Montessori, M. (2003). The Montessori Method. New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Inc.
Montessori’s book focuses on her theories, individuality of the child and fostering her inherent joy of learning to create schools and other learning environments that are oriented on the child. Montessori’s method is characterized by an emphasis on self-directed activity of the child and clinical observation by the teacher. It stresses the importance of adapting the child's learning environment to his or her developmental level. Her method also helps foster abstract thinking and to fulfill a child’s highest potential emotionally, physically, and intellectually.
Although Montessori’s book is outdated there are insights about the child’s potential for self-education and self-discipline. It gave me an understanding into early childhood education and the role that arts and musical education play in educating a child’s senses. I agree with many of her philosophies that are presented in her book. It can be very gratifying for children to figure something out themselves, but I don’t think it’s practical to expect them to do this with everything. In my own classroom many times my students are learning how to do a skill or task within a sport. Through trail and error students find ways to successfully complete the task.
Peters, D. (2012). The Child Whisperer. Montessori Life, 24(2), 24-26.
Peters discusses the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori, primarily focusing on her ability to understand children through observation. He describes Montessori as a child whisperer and makes comparisons to modern day animal whisperers. He makes this connection with Montessori and the animal whisperers by the way they interpret animals moods based on body language. He also focuses on the importance of establishing a learning environment that encourages independence, trust and confidence.
Montessori's method for educating children involves observing them and then presenting new lessons to a child based on interests. In order to truly understand the children in my classroom it is important to have a learning environment that builds trust and confidence that will in the end lead them to be successful. Giving students new lessons once they've mastered the previous on allows students to be engaged in their own learning. Through observations teachers are able to see when a students fully understand the lesson and is ready to move on. In my own classroom I make sure that I let my students know that it is a safe place and not to be afraid to make mistakes. When starting a new unit, I make sure my students understand one skill at a time and when they are ready I move on to the next. Observing for students mastery is important so they have a good base foundation to build onto.
Lillard, A. (2013). Playful Learning and Montessori Education. American Journal of Play, 5(2), 157-180.
Lillard’s article discusses the differences between playful learning and Montessori schooling. She compares and contrasts the distinctions between these didactic approaches through examining lesson structures, use of materials, role of the teacher, and what intrinsic or extrinsic rewards are presented.
This article came across as a way for Lillard to find similarities in two educational methods that don't understand or communicate with each other. When looking at Montessori schooling there is an element of play, but unlike early child education the play in montessori is not 'pretend' play. I found this article interesting because I never looked at the differences between Montessori and early child education in the way this articles focuses the attention on playful learning in both education methods.
Biswas-Diener, R. (2011). Manipulating Happiness: Maria Montessori. International Journal of Wellbeing, 1(2), 214-225. doi: 10.5502/ijw.v1i2.4
Biswas-Diener’s article discusses Montessori’s