July 20, 2018
We live in an era that considers standardized testing paramount in regards to academic success. In Indira Joell’s Summer Fellows research presentation, “The Montessori Method: Redefining the Child”, she explains the Montessori Method, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the 1900s, which challenges our current day initiative by placing the child at the forefront of her educational model. She suggests that the child should be respected and valued, as they are “spiritual embryos,” which hold within them an inner psychic life and the secret to humankind. The child possesses within herself the tools necessary to embark on an independent educational journey with minimal assistance. Dr. Montessori’s method enables an authentic development that caters to the child’s innate love of learning through their “sensitive periods” and “absorbent mind.” This work aims to explore Dr. Montessori’s philosophy with a focus on the ways in which she challenges our thinking on the child, childhood, and the adult in relation to the child. An examination of the classroom environment is necessary as it brings all four elements to fruition. Ultimately, children are miraculous beings that need not be undermined via traditional pedagogical approaches, but rather assisted and respected in order to thrive.