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Doctoral Dissertation

Per un'educazione al pensiero complesso Metodo Montessori e Philosophy for Children: connessioni e sconfinamenti

Available from: AMS Dottorato - Institutional Theses Repository (University of Bologna Digital Library)

Comparative education, Montessori method of education, Philosophy for Children

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Abstract/Notes: La presente ricerca, di impianto teorico, si prefigge lo scopo di indagare - all’interno della cornice teorica del problematicismo pedagogico - le connessioni tra due proposte educative che concorrono alla promozione dell’esercizio del pensiero complesso già nell’infanzia: il Metodo elaborato da Maria Montessori e la Philosophy for Children sviluppata da Matthew Lipman. Attingendo alla bibliografia scientifica di riferimento, sia nazionale sia internazionale, e a partire dalle connessioni individuate, si arrischiano sconfinamenti in saperi altri: sostando in ambiti di ricerche, apparentemente lontani, vengono interrogate le teorie dell’apprendimento, i rapporti con le tecnologie, fino al confronto con le interessanti conferme che emergono dalle recenti ricerche neuroscientifiche. La scelta dell’oggetto della ricerca nasce da una riflessione relativa all’emergere di fenomeni di negazione dell’infanzia e dei suoi diritti; ra gli altri, il diritto al pensiero. Sembra necessario richiamare alla responsabilità di accompagnare l’infanzia sulle strade della complessità nella cittadinanza GLocale. In questa direzione, le proposte educative prese in esame sembrano offrire, a partire dall’infanzia, modalità diversificate e divergenti delle esperienze di conoscere, sentire, comunicare alle quali poter attingere come bambini e bambine e nelle successive età della vita. Con il presente lavoro di ricerca, che mi ha vista impegnata in diverse forme per tre ricchi e intensi anni, ho tentato di mettere al centro della riflessione l’esercizio del pensiero che emerge come imprescindibile responsabilità educativa a cui i dispositivi propri del Metodo Montessori e della Philosophy for Children possono contribuire a corrispondere. [The research undertaken for this doctoral thesis - within the theoretical framework of pedagogical problematicism - explores the connections between two educational proposals that contribute to the promotion of the exercise of complex thought already since childhood: the Method elaborated by Maria Montessori and the Philosophy for Children developed by Matthew Lipman. With reference to the scientific bibliography, both national and international, this work matches Learning Theories, Studies on New Technologies and Practices in Education, comparing it with the interesting discoveries that emerge from recent neuroscientific research. It seems necessary to recall the responsibility of accompanying childhood on the roads of complexity in GLocal citizenship and, so, to offer children the tools and times for developing the capacity to think critically, to reason around events, and to undertake constructive relations with the environment and with others. With the present research, which has engaged me in different forms for three richly intense years, I have tried to centre my analysis on the exercise of thought as an indispensable educational responsibility to which the devices of the Montessori Method and of the Philosophy for Children can contribute.]

Language: Italian

Published: Bologna, Italy, 2018

Article

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Possible Connections Between the Montessori Method and Philosophy for Children

Available from: Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro

Publication: Childhood and Philosophy, vol. 16, no. 36

Pages: 01-22

Comparative education, Montessori method of education, Philosophy for Children, derecho a pensar

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Abstract/Notes: This paper aims to focus on certain aspects of two education methods: one initiated in the first half of the twentieth century by Maria Montessori, and the other in the second half of that century by Matthew Lipman. The aim – neither comparative nor analytical – is to shed light on the connections and, more specifically, the elements of the Montessori Method that reflect on Lipman’s proposal. The question this paper aims to answer is: can P4C find fertile ground in schools applying the Montessori Method? The paper will focus, among other elements: on the importance to give space to thinking experience from childhood and on the recognition of the value of childhood. Both Lipman and Montessori have systematically observed children of different ages – the former in the first half, the latter in the second half of the twentieth century. Both characterized, gave value, and focused their scientific contributions on children’s ability to think and express their thoughts through languages (purposely in the plural form). As educational researchers and professionals know, children have the ability to think, but such ability has not always been (still isn’t) considered to exist. Even when it is evoked in words, educational choices and proposals seem – still today – to express mistrust towards children’s thought. The two mentioned authors have repeatedly highlighted the importance of an essential right: the right to think and to be given a space – even as children – to exercise thinking with others. In particular, both authors – though envisaging different educational paths – identified the same categories functional to exercising thinking. Their interconnection may guide the actions of teachers, educators, and learning process experts. In fact, P4C might play a role in educational contexts in which the class is already considered a community of inquiry, in which the teacher is assigned the same role as a facilitator

