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Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful: Preventing Exclusion in the Early Elementary Classroom Paperback – February 21, 2001

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Children Who Are Not Yet Peaceful: Preventing Exclusion in the Early Elementary Classroom + The Tao of Montessori: Reflections on Compassionate Teaching + Montessori Learning in the 21st Century: A Guide for Parents and Teachers
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Frog Books; 1 edition (February 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583940324
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583940327
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"When children's bullying and ostracizing behavior threatens a school community, we must confront its source. But schools must also nurture variety in personalities, learning styles and personal histories...Cautioning educators on quick-time diagnosis, labeling, medication, and tutoring, Goertz weaves enthralling stories to help school communities accept and embrace all members."
—Patricia Oriti, Montessori Educator & Consultant

"In Donna Goertz's classroom the "problem" child is given value with a candor which continually falls back on positive community values. Engaging work is a catalyst for academic and emotional growth. This is an inspiring vision of challenging classroom dilemmas."
—Debbie McKee Gorence, Behavior Specialist

"Master Montessori teacher Donna Bryant Goertz teaches children compassion, generosity, cooperation, and collaboration by letting life be the curriculum. These stories show how they slowly learn to work and play with each other peacefully. If you have ever loved a child, you will treasure this book."
—Terry Masters, former public school teacher

"Goertz's children embrace two ideas: that serving others in need is paramount, and that needing and accepting help is a gift one child can give to another. This book captures the community of compassion and cooperation at the heart of Montessori education."
—David Kahn, Executive Director, North American Montessori Teachers' Association

About the Author

Donna Bryant Goertz teaches in the Montessori School that she founded 30 years ago. She lives in Austin, TX.

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Customer Reviews

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I just completed reading this book.
Trish Corlew
I think that it is an excellent resource for teachers, parents and any person who works with and loves children.
I am thankful that I read this book.
Noel Eastin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By John R. Snyder on October 14, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had the pleasure to read and comment on this book before publication, and I have been waiting impatiently for its appearance on bookstore shelves.
For over 30 years, Donna Goertz has been painstakingly building a classroom culture that begins to resemble the ideal described in the works of Dr. Maria Montessori. While many settle for a diluted form of Montessori practice (e.g., accelerated math with fancy manipulatives), Goertz's aim is to serve Montessori's ultimate vision of a peaceful world inhabited by adults whose best impulses for creativity, altruism, self-knowledge and moral integrity had been supported at every step by a system of education based on the universal developmental needs of the child. To realize such a vision requires an uncommon level of skill and personal reflection on the part of the teacher.
Goertz has a reputation for taking on the "difficult" children that have not been successful in other educational settings, and much of the book is devoted to case studies of these children as they are gradually transformed by the Montessori classroom environment and Goertz's own masterful interventions. She calls these children "weathervane children" because they are the ones who "show which way the wind is blowing" in the classroom; i.e., being vulnerable themselves, they tend to be the first to show the effects of some aspect of the classroom community that is out of alignment with the true needs of the children. In this respect, says Goertz, they are the teacher's best friends, doing a great service to the community of those more robust children who may suffer in relative silence. (It has been said that the greatest impediment to the advancement of pedagogy is the resilience of children.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Chris Mercogliano on October 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
Two things about this profound book grabbed me and wouldn't let go. For starters, it absolutely train wrecked the stereotype I have long carried of Montessori schools as the exclusive domain of the "well-adjusted" children of the bourgeoisie. Until now, in other words, an inclusive Montessori school was an oxymoron in my lexicon. But, as Donna Bryant Goertz makes so poignantly clear in every one of the nearly two dozen stories about the, as she calls them, "eccentric" children who have enlivened her classroom in the Austin Montessori school over the past thirty-three years, a good teacher will make every effort to include even the most difficult child. The group dynamic of the classroom must not allow the failure of any child to thrive, she so rightly insists.
Goertz elevates the act of reaching the previously unreachable student to an art form. Consider the case of Argenta, who as her teacher put it, "used pee, and poop and food to control her parents and her teachers." Goertz, like her guiding light Maria Montessori before her, always proceeds on the belief that all children, if greeted with trust and patience -- and without judgment or blame -- will eventually present their own solutions to their inner dilemmas. So the first time Argenta peed all over herself, her chair and the floor, Goertz instantly recognized that the answer to her new student's obstreperousness lay in all that wetness. Rather than scold Argenta, Goertz kindly instructed her to change into dry clothes and clean up the mess.
Then Goertz enlisted the help of several classmates to help Argenta with was to become a daily two-hour ritual for the next several months.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
I discovered this book on a list of Montessori titles. As my son, who is in a Montessori School has ADHD I was hooked by the title. Once the book arrived I sat down and read it in two nights (unheard of given the demands on my time). This book reaffirmed my decision to send my son to a Montessori school. My son's teacher has been working hard to attempt to find the key to unlock my son's potential. I plan to buy a copy of this book for her and a second copy for the school's library. While the book is directed at elementary age children, I strongly feel that many of the ideas and concepts apply equally well to the 3-6 age Montessori children (as well as to older children). Also while the thrust of the book is on interactions in the classroom, it also has excellent suggestions and insights into how best to parent, many suggestions that I plan to implement in my family. In her book Donna Bryant Goertz tells stories of 12 of the children who she has taught (and refused to label as ADD, ADHD, Bi-Polar, etc...) over the past 30 years. While this is not a "how to book", but rather a compliation of her experiences, there are many valuable points and ideas that can be derived from her writings to help teachers approach the "non-peaceful" child. I feel this is a MUST read for every Montessori educator and/or any parent of a "challenging" "special needs" child. Since my son's ADHD diagnosis I have read LOTS of books on ADHD and education this is by far the BEST!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn G. Ross on May 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
My very first Montessori teaching experience was in Donna Goertz' classroom in Austin Montessori School (her name was different then as was mine). I remember situations in the classroom and on the playground, which, to be honest, terrified me as a newly trained Montessori teacher serving as Donna's assistant. She would often step into one of those "terrifying" frays, placing herself strategically in the middle of everything of importance, and handle the children with respectfulness, fearlessness, and creativity. I still remember those situations with awe, and as I work with the children in my current Montessori school, sometimes wish for the really excentric and challenging children who teach us all so much. My late husband, also a Montessorian, wrote an article entitled "Why Difficult Children Are My Favorites." He remembered the stories I brought home from school as I was learning from Donna Goertz. I recommend this book to any Montessori teacher who finds him or herself silently and guiltily cursing that child who disrupts and seems to defy the normalizing effects of the Montessori approach. It is a gift to all of us.
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