The Montessori Method
Roman Catholic Books
Considered daring a century ago, Dr. Maria Montessori's methods are now universally applauded. Applauded, but not always understood. She explained them herself, in mesmerizing detail, in a book long since forgotten, now back in print from Roger A. McCaffrey Publishing.
Dr. Montessori made educators understand how skillful individual training of young students always brings out their talents at the tenderest of ages - usually without the need for old-school discipline, although Maria was remarkably good at keeping order when she had to.
Ultimately, recognizing that most educators had not developed the skill to handle children in very small groups or one-on-one, Maria divulged her secrets for bringing out the best in the average child - in every child, including "slow learners." In fact, underachievers were the children Dr. Montessori first worked her magic on.
Dr. Montessori thought of everything
- desks and chairs (right and wrong setups)
- letting a child bloom
- stifling creativity
- abuse of prizes and punishments
- when slow learners respond best
- rules and regulations in her schools
- learning environment
- why independence works
- best ways to bathe children
- physical training basics
- the right attitude toward phys ed
- how children learn patience
- how they learn confidence
- manual labor
- "education of the senses"
- a lesson in silence
- music training
- vocabulary, and how to teach it
- "the greatest triumph"
- spiritual training
- what the simple vase can teach, all by itself
- how obedience develops willpower
- the challenges of religious education
- the root of all children's progress and "victories"
- A chapter on nature education, which she thought crucial
- using methods for slow learners on others as well
- "discipline through liberty" - how her way of keeping order beguiled the little ones
- properly using insights of child psychology
- the question of "external punishment"
- key characteristics of individual lessons
- "the fundamental guide" for the teacher
- suggested schedule
- cleanliness, order, poise, conversation
- food and drink and its preparation
- games for reading words and phrases
- defects of language due to poor training
- introduction to arithmetic, math, division
- the aim of repetition
- alphabet and writing; exercises for composing words
What were her secrets?
"This game delights the little ones beyond measure....I had thought ofshowing them sweets and little toys, promising to give them to the ones who were called, supposing that the gifts would be necessary to persuade the child to make the necessary effort. But I soon found that this was unnecessary."
"...Not a mistake is made, not a glass is broken, not a drop of soup isspilled. All during the meal the unobtrusive little waiters watch the table assiduously....Remembering the usual condition of four-year-old children, who cry, who break whatever they touch, who need to be waited on, everyone is deeply moved by the sight I have just described, which evidently results from the development of energies latent in the depths of the human soul. I have often seen the spectators at this banquet of little ones, moved to tears."
"The first dawning of real discipline comes through work."
"I finally understood that a paper alphabet could easily be multiplied and could be used by many children at one time, not only for the recognition of letters, but for the composition of words....In the sandpaper alphabet I had found the guide for the fingers which touched the letter...the touch lent itself directly to teaching the movement of writing with exactness and control."
"A real sensation....By the Montessori method children of four have learned to write in six weeks. When pupils of this system are transferred to the regular schools...they are much better prepared than the older pupils of the regular system."- American Review of Books
"Dr. Montessori worked out her system in trying to teach feeble-minded children. Her pupils were able to compete successfully with normal children in a public school examination."- Survey
"Remarkable...Gives for the first time a full exposition of her ideas,methods and materials...Full of sympathy, enthusiasm and skilled insight." - The Chautauguan
"For years no educational document has been so eagerly expected....Successful scheme for teaching children to write, an effective method for the introduction of reading, and good material for early number work....The best use of the Montessori system in the home will come through the reading of this book."- Professor Henry W. Holmes, Harvard, from the Introduction
- Exact reproduction of the 1912 edition, with photos & illustrations
- "The first idea that the child must acquire is the difference between good and evil."- Maria Montessori