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Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work Paperback – August 1, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The late E.M. Standing was an assistant to Maria Montessori for 30 years.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Subsequent edition (August 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452279895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452279896
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 1996
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This is the book that opened Montessori's theories and achievements to me in a way her own writing never managed to. The Standings are not unbiased, having worked with Dr. Montessori --- but they do an excellent job of weaving Montessori's life story with her teaching discoveries and methods.

If someone is interested in learning about the Montessori method, and can only read one book, this is the one.

There is another biography by Rita Kramer that looks good, but I haven't gotten to it yet. Good luck!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Beverley Blount on November 23, 2010
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I have read this work for many years and still find something new about this genius who was far ahead of her times. Generations of children have had a better life because of her unique way of "following the child." She wrote pamphlets on ecology, protecting the corals, protecting the ecosystems, water cycles, education for peace, reality education, time lines many, many years before anyone else.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Crawford on September 14, 2010
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This book is technically a biography, but it contains a very dense summary of Montessori practice and philosophy. E.M. Standing worked closely with Maria Montessori in the writing of it and she read much of the manuscript. Although not written by Maria Montessori, much of it sounds as if it could be her words. This book is heavy on philosophy and includes elements that I have not previously seen in other books such as the sensitive periods for "Learning Good Manners" and "Grammar."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gina on August 30, 2012
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Great book especially if you are interested in Early Childhood Education or Primary School levels. Always interesting to see the theory behind children's play.
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I had previously read another book about the Montessori method, and also the English translation of "The Montessori Method".

But only this authorized biography by standing gives a good picture of how important, and how influential she was.

Montessori(1870-1952)was an extremely attractive, intelligent, and complicated person. Although she claimed to be only interested in "the child", and not at all in politics, her writings are shot full of socialist and pacifist ideas. She believed her education methods,through "the child's self directed manual activities" would abolish such tendencies as selfishness, acquisitiveness and the desire for status.

Montessori also claimed in was a great mistake for people to assume that her insistence on the child's "freedom" dis not equate with a lack of discipline. Quite to the contrary, she insisted the teacher's (or "directress's")responsibility was to "destroy evil" in the classroom. And what is "evil"?

Of course, "evil" is anything contrary to Montessori's personal belief.

But Maria Montessori also had some wonderful educational ideas. She believed in "epochs of sensitivity" during which opportunities for the acquisition of certain skills could be most advantageously instilled. She believed the best time to teach literacy was from age 3 1/2 to 4 1/2, and that writing led automatically to reading. She turned out to be right about this, and also said that "absolute musical pitch" could also easily be acquired at the same ages. No one has ever prooved this to be true, so I think I'll do so. My name is Bob and my email address is rovarose@aol.com
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I love this book. Yes, Maria Montessori DID believe in warmth, and in praise when the child looks for it. A great portrait of her for those of us who are following in her footsteps. And, yes, she went through major frustrations and delays at times when she was creating original materials! (Witness the description of the creation of the moveable alphabet.,)
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By Karen Raemer on June 26, 2014
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She was an incredible woman. This book arrived promptly and is well written. I wish my children had gone to a Montessori school,
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I have not finished this book. From what I have read Maria Montessori had a unique calling and mission--to bring to the world the understanding that the years of childhood are indeed in many ways the most important years of a person's life.
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