Cover image for The Montessori method : the origins of an educational innovation : including an abridged and annotated edition of Maria Montessori's The Montessori method
The Montessori method : the origins of an educational innovation : including an abridged and annotated edition of Maria Montessori's The Montessori method
Montessori, Maria, 1870-1952.
Uniform Title:
Metodo della pedagogia scientifica. English
Publication Information:
Lanham, MD : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, [2004]

Physical Description:
x, 295 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB775.M76 M6713 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



An essential resource for all students and scholars of early childhood education, this book offers a rich array of material about Maria Montessori and the Montessori Method. Distinguished education scholar Gerald Gutek begins with an in-depth biography of Montessori, exploring how a determined young woman overcame the obstacles that blocked her educational and career opportunities in Italy during the late Victorian age. The author then analyzes the sources and influences that shaped the Montessori philosophy of education. After laying the foundation for Montessori's development, Gutek presents an annotated and abridged edition of The Montessori Method (1912), the seminal work that introduced her educational innovations to a U.S. audience. The book concludes with key historical documents, including disciple Anne E. George's notes on the Montessori lectures and William H. Kilpatrick's critique of the Montessori method. Preserving the historical context of Montessori's contribution, Gutek also shows the continuing relevance of her thought to educational reform in the twenty-first century.

Author Notes

Maria Montessori, an Italian educator who was the first woman doctor granted a degree in Italy, has been well known in the field of childhood education since the early 1900s. Dissatisfied with the educational methods of her time, she developed her own theories in systematic fashion. The Montessori Method, as it became known, allows each child to develop at his or her own pace through the manipulation of materials. The teacher's role is to provide the materials and then act as a supervisor and a guide. This and other concepts of hers have had considerable influence on modern education.

Montessori first worked with retarded children, then classified as "untrainable," most of whom she succeeded in teaching to read and write. She established a number of Houses of Children in Italy devoted to providing new opportunities for underprivileged children. Recent U.S. efforts in this direction have led to a strong revival of interest in her work, and Montessori's methods also have been expanded to children beyond the preschool years.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

While still controversial within certain circles, Montessori remains one of the most important figures in the history of educational reform in the 20th century. Editor Gutek (educational leadership & policy studies, emeritus, Loyola Univ.) divides this volume into three parts: a brief biographical introduction of Montessori, an abridged and slightly annotated version of one of her seminal works, and a few very brief examples of contemporary reactions to her ideas. Any significant reevaluation of Montessori's life and work should find a place in any library, but Gutek's latest book does not make the grade; it does not reflect the rich interpretation of Montessori's work one might expect of an eminent philosopher of education. There is little in this new edition to recommend it to any library that already holds the original source work (The Montessori Method), Rita Kramer's Maria Montessori: A Biography, or even Gutek's own textbook (Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education: A Biographical Introduction, 3d ed.), which includes a sketch of Montessori not significantly shorter than the one provided here.-Scott Walter, Washington State Univ. Lib., Pullman (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

William H. Kilpatrick
Editor's Notep. ix
Introduction: A Biography of Montessori and an Analysis of the Montessori Methodp. 1
Part I An Annotated Edition of Maria Montessori's The Montessori Method
1 A Critical Consideration of the New Pedagogy in Its Relation to Modern Sciencep. 69
2 History of Methodsp. 81
3 Inaugural Address Delivered on the Occasion of the Opening of One of the "Children's Houses"p. 93
4 Pedagogical Methods Used in the "Children's Houses"p. 107
5 Disciplinep. 113
6 How the Lessons Should Be Givenp. 123
7 Exercises of Practical Lifep. 129
8 Refection--The Child's Dietp. 133
9 Muscular Education--Gymnasticsp. 135
10 Nature in Education--Agricultural Labor: Culture of Plants and Animalsp. 143
11 Manual Labor--The Potter's Art and Buildingp. 149
12 Education of the Sensesp. 153
13 Education of the Senses and Illustrations of the Didactic Material: General Sensibility; the Tactile, Thermic, Baric, and Stereognostic Sensesp. 161
14 General Notes on the Education of the Sensesp. 177
15 Intellectual Educationp. 181
16 Methods for the Teaching of Reading and Writingp. 195
17 Description of the Method and Didactic Material Usedp. 205
18 Language in Childhoodp. 227
19 Teaching of Numeration: Introduction to Arithmeticp. 233
20 Sequence of Exercisesp. 243
21 General Review of Disciplinep. 249
22 Conclusions and Impressionsp. 261
Part II Related Documents
23 Interpretation of Montessori's Lecturep. 267
24 Excerpts from The Montessori System Examinedp. 273
Appendixp. 279
Bibliographyp. 283
Indexp. 285
About the Editorp. 295