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.

An Environment of Movement and Order

An environment of movement and order

Chapter Objectives

  • To explore the role of concentration in children's development.
  • To build understanding of the Montessori prepared environment.
  • To propose that the development of movement and the development of mind are interwoven in early childhood.

Recall the visit to a Montessori Children's House described in the previous chapter. Before the children arrived, the teacher and the assistant, very carefully and systematically, prepared the environment. Nevertheless, despite the focus on cleanliness and order, a grubby table and hand marks on a window were left as they were. The teacher's observations over previous days had revealed that some children were very interested in table washing and window cleaning. A table and window that needed cleaning had the potential, for ...

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