Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Book Discussion: Montessori Methodology in Her Own Words

In 1914, Dr. Montessori wrote a guidebook to teaching the Montessori Method. The book has remained useful and relevant even after all these years, especially for parents and teachers new to Montessori.

One of the most interesting features of the book is that Dr. Montessori's discussion of teaching and methodology leaves lots of wiggle room in the presentation, unlike many of the new explanations of Montessori education that focus on minutia and exact use of materials.

The introduction to the book details some of the formative discussion about Montessori and he methodology, which will be interesting to those of you looking into how Montessori education got to be the way it is and how her view of the development of the child is expressed in the classroom and teacher training.

Since this is basically Dr. Montessori's book for beginners, she avoids extraneous discussion and dives useful detail and instructions for teaching. This includes advice and step-by-step details for all areas of the curriculum including motor education, sensory education, language and knowledge of the world, freedom and independence (very interesting), writing, reading of music, arithmetic, and moral factors.

The black and white photos in this book are charming, showing children using original material. You will notice that the material and classroom setup really have not changed much!

If you are thinking about using Montessori in a classroom or homeschool setting, this book is a definite must read!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Please, please, please never put your child on Ritalin. I am speaking as a 21 year old girl who has ADD. I will begin my work as a Montessori teacher come June, this year. Ever since I was young my teachers have been pushing Ritalin. Once a child's body adapts to the dosage of Ritalin it becomes less effective and therefore the dosage is then increased. This continues until they can not longer up the dosage any more without it being lethal. Since the individual's body gets used to this high doasge and it is now ineffective, the cut them off of the prescription. My mom is a high school math teacher and she sees first hand what effect this has on the students. They have extreme highs and lows because their bodies have been thrown off balance. Often the students turn to other drugs to fill that need that they now have. Is that really what we want of our students and children? Ritalin is a quick fix, but with long term repercussions.
Ritalin, at such high levels as required in high school, can sometimes cause the person to go into a zombie-like state (they are SO calm, that they are not fully aware). Does this sound healthy? Most individuals with ADD are above average intelligence. Let's work together to foster that intelligence and channel their excess energy into productive means.
P.S. As an ADD individual, I'm doing just great for myself with a GPA of 4.0 :) concentrating is still a challenge at time but with great teachers and determination I aquired the skills necessary to overcome my ADD habits. :)