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The Montessori Method

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  749 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
This groundbreaking classic of educational philosophy takes on urgent new necessity today, as "traditional" methods of early-childhood schooling seem to be failing us. Published in Italian in 1909 and first translated into English in 1912, these still-revolutionary theories focus on the individuality of the child and on nurturing her inherent joy of learning to create scho ...more
Paperback, 440 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Cosimo Classics (first published 1909)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,652)
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Dec 06, 2008 Yvonne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Marlise, Lauren
My friend who introduced me to Montessori for teaching my son preschool at home actually told me NOT to read Dr. Montessori's books because I wouldn't understand them because of her theories and technical language that she uses.
However, I strongly believed that if this was something I wanted to learn to better be able to use her principles in teaching my son preschool at home, then I should read what the originator of the method had to say about it.
I am very, VERY impressed with Dr. Montessori
Lois Chan-Pedley
Jun 05, 2014 Lois Chan-Pedley rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Some thoughts. Warning: words ahead.

The gist of the philosophy maintains that a child learns best when he explores the lessons at his own pace. To avoid tiring out a teacher with a class size of more than three, she uses didactic materials not only designed to let the child figure it out on his own (they are self-correcting), but also sparks a child’s interest based on his personal stage of development: sandpaper cutouts to stimulate tactile exploration, coloured counting sticks for visual inter
Apr 23, 2015 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning and end tell an incredible philosophy, beneficial to all, with or without children three through seven-ish. Since this is a library book and highlighting would have proved wasteful for future reference—I have notes.....

chapter 1

She discusses the mechanical training of teachers and compares it to teaching a child to read. A child can read and write all the words in his curriculum book, but that doesn’t mean just because he can read Shakespeare he can understand the thoughts of Shake
Edward Tse
Jan 03, 2015 Edward Tse rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allegra Green
As a kid that grew up in the Montessori school system I was really fascinated to read this book.

There were a lot of exercise I remember doing and because of my experiences I really agreed with her, and appreciated her philosophy on:
1) giving children the freedom to do what they would like and to learn about something only when they are interested and willing to do it (this applies so much in my everyday life even now)
2) not punishing children for getting answers wrong, it discourages learning
Leah Macvie
Feb 27, 2010 Leah Macvie rated it really liked it
I think this is a must read book for anyone in education, even adult education. Montessori did something completely new at her time, she experimented with a different type of instruction. I'm all about choice and opportunity. Her method of teaching is a low cost method that teaches children to be self-reliant. I say low cost because low and behold- there is no technology involved. She mentions sand paper letters and yarn lace up cards as part of her curriculum. I think many would argue that this ...more
Mar 26, 2009 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought I was "in to" Montessori method for a period... reading some Montessori books I realized I am not in to Montessori method at all. I am in to children being a part of a home and a family and helping out with all of the chores and activities that make these things work. I don't think children need contrived settings to learn this. Also, reading the whole socialist background on the Montessori method was quite shocking to me. The message I got from this book was, more or less, "You don't ...more
Hannah Cobb
Feb 04, 2016 Hannah Cobb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I have a huge amount of respect for the educational reform and innovation Maria Montessori inspired. In this work she lays out her basic philosophy as well as detailed plans for day-to-day learning, and comparison/criticism with/of her contemporaries. Her emphasis on children becoming independent learners and thoughtful human beings shone beautifully even through this rather dense text.
However: if you are interested in how to implement some Montessori philosophies and practices in your own envir
Ho scelto di rispolverare le mie nozioni molto basiche di Montessori e Steiner.
Vi sono lievissime analogie, ma Montessori è più generica, in un certo senso. Steiner ci tiene a comunicare i perchè ed i per come del suo metodo educativo, fa riferimenti alla storia dell'educazione, al suo approccio. Anche Montessori spiega ma si può riassumere tutto in "massima libertà al bambino" e "la maestra non faccia nulla". Ovviamente salvo violenze da interrompere.
La trovo sensata e non. Non saprei. Mi sembr
Oct 04, 2013 Kelsey rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I've been looking into Montessori teaching methods and gave this a look since it's from Montessori herself. I have to admit that I skimmed a bit in places. Some of the information didn't interest me, and some of it is just outdated like the meal plans for rich vs. poor kids in 1907 Italy. Interesting to see the formation of ideas that are almost universally accepted in western society now.
Jul 02, 2010 Alicia rated it liked it
This book is well-written it's just a little more technical and theory-based than I had expected.
Aug 07, 2014 Aurelien rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
Here's a fantastic read to better understand Maria Montessori's philosophy, influences and, even, biography -as she retells how her children's houses came into existence.

Contrary to other readers (maybe more used to fiction or non academic books, I don't know) I didn't find it challenging, far from that. Full packed with informations, she manages to bring altogether whole areas of scientific expertise (pedagogy, psychology, sociology) that, coupled to her own experience in dealing with children
Blythe King
Nov 24, 2013 Blythe King rated it it was amazing
"So now, we wish to direct the teacher, trying to awaken in him, in connection with his own particular field, the school, that scientific spirit which opens the door for him to broader and bigger possibilities. In other words, we wish to awaken in the mind and heart of the educator an interest in natural phenomena to such an extent that, loving nature, he shall understand the anxious and expectant attitude of one who has prepared an experiment and who awaits a revelation from it." (9)

"Any nation
May 05, 2012 Rebecca rated it liked it
Inspired, inspiring, careful and visionary. Also outdated, peculiar, quaint and psudoscientific! I feel Montessori's particular voice comes through so clearly in this volume-- her insights into children's fascination, her sharp scientist's mind, her fanciful digressions.
From the introduction: xxxii: "Let me be concrete. Interesting and valuable as the didactic apparatus assembled and invented by Montessori is, there should be nothing sacrosanct about it."
xxxiii "The point is that the standard a
Aug 21, 2010 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maria Montessori writes, in reference to her discovery of how to make new materials which would teach children how to write: "We wish the old things because we cannot understand the new, and we are always seeking after that gorgeousness which belongs to things already on the decline, without recognizing in the humble simplicity of new ideas the germ which shall develop in the future." The cornerstone of her method is simple observation of children, free of assumptions of any kind. If only more p ...more
May 25, 2012 Sacha rated it it was amazing
So much has already been written about this book that I will limit this review to a few personal observations.

