Montessori Links

Discussion in 'Montessori Archives' started by Yenna, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. Yenna

    Yenna Companion

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    Jul 2, 2006

    Hi all!
    This is a thread for sharing links and sources for information about Montessori.
    I have training from AMI. I have 8 years experience in Children's House. I thought I would post this for people who are looking to find information about Montessori. If other Directresses have links, please add. The best inspiration and understanding comes from reading Dr. M's own writing.
    The Discovery of the Child
    The Secret of Childhood
    The Absorbent Mind
    The Montessori Method
    Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook
    Also, here are some books about Montessori:
    Montessori from the Start by Paula Polk Lillard (infants, toddlers)
    Maria Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius by Angeline Stoll Lillard
    A Parent's Guide to the Montessori Classroom by Aline Wolf
    Rita Kramer's biography of Dr. Montessori

    Here are some sites:
    Association Montessori International: http://www.montessori-ami.org/
    North American Montessori Teacher's Association: http://www.montessori-namta.org/NAMTA/index.html
    Michael Olaf Montessori Support Materials: http://www.michaelolaf.com/
    Nienhuis Approved Montessori Materials:http://www.nienhuis.com/index2.html
    A list of other sites: http://www.our-montessori.com/materials.html
    Parent Child Press http://parentchildpress.com/
    Excellent books for the new reader: the Cosmic Wonder Series, the Thoughtful Living Series and the Sense of Wonder Series are seriously beautiful. The "Pledge to the Earth" inspired our class to say it each day as a blessing at lunch. Also books for Peace Advocacy, for Parent Guidance and a Wonderful Art Appreciation series.
     
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  3. Yenna

    Yenna Companion

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    Jul 3, 2006

    Here is another great link, for articles and lots of information about the theory: http://www.montessorimom.com/?Welcome

    Pattypoo, thanks for contributing. I appreciate your input and prescence on this board. As far as puppets go, I believe Dr. Montessori had a valid reason for not including puppets in the Children's House Materials. This is taken from "Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook"..."In short, where the manufacture of toys has been brought to such a point of complication and perfection that children have at their disposal entire dolls' houses, complete wardrobes for the dressing and undressing of dolls, kitchens where they can pretend to cook, toy animals as nearly lifelike as possible, this method seeks to give all this to the child in reality-making him an actor in a living scene." p. 46-47.
     
  4. Yenna

    Yenna Companion

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    Jul 5, 2006

    what kind of animals do you have in your activities?
    Is calling the materials "works" from your training?
     
  5. Yenna

    Yenna Companion

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    Jul 6, 2006

    I wanted to share this wonderful reference link I found today. http://www.shelton.org/montessori/reference.html
    It has just about every book written by and about Dr. Montessori, and a wonderful list of organizations.

    I also thought I would post this link to an article from the International Montessori Congress in Sydney (2005) http://www.montessori-ami.org/congress/2005Sydney/papersd.htm- what the child is doing neurologically when playing fantasy versus working in reality. Children do play with animals etc. Some children even make a village out of the knobless cylinders. Montessori says to try to bring their mind back to reality, to a "point of consciosness" or focus on what the meaning of the lesson is. If the child is not ready, we suggest something else for the child to work with. Montessori instructs us that the child should first have a concrete experience with any animal that is being studied and some personal interest in studying the animal.

    Angeline's Lillard's book has quite a few references in her book for "materials as non-playthings" that demonstrate how Montessori's theories on this matter are substantiated by recent psychological research: "Research by Judy DeLoache suggests that Montessori programs are on the right track in not mixing toys with symbolic materials. When an object is both a symbol and something to play with, children have trouble seeing it as a symbol" "DeLoache's research suggests that in fact such play might inhibit children's recognition of the underlying concepts intended to be conveyed by these materials."
     
  6. Yenna

    Yenna Companion

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    Jul 9, 2006

    Pattypoo and Mommaruthie, I must say I appreciate your activity on this thread. Would you mind sharing your training affiliation and age level? The thread is called Montessori Links, however. I must say I feel that some of the links you are contributing are, though Montessori-like, not really Montessori, which is the purpose of the thread. I feel that this gives a false impression of what Montessori is and contributes to misunderstandings about Montessori theories. I feel that though many of these materials are intended to teach similar concepts and are manipulatives, the Montessori aspects of isolation of quality and simple to complex are not implicit in these materials. Many of these activites cannot be left for the child to repeat independently. I truly do not feel that using cardboard for trays is what Montessori meant by attention to detail and using aesthetically pleasing materials. It is important to have only one material to illustrate each concept and to have a limited number of materials in order to stimulate the child's interest by offering "keys to development" at this age (Spontaneous Activity in Education, ch 3). Many of these sites offer materials that address many concepts at once, and are the same theme as materials Montessori developed. Montessori developed materials for practical life, sensorial, language, math, geography, botany, music, art, etc. Each material she developed with the same characteristics. Each illustrates one concept (isolation of the quality), is child-sized, made of aesthetically pleasing materials, and considers the human tendencies and sensitive periods as well as the Absorbent Mind. I don't mean to proselytize, but maybe you can start another thread for "Links for Support Materials" or something like that.
     
