Valorisation (Montessori)

From Montepedia

Valorisation is a key concept in the Montessori philosophy of education. It's the development of self-confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of accomplishment through work and contribution. Montessori believed that children, like adults, want to do real work and make a meaningful contribution to their environment and community.

This concept goes beyond simply praising or rewarding a child for a job well done. It's about helping children understand their inherent value and worth. It involves cultivating a deep sense of self-belief and an understanding of the impact one's actions can have on others and the world.

In Montessori classrooms, valorisation is fostered by offering children opportunities to engage in meaningful, purposeful activities. These activities are designed to be appropriately challenging and to contribute to the child's development and to the classroom community.

Montessori believed that when children have the opportunity to work, to contribute, and to overcome challenges, they develop a stronger sense of self, a greater level of self-confidence, and a deeper understanding of their role and place in the world. This leads to what she termed "valorisation" of the child's personality.

In the Montessori approach, the environment and the adult's role are structured in a way that supports the child's quest for self-development. By respecting the child's natural development and providing opportunities for meaningful work, the Montessori approach encourages the valorisation of the child.

Montessori Quotes on Valorisation

"The satisfaction which they find in their work has given them a grace and ease like that which comes from music." - Maria Montessori

"An interesting piece of work, freely chosen, which has the virtue of inducing concentration rather than fatigue, adds to the child's energies and mental capacities, and leads him to self-mastery." - Maria Montessori

Research and Critiques on Valorisation in Montessori


Research has indicated that the Montessori approach can be highly effective in fostering self-esteem, self-efficacy, and a sense of personal achievement in children. The emphasis on meaningful work in the Montessori method can help children develop a strong work ethic and a sense of responsibility.


Some critics argue that the focus on individual work and achievement in the Montessori method might limit opportunities for collaborative learning and teamwork. Others question whether the Montessori approach provides enough structure and guidance for children who may need more explicit instruction and support.

Comparison to Other Methods

Compared to traditional education methods, the Montessori approach places a much greater emphasis on the individual child's development and the process of learning, rather than on the product or outcome. Traditional methods often focus on extrinsic rewards, such as grades and praise, while Montessori emphasizes the intrinsic value of work and the satisfaction derived from accomplishment and contribution.

Compared to the Reggio Emilia approach, another alternative education system, both share a focus on the child as an active participant in their own learning. However, the Reggio Emilia approach places a greater emphasis on social learning and collaboration, while Montessori tends to focus more on individual work and personal achievement.

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

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  1. Haines, A. (2001). Glossary of Montessori Terms. Montessori Training Centre of St. Louis.