Language: English

DOI: 10.12957/childphilo.2020.46784

ISSN: 1984-5987

Article

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Introduction of philosophy for children into the Montessori curriculum

Available from: Philosophy Documentation Center

Publication: Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children, vol. 15, no. 1

Pages: 22-29

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Language: English

DOI: 10.5840/thinking20001516

ISSN: 0190-3330, 2380-6370

Article

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Making Room for Children's Autonomy: Maria Montessori's Case for Seeing Children's Incapacity for Autonomy as an External Failing

Available from: Wiley Online Library

Publication: Journal of Philosophy of Education, vol. 50, no. 3

Pages: 332-350

Maria Montessori - Philosophy

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Abstract/Notes: This article draws on Martha Nussbaum's distinction between basic, internal, and external (or combined) capacities to better specify possible locations for children's ‘incapacity’ for autonomy. I then examine Maria Montessori's work on what she calls ‘normalization’, which involves a release of children's capacities for autonomy and self-governance made possible by being provided with the right kind of environment. Using Montessori, I argue that, in contrast to many ordinary and philosophical assumptions, children's incapacities for autonomy are best understood as consequences of an absence of external conditions necessary for children to exercise capacities they already have internally, rather than intrinsic limitations based on their stage of life. In a closing section, I show how Montessori proposes a model wherein both children and adults have autonomy, power, and responsibility, but over different spheres, and suggest implications of these differences for who has responsibility for establishing the conditions under which children can flourish.

Language: English

DOI: 10.1111/1467-9752.12134

ISSN: 1467-9752

Article

President Wilson's Daughter to Aid Mme. Montessori Show Her System

Available from: Chronicling America (Library of Congress)

Publication: The Sun (New York) (New York City, NY)

