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August 14 , 2007

The Montessori Reader


The Montessori method revolutionized how children were educated. The Montessori method is characterized by an emphasis on self-directed activity on the part of the child, using specialized materials that are presented very precisely by the teacher. It stresses the importance of adapting the child's learning environment to his or her developmental level, and of the role of physical activity in absorbing abstract concepts and practical skills. Collected here in this 3-in-1 omnibus edition are Maria Montessori's three most important works: The Absorbent Mind, Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook, and The Montessori Method.

The Absorbent Mind was Maria Montessori's most in-depth work on her educational theory, based on decades of scientific observation of children. Her view on children and their absorbent minds was a landmark departure from the educational model at the time. This book helped start a revolution in education. Since this book first appeared there have been both cognitive and neurological studies that have confirmed what Maria Montessori knew decades ago.

In Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook, Maria Montessori explains the basic of her system, how it works and why it works. There are dozens of figures to help illustrate her points. "My method is scientific, both in its substance and in its aim. It makes for the attainment of a more advanced stage of progress, in directions no longer only material and physiological."

The Montessori Method teaches reading via phonics and whole language, the comparative benefits of which are currently being recognized. To all educators this book should prove most interesting. All who are fair-minded will admit the genius that shines from the pages which follow, and the remarkable suggestiveness of Dr. Montessori's labors. -Henry W. Holmes
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