Friday, March 23, 2012

Essential Montessori Reading From the Early 20th Century

I believe that to be an effective Montessori educator, you must have an innate ability to do so. At the same time, you have to continually educate yourself about the philosophy, child development and psychology. Maria knew what she was talking about 100 years ago, which is why her philosophy still works today. If you pay attention, other educational methods have been pulling from her ideas, even if they are not always giving her credit.

Dozens of books have been published in the last couple of decades, hoping to bring Montessori back to a modern audience. Countless blogs are also available across the Internet. While these modern interpretation are wonderful, we also need to remember to go back to the source. 

While perusing free books across the Internet, I finally came across a large selection of Montessori books that are free from Google Books. In addition to Maria's own words are some thoughts from her contemporaries during the time she was alive. There is something inspirational to take a look at the philosophy from a historical standpoint. Here is a list of Maria's books and others that are available for you to download to your e-reader, or even peruse on your computer.

books by Maria....

The Montessori Method

This is the original book that introduced Maria's philosophy to the world. In this book she provides the basis of her philosophy, how it was developed, how it relates to child development, how to prepare the teacher, and activities for in the classroom. It also includes many photographs of Maria working in her own environment, which is truly inspiring.

This is a digital copy of the first English edition from 1912. I actually own my own copy of a first English edition, in addition to a more modern version. I feel much more connected when holding that book in my hands. Consider this like a first draft.

Get your Google Books copy here.

Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook

What I love about this book is how it breaks down the didactic equipment into easy to understand terms. Learn what each material is meant for and how to implement its proper use. It is a great reference for parents who are wondering what these materials are that the teachers and children are talking about. It also is a great quick reference for assistants and teachers who are reviewing materials and lessons.

The photographs may be in black and white, but they are still quite informative.

Get your Google Books copy here.

The Advanced Montessori Method, Volume 1: Spontaneous Activity in Education

In this book, Maria goes into even more detail about her philosophy of education. She delves into more child development, preparation of the teacher and preparation of the environment. She also addresses social issues of the time, as well as educational philosophy of the time.

Get your Google Books copy here.

Pedagogical Anthropology

This is a collection of speeches by Maria Montessori, regarding the physical and spiritual development of the child.

Get your Google Books copy here.

books by others....

A Montessori Mother by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Dorothy Canfield Fisher was one of Maria Montessori's biggest advocates back in the day. She was determined to bring Montessori to America and often wrote about it. This book is her meditation on the Montessori method, after reading the book and actually traveling to Italy to witness the schools in action. She discusses how parents can apply the method within their own homes. It is a parent speaking to other parents.

Get your Google Books copy here.

The Montessori Manual by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

In this book, Dorothy Canfield Fisher attempts to break down The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori, into an easier-to-read format. While maintaining the integrity of the original work, she tries to strip away the drier philosophical passages and instead focuses on the concrete nuts and bolts of methodology and materials.

Get your Google Books copy here.

The Montessori System by William Heard Kilpatrick

Kilpatrick was an advocate of the Progressive Education movement. A student of John Dewey, he developed his own method of education that used a thematic approach. He, like Montessori, believed the child should be guided through education based on his own interests, and should incorporate all senses while doing so. This is his explanation of the Montessori philosophy.

Get your Google Books copy here.

A Guide to the Montessori Method by Ellen Yale Stevens

Ellen Yale Stevens spent many years studying John Dewey. In the dedication section of this book, she thanks him for paving the way for Americans to be receptive to the teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori. Her purpose in writing this book was to apply her understanding of the Method to Americans. She wanted to clear up any misconceptions that came with the initial introduction in the United States. She also offered up her ideas on how to implement the method in the US, based on experiments she performed during one summer. 

Get your Google Books copy here.

The Montessori Principles and Practice by Edward Parnall Culverwell

Edward Parnall Culverwell lived in London in the early 20th century. He was disillusioned by Plato and hoped that Montessori would be able to bring back some practicality in education. He is very critical of her work in this interpretation.

Get your Google Books copy here.

The Montessori Didactic Apparatus by the House of Childhood

I love this one. It is a catalog of Montessori materials from 1913. With each picture is an explanation of the material and how it is to be used. How wonderful it would be for current manufacturers to do the same in their catalogs!

Get your Google Books copy here.

Montessori Children by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

Carolyn Sherwin Bailey was a student of child psychology who took time to go to Italy to observe Maria Montessori and her children in action. This book is a compilation of her observations and opinions following her trip.

Get your Google Books copy here. 

The Kindergarten and the Montessori Method by Martha MacLear

Martha MacLear seeks to take the teachings of Froebel, whose kindergarten concept had only been existence for 50 years at this point, and merges them with Montessori. In some ways, we are still doing this today.

Get your Google Books copy here.

The Montessori System of Child Culture by Clara E. Craig, Rhode Island Dept. of Education

This is a review of a Montessori training course from 1913. The State Department of Education actively seeks out information to better help children in their school. At that time, Montessori was new, yet warranted further investigation. Findings are that teachers would benefit from studying the philosophy.

Get your Google Books copy here.

The Montessori Method and the American School by Florence Elizabeth Ward

Florence Elizabeth Ward was a Professor of Kindergarten Education at the Iowa State Teachers College. She is another who went to study the teachings of Maria Montessori first-hand, and experimented with the techniques with some of her own students. 

Get your Google Books copy here.

The Montessori System in Theory and Practice by Theodate Louise Smith

This is yet another American's look at the Montessori Method and how it can be implemented in the American school system.

Get your Google Books copy here.

1 comment:

  1. wow, what a treasure! Love it. Thank you for compiling and sharing.