  7. Pattypoo

    Pattypoo Comrade

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    Jul 9, 2006

    I deleted the links that I put on your thread. As a Montessori teacher I try to take ideas and help from all areas of education. If anyone else wants some great links, let me know.



    .
     
  8. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Jul 9, 2006

    Yenna I apologize for hijacking or interjecting in your post and will create my own thread of useful websites that are Montessori LIKE. You did invite others to participate. If not your intentions then why post on a FORUM? "This is a thread for sharing links and sources for information about Montessori.
    I have training from AMI. I have 8 years experience in Children's House. I thought I would post this for people who are looking to find information about Montessori. If other Directresses have links, please add."

    Since there is ONLY one Maria Montessori, therefore, we are then all only MONTESSORI LIKE. As I have said before, I have my own philosophy of education and hold an Elementary II Credential with AMS with a masters degree from Barry University under sister esnard and dr. tullous.
    (I see Yenna you are AMI and is that eight years in preschool only or does that include any lower and upper elementary experiences and or trainings?)
    http://www.amshq.org/
     
  9. Yenna

    Yenna Companion

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    Jul 10, 2006

    I think that AMS imparts a different classification to its trainees about what is "Montessori-like". In my opinion, Montessori outlined clear guidelines about what is Montessori-like: isolation of quality, isolation of difficulty, progressing from simple to complex, created to invite independent use, using aesthetically pleasing and natural materials. I am not against anyone developing activities that are Montessori-like, however, I do feel that if someone is calling something "Montessori" it should be aligned with the philosophy. While I agree that Montessori can be done on a limited budget and that this philosophy is not based solely on the materials, I do feel that having alot of extraneous materials in the environment inhibits learning. I also feel that since the Montessori concepts are so different and "revolutionary", there is a lack of understanding about Montessori theories within other eductional theories, so it does not make alot of sense, to me, to borrow from other philosophies. If I am not mistaken, this is something that is encouraged by AMS. I see this as a primary reason Nancy Rambusch started AMS in the first place: to change, modify and add to Montessori's already established theories of child development and education as an aid to life. I am still trying to understand. However, I do believe that Dr. Montessori developed clear guidelines for setting up new materials. This is something AMI promotes. New materials are always held to the same scrutiny that Dr. M employed.
    I guess there aren't any other Montessori trained adults here who see this the way I do.
     
  10. Pattypoo

    Pattypoo Comrade

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    Jul 10, 2006

    "I also feel that since Montessori concepts are so different and "revolutionary". there is a lack of understanding about Montessori theories, so it does not make alot of sense, to me, to borrow from other philosophies."


    Maria Montessori was profoundly influenced by Fredrich Froebel, the "inventor" of kindergarten and Heinrich Pestalozzi, who believed that children learned through activity. She also drew inspiration from Itard, Seguin, and Rousseau. It seems to me that it made a lot of sense to Maria to "borrow" from other philosphies.
     
  11. Yenna

    Yenna Companion

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    Jul 10, 2006

    so true, pattypoo!

    I guess my intention was to say this: I feel Montessori's concepts (though derived from a combination of philosophies) are very clearly defined. Her choice of materials was also clearly defined, for exact theoretical reasons. While we may personally believe in combining (complimentary) philosophies, in a Montessori Children's House and in discussing Montessori, there needs to be more clarity about how her philosophies relate to the educational endeavor. Though she did derive her educational philosophy from others' previous work, what she came up with is something pretty radically different from any of the parts in isolation. The totality of Montessori theory is something quite different than the sum of its parts. And, in my opinion, she had many insights that are hers alone.
     
