Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbDuring my early university teaching career, I was teaching Psychology. These were the late 60s (1960s, that is!) and many new trends were catching hold on education, including the Montessori School movement. Yes, these schools had been around since the first one was established by Maria Montessori in Rome, Italy, in 1907. This first school served children in the poor neighborhoods and used an innovative approach that was student-centric as opposed to the teacher-centric approach employed in American schools. But changes were occurring on the American educational scene.

MontessoriPhonograms

A Swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget, was capturing the attention of psychologists on both sides of the pond. His approach emphasized a developmental approach to psychological development. This approach talked about the child’s development passing through several stages, each of which had it own way of “seeing” the world. These stages also were thought to determine how children learn during that stage and what the best method of instruction would be effective. Education was to be child-centric and emphasized child-directed discussions. It wasn’t until the child reached the final stage at age 11 or 12 that the typical learning approach used by our school would be effective.

The theory of Piaget reinvigorated the Montessori school movement in this country. Today, both the Montessori method and the Montessori Schools are thriving. They help children to learn more effectively. While they may not always show these results on the standardized tests that seem to have become “King” among today’s educators, these processes do seem to produce happy, well-adjusted, and successful adults. But that is another topic for another day.

Let us now dive into our exploration of Marie Montessori and her innovative method for teaching the disadvantaged children of Rome… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

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Quotations Related to Maria Montessori:

    

“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.”
— Maria Montessori

“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.”
— Maria Montessori

“If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men.”
— Maria Montessori

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