ERIC Number: ED198506
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Montessori and Dewey: A Comparison of Their Theory and Practice.
Whereas Maria Montessori believes that humans are born with a divine animating spirit, John Dewey believes that no such spirit exists, and that it is society which shapes the child. Their definitions of education reflect this difference. For Montessori, education is a natural process that develops spontaneously in the human being, and formal education assists the child in this spontaneous process. For Dewey education is growth, and the continuous reconstruction of experience and formal education guides that growth in a desired direction. Both agree on some basic principles of effective education: (1) learning is not passive reception of information; (2) the child forms mental images by using things, not by being told about them; (3) much of learning is unconsciously absorbed from the environment; (4) learning is growth--actual physical change--that occurs within the individual; and (5) learning occurs through purposeful interaction with the environment. In translating theory into practice, each overemphasized his/her own point of view. Montessori overstressed the individual's skills development and delayed the problem solving experience, while Dewey concentrated on the group approach and overlooked individual needs. A synthesis of the two approaches is needed. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Dewey (John); Montessori (Maria)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Claremont Reading Conference (48th, Claremont, CA, January 16-17, 1981).