Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius

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Oxford University Press, 2005 - Child psychology - 404 pages
3 Reviews
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Traditional American schooling is in constant crisis because it is based on two poor models for children's learning: the school as a factory and the child as a blank slate. School reforms repeatedly fail by not learning from the shortcomings of these models.

One hundred years ago, Maria Montessori, the first female physician in Italy, devised a very different method of educating children, based on her observations of how they naturally learn. Does Montessori education provide a viable alternative to traditional schooling? Do Dr. Montessori's theories
and practices stand up to the scrutiny of modern-day developmental psychology? Can developmental psychology tell us anything about how and why Montessori methods work?

In Montessori, now with a foreword by Renilde Montessori, the youngest grandchild of Maria Montessori, Angeline Stoll Lillard shows that science has finally caught up with Maria Montessori. Lillard presents the research concerning eight insights that are foundations of Montessori education,
describing how each of these insights is applied in the Montessori classroom. In reading this book, parents and teachers alike will develop a clear understanding of what happens in a Montessori classroom and, more important, why it happens and why it works. Lillard, however, does much more than
explain the scientific basis for Montessori's system: Amid the clamor for evidence-based education, she presents the studies that show how children learn best, makes clear why many traditional practices come up short, and describes an ingenious alternative that works. Everyone interested in
education, at all levels and in all forms, will take from this book a wealth of insights. Montessori is indispensable reading for anyone interested in what psychologists know about human learning and development, and how to use it to improve teaching effectiveness.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - spinsterrevival - LibraryThing

I feel as though this could be the definitive text for those new to Montessori and want to learn more about it. I worked in a Montessori (Nido-Elementary) school for seven years, and I learned tons ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dandelionsmith - LibraryThing

This book has fascinating insights into child development and teaching styles. The author really seems to give a thorough review of the methods of teaching used in Dr. Montessori’s curriculum and then ... Read full review


1 An Answer to the Crisis in Education
2 The Impact of Movement on Learning and Cognition
3 Choice and Perceived Control
4 Interest in Human Learning
5 Extrinsic Rewards and Motivation
6 Learning from Peers
7 Meaningful Contexts for Learning
8 Adult Interaction Styles and Child Outcomes
9 Order in Environment and Mind
10 Education for Children
Works Cited
Name Index
Subject Index

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About the author (2005)

Angeline Stoll Lillard received her doctorate in psychology from Stanford University in 1991. She was awarded the Developmental Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association's Outstanding Dissertation Award in 1992 and its Boyd McCandless Award for Distinguished Early Career
Contribution in 1999. A Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, Lillard is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and four horses.

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