Independence (Montessori)

From Montepedia

In Montessori education, Independence is a fundamental principle that aims to foster not just self-reliance, but also a range of competencies and self-regulatory skills in children.[1] Normal developmental milestones such as weaning, walking, talking, etc., are viewed as a series of events that enable the child to achieve increased individuation, autonomy, and self-regulation. Throughout the four planes of development, the child and young adult continually seek to become more independent, echoing the sentiment, "Help me to help myself."

Montessori Quotes

  • "The child's development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behaviour towards him. We have to help the child to act, will and think for himself."[2]
  • "One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child."[3]

Research and Critiques

  • Pros: The emphasis on independence in Montessori education can foster intrinsic motivation, self-confidence, self-regulation, and decision-making skills. Research supports the benefits of fostering independence in early childhood education, with studies indicating that Montessori students often exhibit high levels of autonomy and self-directed learning.[4]
  • Cons: Critics argue that the Montessori emphasis on independence may overlook the importance of social learning and collaborative skills. Some suggest that too much independence too early may not be developmentally appropriate for all children.[5]

Comparisons to Other Methods

Many traditional education models adopt a more teacher-led approach, while Montessori education encourages children to take charge of their learning within a structured and supportive environment.[6]

See Also

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.[7] The glossary has since been expanded and updated with additional 'Montessori Terms'.

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  1. Montessori, M. (1949). The Absorbent Mind. Clio Press.
  2. Montessori, M. (1936). The Secret of Childhood. Longmans, Green and Co.
  3. Montessori, M. (1912). The Montessori Method. Frederick A. Stokes Company.
  4. Lillard, A. (2017). Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius. Oxford University Press.
  5. Egan, K. (2002). Getting it wrong from the beginning: Our progressivist inheritance from Herbert Spencer, John Dewey, and Jean Piaget. Yale University Press.
  6. Mooney, C. (2013). Theories of Childhood, Second Edition: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky. Redleaf Press.
  7. Haines, A. (2001). Glossary of Montessori Terms. Montessori Training Centre of St. Louis.