What is Montessori Education?

The classroom Montessori’s outlook was inspired by a deep respect for all aspects of life and creation, she had a holistic philosophy and was interested in the unity of the personality and the universe.  She saw Education as fundamental in the formation of humans during all four planes, as a means for the personality to

The Imagination

In the first plane the child’s mind absorbs directly from the environment, between 0-3 the child takes in information unconsciously.  Between 3 -6 years she  begins to direct her conscious observation, deliberatly  gathering information from her immediate environment through sensorial impressions and by interacting physically with it.  Doing so she explores her physical environment and

Social Development

Montessori, in the Absorbent Mind, Chapters 22 and 23 describes how society goes through an embryonic phase which we can follow by observing the development of small children, who, little by little children become aware of forming a working community, they come to be contributing members of a group. They are directed by an unconscious

The Needs and Tendencies of the older child

Montessori had a very particular world view, in this she saw humans as working to satisfy their individual, spiritual, physical, intellectual and emotional needs. Needs She sees children as motivated by their needs, which are similar to the needs adults have but also motivated towards developing themselves into adult humans and satisfying the needs of

Moral Development

In the ‘Advanced Montessori Method Vol. I’ p.258 (Clio), Montessori states, the essence of moral education is given in the loving environment, no-one can teach it, to perceive the difference and know it are not the same thing.  She says that while preparation in the first plane key is vital, in the second plane the

Cosmic Stories and Key Lessons in the Elementary Class

There are five Cosmic  Stories.  They are given in dramatic, impressionistic story form, personification of the elements to portray a sense of mystery, to have a psychic function which arouses awe, admiration and interest.  They can be given to the whole class, depending on the particular group, it is a good idea to inform the

Cosmic Education

What is ‘Cosmic Education’? Montessori’s particular view of the child’s needs and tendencies inform ‘Cosmic Education’, as she had a particular view of life, nature, human nature and the cosmos. She planned education as an ‘aid to development’, enabling children to adapt to their physical and social environment. Adaption is explained in AMI Communications 1978

Observing the Older Child

Montessori 1921 London Lecture, says, ‘It would seem as though to know how to observe was very simple and did not need any explanation, perhaps you think it will be sufficient to be in a classroom in a school and to look and see what happens, but to observe is not as simple as that,

Needs and Tendencies

Montessori describes tendencies as ‘life forces’ or ‘natural guides’ which drive man towards activities which  aid his needs for survival,  and fulfilment.  Montessori argues that man’s needs are not only physical, for clothing, food, shelter, but also spiritual, culture, are, social networks, the desire to think, explore, reflect and contribution and emotional, the needs for

Giving a Presentation

Presentation (Demonstration) The Director gives presentations of the materials as a response to an acute need which arises from the child’s Sensitive Periods and her Will to act, so the child gives her full attention, her Absorbent Mind ensures that she is able to pick up many details and having acted on her tendencies for


Observation Notes Unlike usual classroom teachers the Montessori adult has dual role of observer and teacher.  In order to offer Assistantial  Assistance and be Child Centred the Directress must take her cues from the child and for this she needs to observe the infant in her most natural state.  From these observations the adult can

The Three Period Lesson

Along side presentations the knowledge of names can be conveyed to children in exceptional events known as ‘Three Period Lessons’.  They are points of arrival, acknowledging the child’s experiential learning with the Sensorial materials either because her need for this has arisen or because it is anticipated.  The ‘Three Period Lessons’ are offered individually, consent

The Four Planes of Development

Montessori’s vision for development includes the whole human life, from conception to death, to account for the formation of man she divides the first 24 years of life into 4 planes, after 24 years an individual continues to develop.  Once each plane ends the phase preceding it becomes hard to re-imagine and the learning, or

The Social Development of the Child in the mixed aged setting

Education for Peace, Values, and Rights and Responsibilities cannot be taught didactically but through the child’s experience of her ‘link of love’ which connects her to the environment. Montessori described Peace education as, “constructive social reform”, her aim was to Educate Society through the Education of Man, based on a child’s arising tendencies. Co-operation cannot

Indirect Preparations

The Montessori Adult’s action must be guided by the Assistantial Approach this, ensuring that the Prepared Environment stimulates her freedom and allows her to work at boosting her freedoms and creativities.  The adult’s activities should protect the achievements already made and all the capacities a learner has already acquired for themselves and show their faith

The Director

The Director is an adult who has been specially trained and is able to respond to the child when the needs of his inner child become stimulated and concentrated.  To help the child towards normalisation the Director is in constant contact with the child linking him to the environment, directing his untapped energies and helping

Sensitive Periods

The child’s natural love for her social and physical environment sparks the potential for absorption and an intense attraction in those aspects of her environment which are stable and alive, this attraction during Sensitives Period allows her to meet her needs by manifesting her tendencies and potentials as periods of development. Sensitive Periods are globally

The Absorbent Mind

The Absorbent Mind The Absorbent mind is the name Montessori gives to the child under six years because she felt the infant has a qualitatively different mind than that of the older child and adult. The Absorbent Mind is dominated by a love for the environment, social norms and those people a child is born

The Assistantial Approach

The Directress follows the Assistantial Approach, it is child centred, learner focused, it empowers action.  It is an approach in which the educator has power-with the learner, not power-over her.  The role of the Directress is to remove obstacles to naturally unfolding development, not to hurry it.  Freedom for the learner is necessary, including the

The Prepared Environment

The Prepared Environment is both a physical space and the intangible properties necessary for an organism to thrive, reach and fulfil it’s physical, spiritual, emotional and psychical potentials.  For the human, assuming it’s mother is healthy, the womb provides a perfect prepared environment, where it’s body and senses of movement and hearing can begin developing,

Home Theory