Motivation in the Montessori Classroom
The traditional Montessori philosophy of education takes a holistic approach to children’s
Rather than viewing development in a piece-meal fashion, Montessori classrooms
aim to promote the healthy development of a child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive
This curriculum was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 1900’s.
Montessori’s early literature and work integrated principles of psychology and anthropology, and
was considered both liberal and progressive at the time it was proposed (Foschi, 2008).
Montessori was among the first researchers to suggest that academic performance and perceived
intelligence was related to social class, rather than family genealogy.
Dr. Montessori’s beliefs
about progressive education were implemented in the first
, or primary schools
in Rome, Italy.
It was in these houses that the Montessori methods and pedagogical practices
were first developed.
In Montessori curriculum, all subject areas overlap and affect one another.
are child-centered, allowing children to discover, learn, and master concepts at their own pace, in
their own ways (M. McDonald, personal communication, November 20, 2009).
provided a variety of developmentally appropriate materials, and learn by seeing, touching,
manipulating, classifying, and observing.
This curriculum allows children to refine their abilities
at an individual pace, and to make connections between action and consequence (Cossentino,
The Montessori teacher acts as a facilitator or guide, helping to support and foster the
child’s natural curiosity and interests.
Teachers are trained in Montessori methods, and are
knowledgeable about creating environments developmentally appropriate and stimulating for the
children in their classrooms.