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 Montessori Story

The Montessori story

Chapter Objectives

  • To retell the story of Dr Maria Montessori's life.
  • To give a first impression of the educational programmes Maria Montessori designed for young children.
  • To propose that at the heart of the Montessori approach to early childhood education is the high value placed on children's independence and independent learning.

To be independent is to be able to do things for yourself, to be able to make your own choices and to be able to manage the consequences of those choices on your own. It literally means to ‘not hang from’ another person or thing. Over her long lifetime Dr Maria Montessori observed young children striving to become independent. She believed the drive urging young children towards independence is the same drive that ...

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