ERIC Number: ED341462
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Oct
Montessori Education and Its Relevance to Educational Reform.
Coe, Elisabeth Johnston
This article describes the general principles of the philosophy of Montessori education. The basis of Montessori education is a student-centered learning environment--one that includes provision for an inquisitive, cooperative, safe, and nurturing atmosphere for learning. Students' psychosocial needs must be addressed before their cognitive needs, so that students will enjoy learning and become life-long learners. Montessori education has developed two sets of practices with regard to teacher preparation and classroom environment that facilitate student-centered environments. Montessori teacher education programs focus on training teachers in observational skill and child development. Teachers are educated in developmental levels and in matching appropriate skills and activities to levels. Appropriate materials facilitate the development of physical, intellectual, and social independence. Characteristics of the Montessori classroom include: teachers who are educated in the Montessori method; partnership with the family; a multi-aged, multi-graded, heterogeneous grouping of students; a diverse set of Montessori materials, activities, and experiences; a schedule that allows time for problem solving; connections between knowing and creating; and a classroom atmosphere that encourages social interaction for cooperative learning, peer teaching, and emotional development. The paper concludes with comments regarding the positive aspects of multi-age grouping. (SH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference on the Future of Public Montessori Programs (New York, NY, October 17-19, 1991).