Pages: 6

Americas, Maria Montessori - Biographic sources, North America, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: The Montessori movement, considered by many a radical departure from traditional educational methods, will receive new emphasis and publicity from the fact that visitors to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition will see during the months of August, September, October and November not only a demonstration of the Montessori system but will see it conducted by the talented woman herself. Associated with her will be Miss Margaret Wilson, daughter of the President, Dr. David Starr Jordan, chancellor of Leland Stanford Junior University, and other well known educators. The Montessori method has been summed up as 'freedom for development of the child under best conditions disturbing as little as possible but helping buy every means this development.' Any estimate of Mme. Montessori's work to be of practical value will involve a comparison between the Montessori method and that of the kindergarten, since the kindergarten is the only system of organizes educational work for young children that has so far received general recognition. In the middle of the last century the sensitive woman soul and philosophic mind of Froebel grasped the fundamental principle of development and say that the first six or seven years are the most important in the life of the individual. After years of study he embodied what he conceived to be the fundamental principles of the education of little children in what is known as the kindergarten, and his ideas of the best means for the application of these principles in his kindergarten program, materials and devices. The discovery of the kindergarten marked a new era in the history of the educational world. Though suppressed for years by government authority in Germany, and received with much suspicion elsewhere, the kindergarten has become an integral part of the public school system of many cities and States in our country. Its introduction into England was championed by Charles Dickens, and in America it found an advocate in the philosopher and educator Dr. William T. Harris. Concerning the kindergarten and the Montessori methods, Dr. P. P. Claxton, United States Commissioner of Education says: 'Though aims and principles are the same for both Froebel and Montessori, their different methods of approach have resulted in difference in emphasis, program and decides. For those who see no further than the form there is apparent conflict. Many cannot understand that the work of both Froebel and Montessori must finally lose each its distinctive characteristics in the larger whole of a more perfect knowledge of the nature of infancy and the means of educating young children.' It must be said of Dr. Montessori that she is first, last and always scientific in her work. Prolonged training in the sciences that relate to human life, vitalized by practical experience in their application to defective children, gave her a method which is the outcome of genius, training and experience. She swung into prominence, against her wish, in the following way: While serving as assistant doctor at the psychiatric clinic of the University of Rome, Italy, she founder herself differing from her colleagues in that she felt, as she says, 'that mental deficiency presented chiefly a pedagogic rather than mainly a medical problem.' The expression of these views in an address brought Dr. Montessori prominently before the Minister of Public Instruction, and her work from this on assumed a public character. Her belief that the methods employed with deficient children 'contained educational principles more rational than those in use and that if applied to normal children they would develop or set free their personality in a marvelous and surprising way,' became her controlling idea, and is the very heart of the Montessori system. The system of Mme. Montessori is indissolubly joined with her famous 'didactic material.' Among this will be found small wooden frames to which are attached pieces of cloth or leather on which are buttons and buttonholes, hooks and eyes, eyelets and lacing cords, and strings to be tied and untied. There are also boxes of cylindrical insets and other simple devices to develop 'man's mystery over nature.' Mme. Montessori is her best interpreter when she says, 'We are inclined to believe that children are like puppets and we wash them and feed them as if they were dolls. We do not stop to think that the child that does not do does not know how to do. Our duty is that of helping him to make a conquest of such useful acts as nature intended he should perform for himself. The mother who feeds her child without making the least effort to teach him to hold the spoon for himself and to try to find his mouth with it is not a wise mother. She treats her son as though he were a doll. We call an individual disciplined when he is master of himself and can regulate his own conduct when it shall be necessary to follow some rule of life. If any educational act is to be efficacious it is necessary rigorously to avoid the arrest of spontaneous movements and the imposition of arbitrary tasks. It is of course understood here that we do not speak of a useless or dangerous act; this must be suppressed, destroyed.' The Montessori doctrine is therefore in substance that the child's inner self or personalit cannot rightfully develop unless free to express itself undirected and unguided by another person. As a consequence Dr. Montessori insists that each child be allowed bodily freedom and have as much unhampered liberty of action as possible in order that he may fully express his inner life in outer activity. The classic illustration by which Dr. Montessori puts in concrete form her doctrine is the following: 'One day the children had gathered in a circle about a basin of water containing some floating toys. A little boy 2 1/2 years old had been left outside the circle. He drew near to the other children and tried to force his way among them, but he was not strong enough to do this. The expression of thought on his face was intensely interesting. His eyes then lighted upon a little chair and he had evidently made up his mind to place it behind the group of children and climb on it. As he began to move toward the chair, his face illuminated with hope, a teacher seized him in her arms, lifted him above the heads of the other children, showed him the basin of water, saying, 'Come poor little one you shall see too.' The child seeing the floating toys did not experience the joy that he was about to feel through conquering the obstacles with his own force. The teacher hindered the child in this case from educating himself. The little fellow was about to feel himself a conqueror, and instead he found himself held within two imprisoning arms impotent.' The now famous 'House of the Children' in Rome, under the patronage of Queen Margherita, faithfully reflects and demonstrates the Montessori principles and methods. It has been described as an old orphan asylum, whose gray outer walls give no idea of the two beautiful and luxuriant courtyards within. These latter are filled with beds of blossoming plans, and the pillars of the inner porch are covered with clinging vines. The schoolroom in which the class for the children is held opens with wide double doors into one of these lovely courtyards, where the children play during hours in which they are not engaged in their Montessori exercises. Miss Elizabeth Harrison, president of the National Kindergarten Union says of this 'House of the Children': 'On my first visit I found the children busy getting out the 'didactic material' with which they were to employ themselves for the next hour and a quarter. Some came forward to shake hands with me; some merely smiled and nodded and did not interrupt their work. All seemed busy, happy and free. I afterward saw as many as eighty visitors in the room where there were only a dozen children, but none of the children were in the least disturbed by or seemingly conscious of the presence of the visitors. Most of the children came from nearby tenement houses, yet even the youngest of them washed their own hands and faces, put on clean, neat calico aprons and looked as fresh and clean as children from well cared for homes.' Comparing the kindergarten and the Montessori systems, the following differences appear: The kindergarten stresses group activities, while the Montessori system emphasized almost exclusively the development of the individual. The kindergartners say that education in coordinating of muscles, the special training of the child's senses and all such phases of individual development are expected to come in the nursery. The Montessori system has no place for stories; the kindergartners are famous for them. Mme. Montessori objects to stories for young children on the theory that all activities of the mind are derived from the outside world and are dependent on sense impressions, and that therefore the child should be kept within the realm of his own personal experience until he is at least 7 or 8 years old. It is not necessary to add that two __ meet at this point of difference. The most remarkable features of the Montessori system, as well as one of its decided points of divergence from the kindergarten, lies in its ___ of definite attitude on religious training. Froebel, trained in an environment where instruction in religion is practically nationwide, says that while the child unconsciously manifests teh divine impuse within him he must follow it with conscious insights persisting in what he knows to do right and must needs have definite training of this kind. Montessori, on the other hand, with nuns as her assistants and attendants in her 'House of the Children,' acknowledges the importance of religious training for little children, 'but confesses that as yet it is an unsolved problem to her.' Miss Harrison, who spent some time in Rome with Mme. Montessori says, 'She [Montessori] seems to feel that a child's spiritual nature will ___ aright if freedom is given ....

Language: English

ISSN: 1940-7831

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Children’s Preference for Real Activities: Even Stronger in the Montessori Children’s House

Available from: University of Kansas Libraries

Publication: Journal of Montessori Research, vol. 4, no. 2

Pages: 1-9

Americas, Montessori method of education - Evaluation, North America, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: In the United States, children are often given the opportunity to engage in pretend activities; many believe this kind of play benefits children’s development. Recent research has shown, though, that when children ages 4 to 6 are given a choice to do the pretend or the real version of 9 different activities, they would prefer the real one. The reasons children gave for preferring real activities often concerned their appreciation of the functionality; when children did prefer pretend activities, their reasons often cited being afraid of, not allowed to, or unable to do the real activity. Given that children in Montessori classrooms have more experience performing real, functional activities, in this study we asked if this preference for real activities is even stronger among children in Montessori schools. We also asked children to explain their preferences. The data are from 116 3- to 6-year-old children (M = 59.63 months, SD = 12.08 months; 68 female): 62 not in Montessori schools and 54 in Montessori schools. Children explained their preferences for pretendand real versions of 9 different activities. Children in Montessori schools preferred real activities even more than did children in other preschools, but all children explained their choices in similar ways. The implications of these results are discussed with regard to play in preschool classrooms.

Language: English

DOI: 10.17161/jomr.v4i2.7586

ISSN: 2378-3923

Report

The Evaluation and Implications of Research with Young Handicapped and Low-Income Children at the Institute for Research on Exceptional Children at the University of Illinois

Available from: ERIC

Americas, Children with disabilities, Inclusive education, North America, Poor children, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: This study to determine effects of preschool training of mentally retarded children from low-income families asks three major questions: 1. Does preschool training displace the rate of development of such children? 2. Does rate of growth continue at an accelerated rate, or does it return to the original rate of development during primary school years? 3. Are the results similar for children living in different environments? Five intervention programs are outlined: 1. Traditional nursery school; 2. Community Integrated program; 3. The Montessori method; 4. Karnes structured cognitive plan; and 5. The Bereiter-Englemann(B-E). As a result of the program, some children in the demonstration center no longer function in the retarded range. Behavior has improved and several have entered a public school or preschool for normal children. It is suggested that mothers of infants might accomplish more at home with guidance, since professional tutoring is not feasibly practical, and children with higher IQ need special early programming to attain their potential. (RG)

Language: English

Published: Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, 1973

Conference Paper

Responses to Guidelines for Developmentally Appropriate Practice for Young Children and Montessori