  12. Yenna

    Yenna Companion

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    Jul 10, 2006

    "In order for the children to derive optimum benefit from the use of the materials, certain conditions are absolutely necessary. The first and foremost of their conditions is that the adults in charge of a Montessori environment must be well-versed in Montessori pedagogy, and have a thorough knowledge of the materials, their use, their possibilities and their scope. Equally important, is that the materials shall be complete, clean and in perfect condition. A premise that makes this possible is that they be constructed of high quality prime materials for maximum durability and built to precise specifications. These requirements appear rigid and arbitrary until it is understood that it is precisely their inherent order and exactness which so intensely attracts the children.
    To this day, the Montessori materials constructed by Nienhuis perpetuate in concrete form the demand for excellence which is the cornerstone of Montessori education." - quoted from Nienhuis.com/USA.
    The quantity of materials is not as important as the Directress' understanding of the philosophy. But even if you only have one material, it should be of the highest quality.
    Ruth, I also have the Master's in Ed. from Loyola. The reason I posted on this forum is that I would like to contribute to the understanding of Montessori. I strongly identify with her philosophy and have seen amazing transformations in myself, the children and by applying her principles to society at large. I studied Anthropology for my BA. To me, Dr. Montessori's scientific pedagogy is a framework for applying her unique understanding of human development and is a successful method. I love the conepts of "education as an aid to life", "education for peace", and respect for individual differences that Montessori embodies. I am only starting to understand some of her theories myself. I should have pointed out which links I thought were not Montessori as there were many contributions made by both ladies that were helpful and consistent with the philosophy. I realize my post sounded rude, and I am sorry that I offended you. I wasn't sure how to bring up the issue. I do feel strongly about making a clear representation of Montessori, especially in a public forum.
    I have a couple other questions about your training if you care to respond.
    Do you do environment rotations? Did your training discuss having a limited number of activities? Were the "keys to development" discussed? Were "isolation of difficulty" and "isolation of quality" discused? Just curious.
     
  13. amy-

    amy- Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2006

    your rigid view/attitude of montessori would scare anyone from the method. maria would not throw out other materials (montessori like) if they could help a child. don't forget why we are in montessori.
     
  14. Yenna

    Yenna Companion

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    Jul 19, 2006

    Hi Amy!
    I am trying to state my opinion based on actual study, not on my own preconceived notions. "The reactions of children to various objects, the way in which, and the frequency with which, they used them, and the advantages which they derived from them, all gradually built up reliable criteria for the elimination, modification, and acceptance of various objects." p.101, Ch. 6 "Material for Development" (The Discovery of the Child) Montessori actually did throw away alot of what she considered "useless" materials. She created a classroom environment limited to certain materials. The child is assisted by having an uncluttered and orderly environment. I have personally seen differences in classroom that follow the limited materials theory and those that don't. The materials are developed to isolate a specific quality and to isolate a specific difficulty. Also, there is the theory that the quality of the materials is more important than the quantity. Should we give the child every type and quantity of material made of cardboard, or should we have one pristine inlaid wooden tray with two glass cups upon it? The second example illustrates the Montessori theories of having fragile and delicate items as well as items that need to be protected or polished and cared for. By the way, this is not my personal theory, you can actually read about it in her books!
    I am interested in your reply, Amy. I am not certainly not trying to scare anyone away from M. Just trying to increase understanding of what it actually is. There are alot of misconceptions out there. So, what kind of training do you have?
     
  15. amy-

    amy- Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2006

    "I am trying to state my opinion based on actual study, not on my own preconceived notions."

    You are not stating an opinion, you are quoting text from books. As far as I can see, you can't or don't have an opinion other than what you have been told. There seems to be no freedom for open mindedness.

    How can you help children without using your intuition? Every child is different and sometimes need different presentations or a different approach. Children with learning disabilities perceive information differently and a "pure" presentation could confuse them and might set back their learning. So each presentation needs to be adapted to the childs strengths and learning needs.

    "Montessori actually did throw away alot of what she considered "useless" materials.

    Would Maria throw away "Montessori like materials" if she felt it could help the child?
     
  16. Yenna

    Yenna Companion

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    Jul 19, 2006

    "You are not stating an opinion, you are quoting text from books. As far as I can see, you can't or don't have an opinion other than what you have been told. There seems to be no freedom for open mindedness."

    Aside from the text I quoted, I do believe I made a couple statements of personal belief. It does happen to coincide with my training. I do agree with and feel alot of affinity for this philosophy. I do think it is helpful to support your beliefs with substantive references, so I tend to use alot of quotes to illustrate my point.

    "How can you help children without using your intuition? Every child is different and sometimes need different presentations or a different approach. Children with learning disabilities perceive information differently and a "pure" presentation could confuse them and might set back their learning. So each presentation needs to be adapted to the childs strengths and learning needs."

    I agree that each child needs different presentations and differing approaches but by this I mean among the choices are the Montessori materials, which should be apparent in any class that calls itself by the name. Any innovation or new exercise should still maintain the Montessori charactericstics. Otherwise, why don't they use another name? As far as a "pure" presentation confusing a child with learning differences, I'm not sure where you are going here. My understanding of a "pure" presentation means a clear and simple demonstratoin of the material, without speaking. Do you have a different meaning here? As far as I am concerned, it is exactly because of "pure" presentations that Dr. M had so much success with the "deficients".

    "Would Maria throw away "Montessori like materials" if she felt it could help the child?"
    This is the debate. What constitute's a "Montessori-like" material??? What do you think, Amy?
     

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