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Montessori: The Science behind the Genius Hardcover – March 10, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (March 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195168682
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195168686
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #492,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"If you want to understand Montessori education in light of current developmental research, you should seize upon this authoritative, interesting book. I highly recommend it for parents, educators, students of education--anyone, in fact, who would like a close-up look at the real needs of the developing child." --Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., Educational Psychologist; author of Your Child's Growing Mind: Brain Development and Learning from Birth to Adolescence


"Inspired educational thinkers such as Dewey or Vygotsky only sketched out ways that we might teach young children. Over more than 50 years, Maria Montessori successfully created a radically new teaching system - a system that endures and inspires to this day. Angeline Lillard shows how many of Montessori's practices anticipated some of the latest and best findings in developmental psychology while still others call out for future empirical analysis. Lillard's comprehensive and fascinating assessment gives Montessori the place that she deserves in contemporary debate about how we should best teach children." --Paul L. Harris, Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education


"Lillard has masterfully explored the basic tenets of Montessori education and how they are validated with today's scientific findings. The result is a long-awaited and important contribution that contrasts with traditional education and offers evidence in support of a method that works. A stunning achievement!" --Virginia McHugh Goodwin, Executive Director, Association Montessori Internationale, USA


"This is a really excellent book. The author is unusually well qualified to write it. Angeline Lillard is an internationally renowned researcher in the area of cognitive-developmental psychology, who also has extensive experience and deep knowledge regarding Montessori. The book is not only authoritative and scholarly, it is also very well organized and very clearly written, easily communicable to anyone with an interest in the area. I enjoyed reading it."--John Flavell, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor, Emeritus, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University


"This is a great book. It is beautifully written, and expertly uses the psychological research literature to evaluate Montessori theory and practice. What an original and important contribution." --Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology, Stanford University


"...a stimulating evaluation of Montessori philosophy and practice, exploring some of the basic principles in relation to modern scientific research...an interesting resource that encourages teachers (from all methods) to reflect on their educational practices. In particular, anyone wanting to take a detailed and critical look at Montessori education would surely benefit from reading this book."--Montessori International


"I was impressed by this book, enjoyed reading it, and learned a lot about Montessori's method...Lillard's book has convinced me to pay a visit to our local Montessori school and to seriously consider it as an option for my own child."--R. Keith Sawyer, PsycCRITIQUES


"Angeline Lillard may have changed the rules of engagement for debates on educational reform. " --Dennis Schapiro, Editor, The Public Montessorian


"This book makes a wonderful case for the genius and enduring contributions of Montessori education and its visionary founder. It can informreaders search to understand Montessori education today." --Applied Developmental Psychology


"Angeline Lillard's compelling review of research literature reminds us that Dr. Maria Montessori was a scientist, that Montessori pedagogy is based in empirical fact, and that modern educational research is echoing the developmental principles fundamental to Montessori education. Parents, teachers, and educational researchers are reading this book because it is simply the most sophisticated Montessori commentary of our time." --David Kahn, Executive Director, North American Montessori Teachers' Association


"Dr. Angeline Stoll Lillard has clearly summarized the research that explains why, after 100 years, the Montessori approach to education continues to be a phenomenal worldwide success." --Tim Seldin, President, The Montessori Foundation, and Chair, The International Montessori Council


"Lillard provides a visionary framework for those currently working to advance Montessori education and those committed to furthering school reform initiatives. This is an illuminating, thoughtful, and extremely important book." --Richard A. Ungerer, Executive Director, American Montessori Society


About the Author


Angeline Stoll Lillard received her doctorate in psychology from Stanford University in 1991. She was awarded the Developmental Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association's Outstanding Dissertation Award in 1992 and its Boyd McCandless Award for Distinguished Early Career Contribution in 1999. A Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, Lillard is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and four horses.

More About the Author

Angeline Stoll Lillard is Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. An authority on learning and development, she was awarded the Developmental Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association's Outstanding Dissertation Award in 1992 and its Boyd McCandless Award for Distinguished Early Career Contribution in 1999.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
The prose is clear and easy to digest.
Dr. N. Smith
The Montessori community will love this book but I think that anyone who is interested in understanding what is wrong with traditional education should read this book.
PHP
The book is rich with current social and developmental research.
Heather

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Susan Stephenson on April 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Since Montessori is the fastest growing method of education today, young people going into the field of education want to learn about Montessori in their university classes. Until now there has never been a book well suited to this purpose; professors will relate to the perspective of another professor, especially one who is knowledgeable in all kinds of education of children. Students will come to understand more about how we educate children in traditional education, and why Montessori is so sought after as an alternative, in both private and public school settings.

Angeline Lillard, the author of "Montessori, the Science behind the Genius" is a parent, and her book is invaluable for anyone thinking of having children, or getting ready to send a child to preschool or school. It will help parents differentiate between true Montessori schools and those that use the name "Montessori" without knowing what they are doing, which is quite common since there is no copyright on use of the name.

I cannot speak highly enough of this book and I have been in the Montessori field in one way or another since 1968 when my first child entered her first Montessori class.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By J. Cossentino on March 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Lillard's thorough and readable treatment of Montessori brings together 100 years of practical wisdom with the most recent psychological research findings. It is not easy to find clear, accurate descriptions of Montessori teaching and learning; and even harder to find accessible explanations for the complex theory that underlies Montessori practice. This book does both. For those of us who have always wondered what was going on at the Montessori school in our neighborhood, Lillard's lucid prose provides a window into the classroom. And for those parents as well as as educators who wonder whether the method really "works," Lillard not only explains how, but produces evidence for why.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By PHP on March 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
You can read other Montessori books and be inspired, but if you read Lillard's Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, you will be persuaded by the sheer weight of the evidence in support of the eight foundational principles of Montessori Education. The Montessori community will love this book but I think that anyone who is interested in understanding what is wrong with traditional education should read this book. It is a scholarly work that any parent can understand. I absolutely loved the book and highly recommend it.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Andrew C. McMurry on February 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you are interested in understanding the scientific basis for the success of the Montessori approach, this is the book to read. Because there have been few studies that have compared traditional and Montessori outcomes head-to-head, Lillard does the next best thing: synthesize decades of pyschological and sociological research that validates Montessori theory and practice. She clearly demonstrates that the teaching method Maria Montessori established through empirical observation and trial and error in her own classrooms has been well-confirmed in its efficaciousness by subsequent studies in human cognitive development. This is a superbly written book, and Lillard is very good at presenting often highly intricate research in an accessble meanner. