Author: Maria Montessori
Published: 1946 by Kalakshetra Publications
Buy the Book: Amazon
This is the third book that I have read in the Montessori realm. This book focuses on the age group of birth to six years. Montessori tells of her early experiments on children. These children were from very poor beginnings and their parents were illiterate. The teachers that were presented had no formal education, so as to not have preconceived notions of what “education” is suppose to be like.
Montessori gives the reader a brief, as of the 1940s, description of how embryology works. She tells of behavioral problems that can come from problems in conception, through gestation, and up to birth.
It is important that education starts from birth. Montessori looses me a little with all the talk of the psychic embryo. However, her insights that the child should be with their mother as much as possible in the early stages, is something that I completely agree with.
“The Mystery of Language”, language comes naturally, as a spontaneous creation ( pg 40). According to Montessori , at two-and-a-half years seem to be the borderline of intelligence. After the beginning of language acquisition, movement helps psychic development. For a “child who can work with this hands shows firmness of character” (pg 52). This is a little bit of a strange comment, but I do agree that movement is good for the mind. Montessori says that “we must not help the child to walk” (pg 53). I think this is possibly taking the let the child learn for themselves to an extreme.
The most fascinating part of this book is the part about the teacher.
“The teacher, as part of the environment, must herself be attractive, preferably young and beautiful, charmingly dressed, scented with cleanliness, happy and graciously dignified.” (pg 87)
I’m looking forward to the next Montessori book that I’m going to read.
As always, I appreciate your comments or book recommendations. ~Dianna