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Help me to do it myself!

The fundamental principles of the pedagogy

  • Concentration: the young child is able to concentrate for a long time on activities that interest him/her. This concentration emerges in a calm state, inclined to respect and collaborate with his peers. This gives him a taste for work, progress and openness to others
  • Absorbant mind: up to about 6 years of age, the child is endowed with the ability to immerse himself in the elements that make up his environment (socio-cultural, family, educational, etc.). This will constitute his personality and references throughout his life
  • Sensitive periods: the child is able to learn easily, at specific times, basic skills: walking, languages, order, etc. He then learns effortlessly, in a natural way, for example his mother tongue. Once the period is over, learning will take much more effort and time, e.g. a foreign language
  • Developmental plans: each child follows a particular development in periods leading up to adulthood: 0-6 years, 6-12 years, 12-18 years and 18-24 years
  • Discipline and freedom: this means ‘freedom within limits’. The teacher provides a prepared environment where clear limits are set. Within this framework, the child evolves freely and exercises his or her willingness to make choices, as long as this leads to constructive development. When he or she goes beyond this framework, the teacher reminds the child of the rules, until he or she integrates them.  Quote: “It is not a question of abandoning the child to himself to do what he wants, but of offering him an environment where he can act freely” Maria Montessori
  • Autonomy: the autonomy of the child, responds to the need to ‘do it alone’. This allows him/her to be self-confident and responsible
  • Adaptation: the child learns to observe the world around him or her, to find solutions and to adapt to it. Creation: from what he knows, the child is led to create new things, to go further in the way he uses everyday objects. Quote: “Let’s not raise our children for today’s world. This world will have changed when they grow up. Therefore, the first priority is to help children develop their creative and adaptive skills.” Maria Montessori
  • Individual follow-up of each child according to his or her interests: the child chooses his or her activities according to his or her interests, because it is when he or she is interested in a subject that he or she is best able to understand and integrate it. If necessary, the teacher arouses the child’s interest to ensure that he or she assimilates all the concepts presented
  • Collaboration: a multi-age class, from 3 to 6 years old, allows the older children to help the younger ones learn from the older ones. This develops the notion of mutual aid, and recreates, in miniature, the social interactions of adult society.

An Introduction to Montessori Education
An introduction on the fundamental principles, by Mrs Patricia Spinelli, Director of the Institut Supérieur Maria Montessori in Paris :

Source : YouTube Montessori Academy Child Care Centers, 2016, 3,54 min.
Inside Montessori Schools

Teachers from Humberside Montessori School (Toronto, Canada) are explaining how it works inside a Montessori school.

Inside Montessori Schools from Our Kids Net on Vimeo.

Source: Vimeo, Our kids net, 2013, 4,06 min.

Dr Steve Hughes: Montessori and the Future of Education

Dr. Steve Hughes is a pediatric neuropsychologist, doing research on the Montessori pedagogy. Here gives a brief introduction. You can learn more on his work on his Vimeo page

Source: YouTube Maria Montessori, 2009, 3,31 min.

Parents testimony
Listen to parents talking about their experience having their child in a Montessori environment.
Parents from Childpeace Montessori in Portland, Oregon, were asked the question: Why Montessori? 

Source: YouTube Maria Montessori, 2010


“It is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to teach child the chance to fulfil his potential possibilities.’ Maria Montessori

Italian doctor, anthropologist and pedagogue
Nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize
Founder of the International Montessori Association

Maria Montessori (1870 Italy – 1952 The Netherlands) 

At the age of 26, Maria Montessori became one of Italy’s first female medical graduates. She completed her training with studies in biology, philosophy and psychology, and in 1904 she became professor of anthropology at the Royal University of Rome.
She created her first school in 1907 in Rome, the Children’s House (Casa dei Bambini), where she developed her pedagogy through intensive observation of children with a scientific approach.

She also pursues an intense public life, committed to improving the conditions of children, women and peace in the world.
She has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Today the movement she created remains very active in the development of her pedagogy and is federated around the International Montessori Association based in Amsterdam.

Who was Maria Montessori?
Here is a brief history of the beginnings of the Montessori movement recorded for the Neuroscience & the Classroom course, created by the Annenberg Foundation together with the Harvard Science Media Group.

Source : YouTube, Maitri Learning, 2016, 2,14 min.