The Montessori Education

The hand is the instrument of the mind.

Dr. Maria Montessori (1970-1952) observed that each child possesses in him/herself an inner guide for his/her self-development (biopsychosocial). Children develop completely when this inner guide is allowed to direct the child's self-development. The child constructs his/her personality and his/her knowledge about the world, starting from that inner potential they have.

Dr. Montessori considered the child as "the Father of the man", because each child creates him/herself and reveals the person who he/she can become. This transformation is his/her main task, one that is intense and takes place naturally with enormous joy. Maria Montessori supported the idea that this joy in the child should be seen as an indicator that this educational system is right and has positive impact.

Dr. Montessori developed an integral pedagogical method that assists children in this vital task, based on her systematic observation and scientific investigation in different cultural settings. It is a broad and integrated program that covers all the subjects areas (mathematics, language, science, history, literature, art, music) from 0 to 18 years old.

Today, neurosciences and cognitive psychology reaffirm the general principles that uphold Montessori's method. A recent study shows that children educated in a Montessori environment have greater social and academic abilities.

Article taken from Science Magazine: Evaluating Montessori Education, from Angeline Lillard and Nicole Else-Quest

 

General principles

There are some principles of Montessori Education mentioned in the scientific investigation "Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius", written by Angeline Stoll Lillard, 2005, Oxford University Press:

  1. Movement and cognition: Movement and cognition are closely entwined. Movement can enhance thinking and learning.
     
  2. Freedom of choice: Learning and well-being are improved when people have a sense of control over their lives. It develops independence, will and responsibility.
     
  3. Interest: Children learn better when they are interested in what they are learning. This helps to achieve understanding and concentration.
     
  4. Internal rewards: The sense of error and of success are internal. This contributes to self-esteem, sense of responsibility and critical thinking.
     
  5. Learning from and with peers: Learning is empowered when children teach others. It promotes respect, tolerance and solidarity.
     
  6. Learning in context: Learning situated in meaningful contexts is often deeper and richer than learning in abstract contexts.
     
  7. Teacher-child interaction: the teacher observes and accompanies children, giving the child the posibility of acting, wanting and thinking by him/herself, and helping him/her develop confidence and inner discipline.
     
  8. Order in the environment and in the mind: The external order and the secuence in using materials benefit the child's internal order. It promotes clarity in thinking and concentration.