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The Montessori Method

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4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  856 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori immediately captivated social reformers and educators around the world. First published in Italian in 1909, The Montessori Method has been translated into twenty languages, including the 1912 English translation. Its ideas were new and innovative compared to the traditional Lancasterian method in which large groups of children reci ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 6th 2003 by Barnes Noble (first published 1909)
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Brian Yes. I don't know if it is her first book, but it is written by Maria Montessori. It has been translated to English.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lois Chan-Pedley
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
...more
Yvonne
Nov 09, 2008 Yvonne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Luke
Apr 29, 2017 Luke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: learning
In very good ways this reads as a scientific report as much as a philosophical treatise on children's education - debating with prior theories, presenting methods, and detailing findings, while openly pointing at areas still to research and where her results seem inconclusive or partial.

This is also scientific in nature as she is advocating for and demonstrating an observational experimental approach to early education, an evidence-based education. For educators, this means resisting the form of
...more
Allegra S
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
3)
...more
April
Jan 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
...more
Rebecca
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
...more
Leah Macvie
Feb 21, 2010 Leah Macvie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Edward Tse
Jan 03, 2015 Edward Tse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelsey
Oct 04, 2013 Kelsey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Alicia
Jul 22, 2009 Alicia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is well-written it's just a little more technical and theory-based than I had expected.
Blythe King
Nov 09, 2013 Blythe King rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
...more
Kay Iscah
Nov 28, 2011 Kay Iscah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sorairo
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
...more
Sacha
May 14, 2012 Sacha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Aurelien
Oct 14, 2013 Aurelien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Sara
Aug 15, 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
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
...more
Jen
Nov 10, 2012 Jen marked it as had-to-quit  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home-and-family
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
Carolyn Wilhelm
Nov 01, 2016 Carolyn Wilhelm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tells it like it was then and in many cases still is!

An excerpt that shows she does not mince words!
"The situation would be very much the same if we should place a teacher who, according to our conception of the term, is scientifically prepared, in one of the public schools where the children are repressed in the spontaneous expression of their personality till they are almost like dead beings. In such a school the children, like butterflies mounted on pins, are fastened each to his place, the
...more
Nicole
Jun 30, 2007 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Noam
Jan 17, 2017 Noam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Understanding a language, speaking sentences, reading paragraphs, writing and composing are actions very related to each other in our every day lives, yet they utilize totally different skills.
Actions are also a language.
When we reach out for help
When we kiss
When we give a hand
Lend money
Borrow a book
Or respect our neighbors
We are speaking a language of actions. Just like any other language, this one also has 'letters', 'building blocks' and grammar we want our children to understand.
But also to
...more
Amy
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
Holly
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.
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.
Virginia
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.
Sruthi Tanikella
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.
Amie
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.
Aimee
I would like to RE-read this book since it has been a while, and now that I have had more current Montessori training, I think I would understand it differently. My rating is based on my initial reading, years ago...
Christina
Jun 02, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Samangie
Sep 09, 2013 Samangie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As others have stated... Quite technical in nature. If you're not into all the scientific then look elsewhere for a first read on the montessori approach to life (not simply education)! But, read it if only for the background knowledge and foundational principles.
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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.” 10 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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