Self-Regulation (Montessori)

From Montepedia
This page contains changes which are not marked for translation.

Self-regulation is a core principle within the Montessori educational philosophy. It refers to the ability of an individual to control their impulses, behaviours and emotions, which includes aspects such as self-discipline, the ability to delay gratification, cognitive flexibility, motor control, sustained attention, and task persistence[1].

The Montessori method aims to cultivate self-regulation in children through its carefully structured learning environment and child-centric approach to education. This is believed to help children gain control over their actions, develop self-discipline, make thoughtful choices, and become more independent learners[2].

Research suggests that the Montessori environment can enhance children's self-regulation skills not only in the present but also in their future adolescent and adult lives[3].

Montessori Quotes on Self-Regulation

"The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self. Adults work to finish a task, but the child works in order to grow, and is working to create the adult, the person that is to be.

— Maria Montessori, "The Absorbent Mind"

Research and Critiques on Self-Regulation in Montessori


The Montessori Method promotes self-regulation skills, contributing to the holistic development of the child. Montessori students often outperform their peers in traditional schools in terms of self-regulation, according to various studies[2].


Critics suggest that an overemphasis on self-regulation might limit the spontaneity and creative expression of some children. There is concern that the Montessori approach might be less effective for children who struggle with self-regulation and need more external structure and guidance.

Comparison to Other Methods

While many educational philosophies acknowledge the importance of self-regulation, the Montessori approach is unique in its emphasis and structured methods to develop these skills. For instance, while traditional education systems often rely on external rewards and punishments to manage behavior, Montessori education encourages intrinsic motivation and self-regulation.

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. Rathunde, K. (2003). A comparison of Montessori and traditional middle schools: Motivation, quality of experience, and social context. The NAMTA Journal, 28(3), 12-52.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lillard, A. S. (2012). Preschool children's development in classic Montessori, supplemented Montessori, and conventional programs. Journal of School Psychology, 50(3), 379-401.
  3. Lillard, A. S., & Else-Quest, N. (2007). The early years: Evaluating Montessori education. Science, 313(5795), 1893-1894.
  4. Haines, A. (2001). Glossary of Montessori Terms. Montessori Training Centre of St. Louis.