Didactic Materials (Montessori)

From Montepedia

Didactic Materials, also known as Montessori Materials, are a core component of the Montessori Method of education. These are carefully designed and structured materials that aim to provide children with concrete, hands-on learning experiences[1].

The purpose of these materials is to enable children to explore and discover concepts independently. They have been meticulously designed to allow children to understand abstract ideas in a tangible way, offering self-correcting elements that allow learners to recognize and correct their mistakes without the need for external correction[2].

Didactic Materials cover all areas of the Montessori curriculum, including practical life, sensorial, mathematics, language, cultural studies (geography, history, science), and more. Examples of Didactic Materials include the Pink Tower (for size discrimination), Moveable Alphabet (for language), and Golden Beads (for understanding the decimal system and arithmetic).

Montessori Quotes on Didactic Materials

The essential thing is for the task to arouse such an interest that it engages the child's whole personality.

— Maria Montessori

Our aim is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core.

— Maria Montessori

Research and Critiques on Didactic Materials in Montessori


Studies have shown that children learn more effectively when they're actively engaged in hands-on activities, which is the central principle of Didactic Materials[3]. These materials foster independence and self-confidence as they allow children to self-correct their work.


Critics argue that Montessori Materials may limit creativity as they have a specific way to be used. Some believe the materials are outdated and could be replaced with more modern, technologically advanced educational tools.

Comparison to Other Methods

Unlike traditional education methods which rely heavily on textbooks and rote memorization, the Montessori Method uses Didactic Materials to encourage hands-on, experiential learning. In comparison, other alternative educational methods like Waldorf or Reggio Emilia also emphasize experiential learning, but their materials and approaches differ. For instance, Waldorf emphasizes imaginative play and crafts, while Reggio Emilia prioritizes child-led projects and the use of natural materials.

Glossary of Montessori Terms

The Glossary of Montessori Terms is a collection of specific terms and vocabulary that are related to the Montessori method of education, primarily focusing on the theory and practice for children aged 3 to 6. The jargon used by Montessori educators offers a unique insight into child development as discussed by Maria Montessori. The 'Montepedia Glossary of Montessori Terms' originated from a glossary that was compiled by the late Annette Haines from the Montessori Training Centre of St. Louis, at the request of Molly O'Shaughnessy from the Montessori Centre of Minnesota. The reason behind the creation of this glossary was to supplement O'Shaughnessy's lecture at the Joint Annual Refresher Course that took place in Tampa, Florida, in February 2001.[4] The glossary has since been expanded and updated with additional 'Montessori Terms'.

Please help to translate this page into your local language


  1. Lillard, A.S. (2017). Montessori: The science behind the genius. Oxford University Press.
  2. Montessori, M. (1967). The absorbent mind. Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
  3. Lillard, A.S. (2017). Montessori: The science behind the genius. Oxford University Press.
  4. Haines, A. (2001). Glossary of Montessori Terms. Montessori Training Centre of St. Louis.