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.

Montessori Language

Montessori language

Chapter Objectives

  • To outline the interwoven development of movement and language in early childhood.
  • To explore how language education in Montessori early childhood settings builds on the foundation exercises of practical life and the senses.
  • To highlight the distinctive design features of the Montessori language materials.
  • To describe some Montessori spoken language activities.
  • To review the Montessori pathway to writing and reading.

Language, Dr Montessori (1949/1982: 95–6) wrote, is the force our ancestors used to break the chains of animal instinct. Because humans have language, they have the power to transform themselves, their communities and their environment, a power that brings with it great responsibility. Language is an instrument of ‘collective thought’ used by humans to communicate, to share ideas and to hand these ideas on to future ...

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