Pre Home Assignments

Learning Activity 1: Read Book & Write Review: Read the book of Dr. Maria Montessori- ‘The Discoveries of the Child’ during this theory paper & write review about that book in 3 A 4 pages in your Theory Assignment Book.

Learning Activity 2: Read passage & Meditate: Should read the passage in this unit minimum 3 times. After reading each paragraph, close your eyes & think about the paragraph content for a few minutes. Also do the preparations for the Live Class Lesson Activities.

Learning Activity 3: Write Biography: After reading the biography in this unit, each student should write the Biography of Dr. Montessori in their own words in 3 A 4 pages in the Theory Assignment Book. If possible, paste photographs of Montessori in the Biography.

Learning Activity 4: Write memorable years: Write the Memorable years with brief description in Dr. Montessori’s life in your Theory Assignment Book.

Learning Activities for Live Class Session:

Learning Activity 1: Face to face Interview: Two pupils sit face to face like a TV interview. One acting as Dr. Montessori. The other one asked questions to her about her life and contributions. After one round change the pair and continue practice.

Learning Activity 2: Imaginary Activity practice with closed eyes: Sub: The important life situations in Dr. Montessori’s life by using all five imaginary senses.

Learning Activity 3: Skit: Group the students to 4 or 5 members & plan and present skit regarding one life situation of Dr. Montessori’s life (each group taking different life situations in her life).

Learning Activity 4: Group Discussion: Arrange a Group Discussion like in TV. All students are participating in the discussion.
Round 1: Purpose and objectives of learning and practicing the content in this theory unit
Round 2: How to apply the knowledge and the ideas in this unit in your life, career and in society.

Learning Activity 5: Learning activity as per students’ choice. Conduct a learning activity as per the choice of lesson activities coordinating group.

Self-Home Assignments & with classmates:

Learning Activity 1: Self Speech in front of Mirror: Do a Self-Speech about Dr. Maria Montessori’s brief life and her major contributions in front of the mirror by following all the formalities and techniques of public speech.

Learning Activity 2: Face to face Interview: Two pupils sit face to face like a TV interview. One acting as Dr. Montessori. The other one asked questions to her about her life and contributions. After one round change the pair and continue practice. Faculty prepare the list & put it in the group.

Learning Activity 3: Self Speech in front of Mirror: Do a Self-Speech about purpose of Montessori education in front of the mirror by following all the formalities and techniques of public speech.


The purpose of Montessori Pre-School education is to lay a strong foundation during the fastest learning period of a child’s life. Children in a Montessori School not only learn reading, writing and arithmetic but also division, subtraction, multiplication, decimals, geometry, botany, geography, history and a number of other subjects. The Montessori Method is based on the firm belief that children have a natural instinct to learn and it provides them with the facility to do precisely that.
Montessori system is all quality time. It is structured, always building and heading somewhere, whereas most of the traditional nursery school system does not head anywhere. In this modern era the majority of mothers have to work for livelihood and they have to drop their children somewhere. The Montessori environment is the best option for them to leave their children since they love to be there and learn aids to their life there.

Teachers of all age groups find that learning the Montessori Method has simplified their work and have gained immeasurably from it. Opportunities are immense to the teachers and those who know Montessori methods. Wherever you are and whatever work you do if you have the ability to teach young children by the Montessori Method that will always be an advantage to you. Dr. Maria Montessori defined and described education in a different manner from the other educationalists. Her explanations and methods are unique. The Montessori Method of education was a great success all over the world during the past hundred years. According to her, education needs to be an aid to the child’s life as he ought to live. The pace and the rhythm of the learner are not decided by the teacher. The help offered is ‘Child-centered’.

Her method recognizes the following facts:

a) Potentialities in the Child
b) Child is building his/ her own personality
c) There is an inner urge to follow the laws that govern his/ her development.
Montessori Method is universally applicable and accepted. The method allows freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom to work at one’s own development, freedom to ask questions and answers. Limitations of freedom are based on scientific observations in Montessori Environment.


Maria was born in Chiravalle, Italy on August 31, 1870. She was educated in Rome. She rebelled against the classical career choices for women and in 1894 became the first Italian woman graduated in Medicine from university of Rome.
Her first appointment was in the San Giovanni Hospital. In 1897 she became a voluntary assistant at a Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Rome. There the Children were referred to as idiots. Maria was convinced that these children were not useless; their minds have not been stimulated. She worked with them at the Clinic and gradually they responded to her efforts. While working for information about the treatment of mentally deficient children, she studied the work of two French Doctors – Jean Itard and Seguin. Jean Itard made a study of the deaf mutes, but he is better known for his attempts to educate and socialize an abandoned boy known as ‘The wild boy of Aveyron’. He succeeded in his approach to stimulate the boy’s mind systematically through senses. Seguin was a student of Itard and he later founded his own school for deficient children in Paris. His approach was to devise a sequence of muscular exercises to bring about a change in behavior and educate the child through a physiological method. The study of the work of these two doctors gave Maria a new direction in her life. She took the principal ideas of ‘education of the senses’ and ‘the education of movement’ and adapted and developed them into a system that became her own.

Then she started to study further about education. Through her reading some of the ideas and insights of education thinkers and reformers such as Rousseau, Pestalozzi and Froebel, together with the ideas she had taken from Itard and Seguin, the ‘Montessori Method’ began to take shape. By 1899 she was involved in the establishment of the Orthophrenic School in Rome, where she spent two years training teachers in the special method of observation and education of the mentally challenged. During this time she worked with the children observing and experimenting, using different materials and methods through the ideas she had collected from her studies. Some of the Children she taught who had been labelled as ‘uneducable’ learned to read and write and some sat State Primary examinations. Those Children passed with higher grades than so-called ‘normal’ children. These events together with the many public lectures she gave in Italy and other European countries brought her fame. She was then known as an ‘educator’ as well as a Doctor’.

In 1901 Maria Montessori gave up her work at the Orthophrenic School and went on to further her studies at the University of Rome. In 1904 she was appointed Professor of Anthropology at the University and at the same time continued with her other activities. In 1906 Montessori was asked to organize the infant schools that were being built in a slum clearance and re-housing program. The first school, a large House rented to many families in San Lorenzo was for Children aged three to six. She called it ‘Casa dei bambini, meaning the Children’s House. In the following two years the other Children’s Houses were founded. Montessori was now able to apply her methods to normal children in these schools. She believed that if her methods achieved such surprising results with retarded children the same would improve the performance of normal children.
The children in her first two Children’s Houses were deprived. They were often neglected and lacked care and stimulation from their parents. In many cases Parents themselves were illiterate. Under Maria’s care, these children began to learn successfully. In another school children from relatively privileged backgrounds also proved that Montessori’s methods were superior to the conventional teaching of her day. It was soon evident that all children were capable of achieving and becoming independent learners when taught by her methods. Montessori’s hopes were realized and her dreams came true.

International fame and recognition came quickly. Visitors came from far wide to see for themselves the successful and stimulating teaching and learning taking place in the Children’s Houses. They were inspired by what they saw and conveyed the message, the new method when they returned home. In this way, the Montessori Movement spread all over the world. In 1909 the first Montessori training course was given. Private Montessori schools were established in Europe. Montessori travelled extensively, giving lectures and training courses in England, Spain, Australia, Holland and America. Her method was endorsed and financially backed by persons such as Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Anna Freud, Piaget and Gandhiji.

In the 1920’s Montessori was appointed as Government Inspector of Schools in Italy. In 1934 friction arose between Montessori and Mussoloni and her schools in Italy and Germany were closed. Montessori left Italy for Spain and she founded a Special Teacher Training Institute in Barcelona. With the growing political tensions she left Spain to live in Holland. By 1939 she was in India and developed the movement in the Subcontinent. She was at Ahemedabad, Pune and Chennai. The long year’s war made Montessori to pursue a passionate quest for lasting peace through education. She was nominated 3 times for the Nobel Peace Prize and in 1950 she became the Italian delegate to UNESCO. Maria Montessori said, Love is a gift to mankind, which must be treasured and developed to the fullest possible extent, for it is this that unites each and every one of us, and only in this way can we bring about a good, caring, peaceful world”. In 1946 she visited England and received interest in the movement there. For the next few years she continued to travel extensively teaching and lecturing. And she was honored by many Countries with royal, Civic and Academic awards. She died at Noordwijik, Netherlands, on May 6, 1952 at the age of 82. Following her death, the movement continued to grow steadily. By the early sixties the growth had accelerated and there was a worldwide revival of interest in her ideas that has continued to the present day in the new millennium.


Dr. Maria Montessori wrote twenty books in Italian. Soon they had been translated and published in many languages. All these books deal with the fundamental principles and special aspects of child psychology, child development, education, teacher training, teaching and learning methods. Almost all her books are based on a series of her own genuine discoveries.
Being a doctor in medicine and surgery, her scientific training and experience, continued her with further long studies, researches, observations and teaching in the University of Rome; her discoveries, methods and books have become quite unique, board-based and authentic. She was much concerned about the whole development of man from birth to adulthood. Her discoveries and methods were found correct and valid applying among all social cultures and creeds in all the five continents.
Montessori was a great teacher, an honorable educationalist. She possessed divine inspiration. Students study her philosophy and methods to become Montessori teachers. They should also become inspired with her ideas, principles and methods. They must have a true conviction which will enable them to explain and defend their action. To acquire this conviction, they should have a thorough knowledge of Montessori’s aims and objectives. They should have unshakeable faith and belief in their validity, effect and success, if properly applied. In short, the foremost requirement of a very good Montessori teacher is that she fully understands the essence and spirit of Montessori Method. For this she should read, study her books and thereby put the principles and suggestions in practical life.

Among all her Books, the following three are the most inevitable and important.
1. The Discoveries of the Child.
2. The Secret of Childhood.
3. The Absorbent Mind

Other Books are:
4. The Advanced Montessori Methods Vol. 1
5. The Advanced Montessori Methods Vol. 1
6. What you should know about your Child
7. Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook.
8. The Montessori Method
9. The Formation of Man
10. Education of a New World
11. To educate the Human Potential
12. Child Education
13. The Child in the Family
14. Creative Development in the Child Vol. 1
15. Creative Development in the Child Vol. 1
16. Education and Peace
17. Montessori Education
18. From Child to Adolescence

Module Developed by: Baba Alexander

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