue interference, motivated by their innate need to explore and discover
- Specially designed environments facilitate children's development to their fullest potential
- Children should be allowed to progress at their own pace, regardless of ability level or age
The following links will help you to learn more about Montessori Education:
The Association Montessori International
Founded in 1929 by Dr. Maria Montessori to maintain the integrity of her life's work and to ensure that it would be perpetuated after her death.
The North American Montessori Teachers' Association
NAMTA provides a medium of study, interpretation, and improvement of Montessori education through its publications, audio-visual collection, electronic
communications, conferences and research service projects throughout North America and the world.
Books can be ordered through the NAMTA web site or at your local bookstore regarding the following topics:
General Montessori theory and current documentation of efficacy
- Education and Peace.
Montessori, Maria. (1943). Chicago: Henry Regnery. Essays and lectures from 1937
- What is Montessori? A basic guide to the principles, practices, and benefits of a Montessori education.
Pedersen, H and Pedersen, J (2008) Sandpiper Press
- Montessori: The science behind the genius.
Stoll Lillard, A. (2005) Oxford University Press
Children under the age of 7 years
- Contemporary American Montessori schools for children from infancy through adolescence.
Lillard, Paula P. (1996). Montessori Today.
- A parent's guide to supporting the development of the very young child.
Lillard, Paula P.; Jessen, Lynn L. (2003). Montessori from the Start.
- The Secret of Childhood.
Montessori, Maria. (1936). New York: Frederick A. Stokes and Co.
- Observation, theory, and practice regarding children under 7 years of age.
Montessori, Maria. (1949).
- The Absorbent Mind.
The foundation principles behind the theory and method based upon development of infants through three years.
Elementary children (6 to 12 years)
- To Educate the Human Potential.
Montessori, Maria. (1948). Madras, India: Kalakshetra Publications.
- From Childhood to Adolescence. Theory and principles for elementary children through adolescence.
Montessori, Maria. (1973).
- Sensory Experience Alters Cortical Connectivity and Synaptic Function Site Specifically.
Cheetham, C.E., Hammond, M., Edwards, C., & Finnerty, G. (2007). The Journal of Neuroscience.
- Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1991). New York: Harper Perennial.
- What's Going On in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life.
Eliot, L. (2000). New York: Bantam.
- Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century.
Gardner, H (1999). New York: Basic Books.
- Outcomes for Students in a Montessori Program: A Longitutidinal Study of the Experience in the Milwaukee Public Schools.
Gartner, A., Lipsky, D.K., Dohrman, K.R. (2003). Association Montessori International / USA Rochester, NY.
- Your Child's Growing Mind: A Guide to Learning and Brain Development from Birth to Adolescence.
Healy, J.M. (1994). New York: Broadway Books.
- Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
Kohn, Alfie (2005). New York: Simon and Schuster -Atria Books
- Punished By Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise. And Other Bribes.
Kohn, Alfie (1993). New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
- A mind at a Time: America's Top Learning Expert Shows How Every Child Can Succeed.
Levine, M. (2002). New York: Simon and Schuster.
- Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius.
Lillard, A. S. (2005). New York: Oxford University Press.
- Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three.
Lillard, P.P., & Jessen, L.L. (2003) New York: Schoken Books.
- Touching: The Human Significance of Skin.
Monteague, A. (1986). New york: Harper & Row.
- Middle School Students' Motivation and Quality of Experience: A Comparison of Montessori and Traditional School Environments.
Rathunde, K. & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2005) American Journal of Education. 111(3), 341-71