This book came alive in my hands. Even after 100 years Maria Montessori's passion is palpable. My responses ranged from amusement at some of her more extreme claims to deep respect for her still relevant observations, methods, and philosophy of education.

Maria Montessori writes with clarity and consistency from philosophical heights to practical application. For example she expresses a
Kay Iscah
Nov 28, 2011 Kay Iscah rated it it was amazing
In general, I'm impressed with the Montessori method. I've been slowly working on my own educational method, but the idea with mine is more to bring the strength of many methods together. I agree with most of her philosophies...though there were a few points where I would differ. For instance, while I do think it can be very gratifying for a child to figure out something for themselves, I don't think it's fair or practical to expect them to do this with everything...and when you look closer at t ...more
Aug 09, 2013 Jen marked it as had-to-quit  ·  review of another edition
It was my thought that reading what seemed to be a general explanation of the Montessori Method by Maria Montessori herself would be my best introduction to the method. I am a teacher who is considering homeschooling my own children and am in the process of researching various methods, beyond what I was taught in my education classes. Instead, this is a scientific tome, defending the method against practices and criticisms that are long outdated. I kept skimming ahead, hoping to find where it wo ...more
Jul 14, 2007 Nicole rated it really liked it
Imperative for anyone who wants, has, or ever will be caring for or dealing with small children. This book transcends educational edict and chonological age, is, really, an impassioned argument about learning for learning's sake, and explanation as to how/why rote educational tactics--horrifyingly still employed in many US schools today--stifle intellectual desire and spread equal amounts of mental apathy and decay. The technical details about the didactic materials and how to use them may appea ...more
Chiara Zucconi
contenuti condivisibili ma non in toto e di difficile applicazione nella scuola pubblica. scritto maluccio (scusa maria)... un po' autocelebrativo
Sruthi Tanikella
Jun 12, 2016 Sruthi Tanikella rated it it was ok
I have been reading this book for a research project in AP US History on education reform. I felt is was a bit tedious because it restated many generic facts but it is a great book for learning about the Montessori school system. Though this may not be a book to read on vacation, it is a great book to read.
Jun 30, 2014 Melissa rated it it was ok
Was expecting more of the philosophy behind her thinking, but found it very prescriptive.
Jan 24, 2014 Imanueldaepanny rated it really liked it
Sangat mengesankan dan sekaligus membuka mata.
Anda orang tua atau guru? Pastikan untuk membaca buku ini.
Oct 03, 2008 Holly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
So, I know that this is the prime clasic on children and education. However, it was far too much like a textbook for me to get what I needed out of it quickly. I searched/skimmed and got some of her basic ideas through her pedantic language, but put it aside to garner the rest of her ideas through some other educated person who chose to spend the time studying her ideas and then translating them into something I can easily understand in the limited time I have.
Nguyen Hai
Jul 15, 2014 Nguyen Hai rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
Good book
Jul 30, 2011 Virginia rated it liked it
This book contains a lot of outdated theory, but gives an idea of the method. I think that it might be more efficient to read a synopsis of the method or something that discusses the method in current times. I think society today throws some new variables into the mix and those need to be addressed.
Amy Edwards
Sep 07, 2008 Amy Edwards rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are interested in Montessori, then read Maria Montessori's original work. It may surprise you how far from her original ideas some schools calling themselves "Montessori" have come. Great principles of education, especially for young children, but you don't need a formal school to apply them.
Dec 31, 2009 Amie added it
Shelves: abandoned
I wish I was a good enough parent to read this and actually know the theory behind my kids' school...but it's really, really, really dry. I bet teachers would have an easier time reading it. For me...I trust the girls' teachers and they seem to have a good time at school so that's good enough for now.
Shaza Tehseen
The need to read for the 21st century educators and parents
Jun 18, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it
Portions of this book are dated beyond use, and several references are obsolete to the modern reader. However, Dr. Montessori had timeless insights about the child's potential for self-education and self-discipline. I've gleaned what I can use and ignored all the rest.
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Maria Montessori was an Italian physician, educator, philosopher, humanitarian and devout Catholic; she is best known for her philosophy and the Montessori method of education of children from birth to adolescence. Her educational method is in use today in a number of public as well as private schools throughout the world.
More about Maria Montessori...

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“Such prizes and punishments are, if I may be allowed the expression, the bench of the soul, the instrument of slavery for the spirit.” 8 likes
“   Æsthetic and moral education are closely related to this sensory education. Multiply the sensations, and develop the capacity of appreciating fine differences in stimuli and we refine the sensibility and multiply man’s pleasures.    Beauty lies in harmony, not in contrast; and harmony is refinement; therefore, there must be a fineness of the senses if we are to appreciate harmony. The æsthetic harmony of nature is lost upon him who has coarse senses. The world to him is narrow and barren. In life about us, there exist inexhaustible fonts of æsthetic enjoyment, before which men pass as insensible as the brutes seeking their enjoyment in those sensations which are crude and showy, since they are the only ones accessible to them.    Now, from the enjoyment of gross pleasures, vicious habits very often spring. Strong stimuli, indeed, do not render acute, but blunt the senses, so that they require stimuli more and more accentuated and more and more gross.” 2 likes
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