Montessori Today

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Book Review:
“A Comprehensive Approach to Education from birth to Adulthood”

Paula Lillard, director of a Montessori school ranging in age from 18 months to fifteen years, provides a clear and cogent introduction to the Montessori program for the elementary and later years. In detailed accounts, Lillard shows how children acquire the skills to answer their own questions, learn to manage freedom with responsibility, and maintain a high level of inte...morePaula Lillard writes a clear and detailed introduction to the Montessori program for the elementary and later years. In detailed accounts, Lillard shows how children acquire the skills to answer their own questions, learn to manage freedom with responsibility, and maintain a high level of intellectual stimulation through the Montessori approach. Lillard presents Montessori’s theory on the last two planes of development of adulthood, ages 12-18 and 18-24. I got a lot out of reading this book; including a better understanding of Montessori education in the elementary classroom. I found that the information Lillard provides may be used as a guide for parents as well as future elementary Montessori teachers. As a current ECE Montessori teacher, the thought of the amount of elementary curriculum seemed overwhelming because there is so much material. When I read this book I realized that yes curriculum lessons in the elementary classroom may be endless, but it is up to the child to research and explore what interests them. The child is the navigator of their learning experience in the classroom. In chapter 6 The Elementary Teacher, Lillard examines the differences between the elementary and early childhood teacher. “There are significant differences in the approaches of the two teachers, however. Unlike younger children, who readily copy the teachers actions, older children do not accept unthinkingly their teacher’s modeling of expected behavior. Their reasoning minds question and challenge.” (Lillard,...
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