Montessori: The Science behind the Genius

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9780195325263: Montessori: The Science behind the Genius

Traditional 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 pscyhology tell us anything about how and why Montessori methods work? In Montessori, now with a foreword by Renilde Montessori, Angeline Stoll Lillard shows that science has finally caught up with Maria Montessori. Lillard presents the research supporting eight insights that are foundational to Montessori education and describes how each 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 importantly, why it happens and why it works. Lillard, however, does much more than explain the scientific basis for Montessori's system: amid the clamour 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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About the Author:

Angelina Stoll Lillard is an Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia.

Review:


"A stimulating evaluation of Montessori philosophy and practice, exploring some of the basic principles in relation to modern scientific research. . . . In particular, anyone wanting to take a detailed and critical look at Montessori education would surely benefit from reading this book."-- Montessori International


"Angeline Lillard may have changed the rules of engagement for debates on educational reform."-- Dennis Schapiro, Editor, The Public Montessorian


"Dr. Angeline Stoll Lillard has clearly summarized the research that explains why, after 100 years, the Montessori approach to education continues to be a phenomenal worldwide success."-- Tim Seldin, President, The Montessori Foundation, and Chair, The International Montessori Council


"Lillard provides a visionary framework for those currently working to advance Montessori education and those committed to furthering school reform initiatives. This is an illuminating, thoughtful, and extremely important book. "-- Richard A. Ungerer, Executive Director, American Montessori Society


"This is a great book. It is beautifully written, and expertly uses the psychological research literature to evaluate Montessori theory and practice. What an original and important contribution."-- Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology, Stanford University and author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success


"Lillard has masterfully explored the basic tenets of Montessori education and how they are validated with todays scientific findings. The result is a long-awaited and important contribution that contrasts with traditional education and offers evidence in support of a method that works. A stunning achievement!"--Virginia McHugh Goodwin, Executive Director, Association Montessori Internationale, USA


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