The Montessori Method: Scientific Pedagogy as Applied to Child Education
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In The Montessori Method, Maria Montessori introduces a scientific approach to pedagogy. The Montessori schools which she established and developed are intended for children three to seven years of age. The children are allowed as much freedom as possible and are provided with “didactic materials” which are various artifacts that they can use to educate themselves. They are supervised by a single directress whose primary task is to observe the children and direct their efforts by explaining to them how various didactic materials are used (it’s very simple, but nothing is obvious to a young child).
This book offers some valuable concrete advice, but its primary use is as an introduction to the approach of scientific pedagogy. The basic premises are that (1) children have a natural desire to learn and (2) one can learn how to live in freedom only be being free. These premises are fully supported and fleshed out in the book.
The Montessori method achieved startling results, with four-year-old children (on average) learning to be masters of themselves, disciplined, benevolent, self-confident, and capable of reading and writing. Every educator should be familiar with Maria Montessori’s work.
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