Maria Montessori Essay

Even though she achieved some radical and beneficial reforms in her work, there are still some aspects of her work which educators today would question or reject outright.This means that care must be taken when reading Montessori's own writings, especially in passages which expound her somewhat reactionary views on matters such as intelligence, racial qualities, and some aspects of gender, race and class.Montessori writes about "the instruction and education of man" (Montessori, 1912, p.In every Montessori classroom, the space is divided into five distinct thematic areas, each of which is designed to promote one of the main principles of the Montessori method.These are as follows: There is therefore a very useful emphasis in Montessori's work on the individuality and learning potential of every child, including children who have physical, mental or emotional challenges to overcome.Much early work by Montessori, and by her international critics and supporters, uses vocabulary such as "deficients" or "idiots" (Montessori, 1912, p.42), for example, to refer to children with learning difficulties or disabilities.In her later work, Montessori focused on the earliest phase of development (from 0 to three years) and presented her famous idea of "the absorbent mind" (Montessori, 1967) which likens the young child to a sponge, soaking up information from all the stimuli around him, and developing into his own personality.Even at this early stage, she urges not only nurture, but also respect for the emerging individual, acknowledging her right to develop in the way she chooses.The method encourages independence, and though this was radical at the time when the first Montessori schools were created, it chimes very well with contemporary ideas about children's learning.One limitation of the Montessori method in its original form is that it incorporates some views which were commonly held by most European educators in the early twentieth century, but which are no longer regarded as ethically acceptable in modern schooling.


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