What is Montessori?
Montessori is an approach to education with the fundamental belief that a child learns best within a social environment that supports and respects each individual's unique development.
Montessori education is characterized by multi-age classrooms, a special set of educational materials, student-chosen work in long time blocks, a collaborative environment with student mentors, absence of grades and tests, and individual and small group instruction in academic and social skills.
More than 5,000 schools in the United States, including 300 public schools, use the Montessori method. Click here to read a brief history of Montessori education.
Articles, Blogs and Research on Montessori
Montessori is an example of the new culture of learning Forbes, March 24, 2011
Blog Post on Montessori, February 23, 2011 by Daniel C. Petter-Lipstein, father of three children that thrive at Yeshivat Netivot Montessori, a Jewish Montessori school in NJ. He graduated from Harvard College and Columbia Law School and after a decade still finds satisfaction as a lawyer,
How Do Innovators Think? Monday September 28, 2009 by Bronwyn Fryer
What makes visionary entrepreneurs such as Apple's Steve Jobs, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Ebay's Pierre Omidyar and Meg Whitman, and P&G's A.G. Lafley tick? In a question-and-answer session with HBR contributing editor Bronwyn Fryer, Professors Jeff Dyer of Brigham Young University and Hal Gregersen of Insead explain how the "Innovators' DNA" works.This post is part of HarvardBusiness.org's Creativity at Work special package.
"...If you look at 4-year-olds, they are constantly asking questions and wondering how things work. But by the time they are 6 ½ years old they stop asking questions because they quickly learn that teachers value the right answers more than provocative questions. High school students rarely show inquisitiveness. And by the time they're grown up and are in corporate settings, they have already had the curiosity drummed out of them. 80% of executives spend less than 20% of their time on discovering new ideas. Unless, of course, they work for a company like Apple or Google.
We also believe that the most innovative entrepreneurs were very lucky to have been raised in an atmosphere where inquisitiveness was encouraged. We were stuck by the stories they told about being sustained by people who cared about experimentation and exploration. Sometimes these people were relatives, but sometimes they were neighbors, teachers or other influential adults. A number of the innovative entrepreneurs also went to Montessori schools, where they learned to follow their curiosity."
In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives "both Larry and Sergey were Montessori kids....It's really ingrained in their personalities." This is a powerful, profound statement -- and it is not about Larry Page and Sergey Brin. It is about the big picture impact of Montessori education. Montessori education shapes the learner. This is not about skills or information or test scores. It is about the formation of personal traits: the way we learn shapes us.
'Children Succeed' With Character, Not Test Scores - National Public Radio book review: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiousity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough.
The Montessori Mafia, The Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2011
Study Finds Montessori Education Provides Better Outcomes Than Traditional Methods The study appears in the September 29, 2006 issue of the journal Science (see article full text; available free through Montessori-Science.org).
Dr. Angeline Lillard, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, has been studying Montessori's methods for more than two decades. Order Dr. Lillard's best-selling book Montessori: The Science behind the Genius.
A new book on Montessori education from a parent's perspective... Montessori Madness: A Parent to Parent Argument for Montessori Education, by Trevor Eissler Read more here...
Learn more about Montessori at these websites:
The following books contain information about the Montessori approach.
The Montessori Way
Seldin, Tim and Epstein, Paul. (2003). The Montessori Foundation: http://www.montessori.org
Presents an in-depth overview of Montessori programs and school for infants through twelfth grade. Curriculum and instructional methods are described with numerous pictures.
Lillard, Paula Polk. (1996). New York: Random House.
Describes Montessori theory and contemporary American Montessori schools serving ages from birth to adulthood.
The Secret of Childhood
Montessori, Maria. (1982). New York: Ballantine.
Describes how to parent young children and describes their amazing learning capabilities.
To Educate the Human Potential
Montessori, Maria. (1948). Madras, India: Kalakshetra Publications.
Describes the process of developmental needs of elementary age children learning to understand culture.
The Absorbent Mind
Montessori, Maria. (1949). Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House.
Discusses the development of children from birth to three year. Provides a clear explanation of the basis of Montessori theory and method.
The Child in the Family
Montessori, Maria. (1956). Chicago: Henry Regnery.
A series of insightful essays about the importance of the family and school on a childís development.
From Childhood to Adolescence
Montessori, Maria. (1973). New York: Schocken.
Discusses the development and education of the child during the elementary and adolescent years. Includes Montessori's writings on secondary and university education.