Early childhood education across the world has been influenced by the pioneering work of Maria Montessori, and this book provides a complete overview of Montessori pedagogy and practice. It considers the Montessori approach within the context of early childhood education and care, and examines it in the light of new insights from the fields of neuroscience and child development.

By helping the reader understand the influence of Montessori on contemporary early years policy and practice, the book outlines ideas relevant to all early years settings, and suggests ways for all early childhood educators to apply these ideas in practice.

The book looks in detail at:

  • The Montessori story
  • The child as worker and the adult as observer
  • Developing independence and concentration
  • Using the senses to build the foundations for learning
  • Early communication and language
  • Early mathematics
  • Cultural knowledge and understanding
  • Maria Montessori, and other early childhood pioneers

Within each chapter are definitions of the key concepts of the Montessori approach, questions for reflection and discussion, activities and suggestions for further reading. This book focuses on the 3 to 6 age range.



The freely chosen spontaneous activity of young children, the activity adults call play, is arguably the foundation stone on which the contemporary field of early childhood education is built. At the dawn of the twenty-first century it seems unremarkable that play is seen as so critical to the development of young children. There is some variation in the ways early childhood educators interpret the activity of young children, and in the ways they respond to it, interact with it, and even name it, but a common thread is the high value placed on play, the spontaneous activity of young children.

A century ago the spontaneous activity of young children, particularly those of less privileged backgrounds, was perceived by some as either animal instinct or the ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles