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L'alba di una nuova era: teosofia ed educazione in Italia agli inizi del Novecento [The dawn of a new era: Theosophy and education in Italy during the early 20th century]

Europe, Italy, Montessori method of education - History, Southern Europe, Theosophical Society, Theosophy

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Abstract/Notes: Il fascino della teosofia catturò una fascia non marginale delle élites intellettuali europee nel primo Novecento e tale fenomeno non mancò di interessare la cultura e la società italiana. Nel solco delle nuove correnti di spiritualità allargatesi con l’aprirsi del nuovo secolo, e sulle macerie del positivismo scientistico che aveva egemonizzato la precedente stagione, la teosofia esercitò un’influenza straordinaria entro diversi ambiti di impegno culturale, che continuavano a guardare con fiducia alla possibilità di contribuire al progresso dell’umanità. La costruzione di una mitologia allegorica sull’avvento prossimo di una Nuova Era coinvolse specialmente la cultura dell’educazione, generando elementi di rinnovamento profondo del sapere pedagogico e dell’iniziativa in campo educativo. L’investimento di energie sulla bontà dei principi e dei metodi della pedagogia Montessori costituì solo uno degli aspetti, tra i più significativi, che assunse tale frontiera innovativa in area pedagogica, particolarmente sostenuta dalle reti teosofiche. La riscoperta del notevole contributo che la cultura teosofica complessivamente offrì a favore dell’organizzazione di una ‘teoria’ dell’Educazione Nuova costituisce, pertanto, un’operazione storiografica importante, per intendere come, anche in Italia, tra aspirazioni ideali, illusioni e generosi slanci profetici, una nuova pedagogia – moderna, democratica, liberale e mondial/globalista – si aprì degli spazi decisivi per cominciare a cambiare gli orizzonti contemporanei della formazione. / The fascination of theosophy captured a non-marginal band of European intellectual elites in the early twentieth century and this phenomenon did not fail to interest Italian culture and society. In the wake of the new currents of spirituality that widened with the opening of the new century, and on the ruins of the scientistic positivism that had dominated the previous season, theosophy exercised an extraordinary influence on various spheres of cultural commitment, which continued to look with confidence at opportunity to contribute to the progress of humanity. The construction of an allegorical mythology on the imminent advent of a New Era especially involved the culture of education, generating elements of profound renewal of pedagogical knowledge and initiative in the educational field. The investment of energy on the goodness of the principles and methods of Montessori pedagogy was only one of the most significant aspects that this innovative frontier assumed in the pedagogical area, particularly supported by theosophical networks. The rediscovery of the remarkable contribution that theosophical culture as a whole offered in favor of the organization of a 'theory' of New Education therefore constitutes an important historiographical operation, to understand how, also in Italy, between ideal aspirations, illusions and generous prophetic impulses, a new pedagogy - modern, democratic, liberal and mondial / globalist - opened up decisive spaces to begin to change the contemporary horizons of education.

Language: Italian

Published: Santarcangelo di Romagna, Italy: Maggioli, 2020

ISBN: 978-88-916-4601-9

Book Section

Introduction of Montessori Education and its Criticism

Book Title: The History of Japanese Nursery

Pages: 161-180

Asia, Early childhood care and education, Early childhood education, Japan, Montessori method of education - Criticism, interpretation, etc.

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Language: Japanese

Published: Tokyo, Japan: Froebel-Kan, 1969

Volume: 3

Conference Paper

Positive Socialization in an Educational Inclusion Group of a Montessori Elementary School

Available from: IATED Digital Library

8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies

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Abstract/Notes: The purpose of the present work was to foster positive socialization in a multilevel group of a Montessori elementary school comprised by 20 students between 9 and 12 years old and many students with Special Education Needs. Positive socialization refers to the group of behaviors to aid the more vulnerable and concern for the others (Rudolph, 2000). It is important to nurture these behaviors during the school age since this is the stage where students require them to foster healthy coexistence and cooperation, as well as respect for differences and diversity among peers, which is closely related to educational inclusion, which premise is to make a school for all, for which the creation of spaces where coexistence and differences acceptance are nurtured taking into account the needs of each student (Romera, 2008). The Elementary Education Syllabus in Mexico mentions the inclusion principle, which emphasizes the teaching of values, attitudes and behaviors towards helping the others (Secretary of Public Education, 2011). Under this perspective, a traditional empirical quantitative applied field study was conducted. The design was of only one group, with two pretest-posttest measurings in which also 5 teachers participated in the group activities. The group was assessed in Positive socialization by means of the Socialization Battery BAS-3 by Silva and Martorell (1987) which defines a child’s profile by five factors. The pretest results indicated five subjects obtained a scoring below the mean value in the Concern for the others scale, this meant the subjects had little social sensitivity or concern for others. In addition, the Inclusive Practices in the Classroom Evaluation Guideline in its observation and self-report version by Garcia, Romero and Escalante (2009) was applied, which allowed to measure the levels of educational inclusion in the group. The results determined that four teachers obtained a scoring below the mean value in the planning area scale. Based on the pretest results obtained from both instruments, an intervention program was designed based on the Cooperative play proposal by Garaigordobil (2004), to foster prosocial behaviors, while the decision taking according to the students’ needs were worked with the teachers. At the end of the intervention, a posttest was applied to the group and the results indicated a significant increment in the positive socialization, especially, the behaviors towards helping the others in the students with the lowest scores from the pretest; teachers planning also improved to achieve a more inclusive environment in the group. The results were validated with the non-parametric Wilcoxon test using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software.

Language: English

Published: Barcelona, Spain: International Academy of Technology, Education and Development (IATED), 2016

Pages: 7934-7941

DOI: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0741

ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4


The Origins and Development of Child-Centred Education: Implications for Classroom Management

Available from: Sabinet African Journals

Publication: Educare (South Africa), vol. 32, no. 1-2

Pages: 222-239

Africa, Montessori method of education - Criticism, interpretation, etc., Montessori method of education - History, South Africa, Southern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, ⛔ No DOI found

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Abstract/Notes: Since 1994 far-reaching curriculum changes in the form of an Outcomes-based Education (OBE) approach to schooling have been put into practice in South Africa. One of the pillars of OBE is a child (learner)-centred approach, that has an impact on virtually every aspect of classroom management. The question that arises is: what is a child-centred approach and what are its implications for classroom management? This article traces the broad issues surrounding the origins of a child-centred approach and investigates the implications of the implementation of a child-centred approach for classroom management. It concludes that child-centred teaching is still more rhetoric than reality in South Africa, because of certain constraints faced by educators. Constraints educators have to deal with in their classrooms, such as class size and inadequate training label education as child-conscious rather than child-centred.

Language: English

ISSN: 0256-8829


Between New Education and Idealistic Vision: Giuseppe Lombardo Radice and the Arduous Path of L’educazione Nazionale in Italy (1927-1933)

Available from: Universität Bern

Publication: Schweizerische Zeitschrift fuer Bildungswissenschaften / Swiss Journal of Educational Research, vol. 41, no. 2

Pages: 354-368

Europe, Italy, New Education Fellowship, Southern Europe

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Abstract/Notes: Opening the issue of Pour l’ère nouvelle (January 1927), Adolphe Ferrière announced that L’Educazione Nazionale, directed by Giuseppe Lombardo Radice, would be the Italian partnership of the educational press officially committed with the New Education Fellowship. The strong relation between the two scholars was based on a shared vision of education as really focused on the release of children’s natural energies. The cultural mission of the Italian journal was not an easy one to accomplish, due to the increasingly heavy atmosphere characterizing the Italian public life, signed by the turning of Fascism into an authoritarian Regime. Up to the turning point of the thirties the review often tried to draw attention onto several themes and figures related to the progressive expansion of the New Education. Unfortunately, the involution of Fascism hindered the journal’s activity, finally forcing its closure in 1933.

Language: English

DOI: 10.24452/sjer.41.2.6

ISSN: 2624-8492

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

Learning Through Movement: Integrating Physical Education with the Classroom Curriculum

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: The purpose of the experiment was to find if integrating physical education with the culture curriculum would enhance participation and increase learning in the classroom. The experiment was conducted at a Montessori school with one hundred elementary students split into a control group and experiment group. The control group received the traditional established physical education lessons while the experiment group received lessons integrated with culture themes. A pre and post assessment were given to the students to track improvements in concept retention.Observations were made during the lessons and a survey was given to the supervising teachers. There was not a meaningful change in participation but there was significant increase in scores between the pre and post assessment with the first and second graders in the experiment group. Physical Education integration with the culture curriculum aided younger students in remembering classroom lessons. Physical education will now be integrated with the culture curriculum for all elementary classrooms.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2013


Italian Early Care and Education: The Social Construction of Policies, Programs, and Practices

Available from: JSTOR

Publication: Phi Delta Kappan, vol. 83, no. 3

Pages: 226-236

Early childhood care and education, Early childhood education, Europe, Montessori method of education, Southern Europe

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Language: English

ISSN: 0031-7217


Dimension Analysis and Architectural Model of BAPNE Classroom for Pre-school and Primary Education

Available from: ScienceDirect

Publication: Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 237

Pages: 1284-1290

Architecture, Classroom environment, Montessori method of education, Montessori schools

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Abstract/Notes: The aim of this article is to determine the relationship between architecture and teaching, providing functional architecture models that are capable of absorbing the teaching load for movement and, fundamentally, for the development of kinesthetic intelligence (Howard Gardner). For this, we will establish a metric range of spatial proportions, m2/student ratio, in accordance with the activities performed on the BAPNE method. This study will focus on students of Pre-school and Primary Education, providing specific standing architectural models and the minimum requirements for a classroom, as well as determining whether a space is suitable or not for the proposed activities. The method includes analyzing architecture of the basic teaching room, approaching other education systems (Dalcroze, Montessori) and determining the differences between those systems and BAPNE. This study is carried out by architects and engineers, directly noting the architectural needs that current teaching requires for user stimulation.

Language: English

DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2017.02.211

ISSN: 1877-0428

Doctoral Dissertation

Montessori's Mediation of Meaning: A Social Semiotic Perspective

Available from: University of Sydney Libraries

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Abstract/Notes: The distinctive objects designed by Dr Maria Montessori as the centrepiece of her approach to pedagogy are the topic of this study. The Montessori approach to pedagogy, celebrating its centenary in 2007, continues to be used in classrooms throughout the world. Despite such widespread and enduring use, there has been little analysis of the Montessori objects to evaluate or understand their pedagogic impact. This study begins by outlining the provenance of the Montessori objects, reaching the conclusion that the tendency to interpret them from the perspective of the progressive education movement of the early twentieth century fails to provide insights into the developmental potential embodied in the objects. In order to appreciate that potential more fully, the study explores the design of the objects, specifically, the way in which the semiotic qualities embodied in their design orient children to the meanings of educational knowledge. A meta-analytic framework comprising three components is used to analyse the semiotic potential of the Montessori objects as educational artefacts. First, Vygotsky’s model of development is used to analyse the objects as external mediational means and to recognise the objects as complexes of signs materialising educational knowledge. In order to understand how the objects capture, in the form of concrete analogues, the linguistic meanings which construe educational knowledge, systemic functional linguistics, the second component of the framework, is used to achieve a rich and detailed social semiotic analysis of these relations, in particular, material and linguistic representations of abstract educational meanings. Finally, the pedagogic device, a central feature of Bernstein’s sociology of pedagogy, is used to analyse how the Montessori objects re-contextualise educational knowledge as developmental pedagogy. Particular attention is paid to the Montessori literacy pedagogy, in which the study of grammar plays a central role. The study reveals a central design principle which distinguishes the Montessori objects. This principle is the redundant representation of educational knowledge across multiple semiotic modes. Each representation holds constant the underlying meaning relations which construe quanta of educational knowledge, giving children the freedom to engage with this knowledge playfully, independently and successfully. The conclusion drawn from this study is that the design of the Montessori objects represents valuable educational potential which deserves continued investigation, as well as wider recognition and application. To initiate this process, the findings in this study may provide insights which can be used to develop tools for evaluating and enhancing the implementation of Montessori pedagogy in Montessori schools. The findings may also be used to adapt Montessori design principles for the benefit of educators working in non-Montessori contexts, in particular, those educators concerned with developing pedagogies which promote equitable access to educational knowledge.

Language: English

Published: Sydney, Australia, 2007

Master's Thesis

Unintended Consequences: The Montessori Story of the Early Childhood Education Qualification Requirement - 2000-2007

Available from: Victoria University of Wellington - Research Archive

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Abstract/Notes: In 2002, the Ministry of Education in New Zealand released Pathways to the Future: Nga Huarahi Arataki. This 10year strategic plan for early childhood education was the culmination of years of advocacy, research and consultation within the early childhood sector. A key component of the plan is a staged requirement for teachers in early childhood centres to have a Diploma of Teaching ECE or equivalent qualification. The study analyses the impact on the Montessori early childhood sector of the requirement that teachers in a centre be qualified with a Diploma or equivalent. This thesis draws on the results of a qualitative study involving interviews with key policy informants and focus groups of teachers and the story that emerges describes the complexities, frustrations and positive outcomes for centres and their teachers. The story points to a need for support, intervention and creative strategies to ensure no part of the early childhood sector is left behind, and diversity within early childhood education in New Zealand is maintained. The final outcome of the study raises the dilemma faced by the Montessori community; how can the approach accommodate the current ideas of early childhood education brought to centres through the policy requirement and remain identifiably Montessori?

Language: English

Published: Wellington, New Zealand, 2008

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