Montessori Education & Links

Montessori Education

Montessori education is an educational approach developed by Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator.  Montessori education is practiced worldwide in an estimated 20,000 schools, serving children from birth to eighteen years old.

Montessori education is characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological development, as well as technological advancements in society. A range of practices exists under the name "Montessori". The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and the American Montessori Society (AMS) however, cite these elements as essential to a Montessori education:

  1. Mixed age classrooms
  2. Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options
  3. Uninterrupted blocks of work time
  4. A constructivism or "discovery" model, where students learn concepts from working with materials after being introduced to them by a guide (the teacher)
  5. Specialized educational materials developed by Maria Montessori and her collaborators

Montessori schools design their programs with reference to Montessori’s published work on human development, and use pedagogy, lessons, and materials which are introduced in teacher training and are derived from courses presented by Maria Montessori during her lifetime.

Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori was born in Italy, in 1870. She graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Rome in 1896, and was the first woman to practice medicine in Italy. As a physician Dr. Montessori was in touch with young children and became profoundly interested in their development. Through careful and exhaustive scrutiny, she realized that children construct their own personalities as they interact with their environment. She also observed the manner in which they learned as they spontaneously chose and worked with the auto-didactic materials she provided. Her approach to education stemmed from a solid grounding in biology, psychiatry and anthropology. She studied children of all races and cultures, in many countries around the world, and saw the universality of the laws of human development. She continued her observations throughout her life, widening and deepening her understanding of human development until her death in 1952.

Association Montessori Internationale

The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) was founded in 1929 by Dr. Maria Montessori to maintain the integrity of her life's work and to ensure it would be perpetuated after her death. The AMI is the only Montessori organization that is sanctioned by the Montessori family. The credentials of an AMI trained teacher are recognized around the world. AMI's activities include: providing guidance for AMI training courses; guiding the manufacturers recognized by AMI in the production of approved Montessori material; overseeing the publication of Dr. Montessori's books; organizing congresses and study conferences, affiliating Montessori Societies; as well as publishing the magazine 'Communications', the AMI Bulletin, and a website.

Montessori Links

Trevor Eissler, Montessori Advocate

Montessori Madness -- YouTube video

How do You Hug a Child Like This? -- YouTube video

Montessori Madness -- website

Dr Steve Hughes

Montessori and the Future of Education
YouTube video

Talks for Montessori Audiences by Dr. Steve Hughes

More Montessori Information

Montessori Education for the Early Childhood Years
YouTube video

Changing Education Paradigms
YouTube video

Foundation for Montessori Education FME AMI Sandra Girlato
YouTube video

Montessori Mafia
Wall Street Journal Article

Evidence of Montessori Success