Available from: ERIC

Annual Meeting of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (Nov 13-16, 1986)

Early childhood education, Montessori method of education

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Abstract/Notes: Three central components of the Montessori method are described and shown to be reflected in the National Association for the Education of Young Children's (NAEYC) guidelines for developmentally appropriate curricula. NAEYC guideline 1C states, "Teachers prepare the environment for children to learn through active exploration and interaction with adults, other children, and materials"; this is a statement of a basic Montessori principle. A second Montessori principle concerning "sensitive periods" is reflected in the entire body of the NAEYC guidelines. A third principle common to both Montessori practice and the NAEYC guidelines is the idea of the teacher as an observer. It is concluded that, if early childhood educators intend to follow the NAEYC guidelines, they will be behaving very much like Montessori teachers. (RH)

Language: English

Published: Washington, D.C.: NAEYC, Nov 14, 1986

Pages: 12

Doctoral Dissertation

Evidence Based Social Skills Interventions for Young Children with Asperger’s Syndrome and the Montessori Educational Method: An Integrative Review

Available from: University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Asperger's syndrome in children, Autism in children, Children with disabilities, Montessori method of education - Evaluation, People with disabilities

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Abstract/Notes: Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) is a medically recognized disorder on the Autism Spectrum. One in 88 children age eight are diagnosed with AS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2014). A key feature of AS is a deficiency in social skills. In the past ten years five main types of social skills interventions have been researched for their impact on young children with AS. Data suggest these treatments help children with AS acquire social skills. More research is needed on the types of learning environments that incorporate or lend themselves to utilizing these types of social skills interventions. One potential model, the Montessori Method of education was initially designed to teach children with significant developmental, social, and educational disabilities, with an intentional focus on individualized learning and socialization. To date, the potential overlap between empirically supported interventions to teach social skills to children with AS and the Montessori Method of education has not been researched. A comprehensive literature review was conducted to compare five researched interventions for social skill acquisition in children with AS with the Montessori Method of education. Findings suggest that of these five interventions, three bear significant resemblance to the Montessori Method of education while the other two do not. Implications and recommendations for parents, teachers, educational administrators, and social workers and other mental health practitioners who assist children with AS are provided.

Language: English

Published: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2014

Article

Mrs. Ernest Thomson-Seton at Opening of Montessori School for New York Tenement Children

Available from: ProQuest Historical Newspapers

Publication: The Evening Record (Windsor, Ontario, Canada)

Pages: 8

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Abstract/Notes: "To prove that the Montessori system of education is both practical and available for the poor children of the tenements as well as for those who have every advantage that can be had for money, is the purpose of the Montessori Educational Association, which has just established a school for poor children in the upper East Side in one of the most thronged of the tenement sections of New York. The Montessori idea of education is diametrically opposed to the system in vogue. All the time commonly spent in training children to be passive is in the Montessori schools spent in awakening activity and encouraging initiative. Dr. Montessori, the founder of the new system of education, says that one of the most important tasks of the teacher lies in 'seeing that the child does not confound the idea of good with immobility, and evil with activity.' Instead of devoting months of arduous labor drilling the alphabet and elements of reading and writing into the heads of the little children, Montessori methods develop the various senses which give them control of the apparatur through which they must get all their knowledge of the world. One of the most remarkable things notied by the observers of the new school was the spontaneity with which the children learned to write. From tracing sand-paper letters and building of words by the aid of blocks, many of the children took up bits of chalk and began to write, not a few, but many words. The children learn to observe, to reason and to use their senses rather than clog their memoriy with useless rules. The school furnishes the little tots with luncheon, but even in this they are stimulated to activity. They have little waitresses who learn to move about freely and gracefully, to carry things without breaking them, and to avoid clumsiness and awkwardness. When the meal is over the children will all go into their small kitchen, roll up their sleeves and wash the dishes from which they had been eating. The picture shows Mrs. Ernest Thompson-Seton, the wife of Ernest Thompson-Seton, the Canadian author and naturalist, who is one of the trustees of the Montessori Educational Association, telling a little waitress to pose for the picture."

Language: English

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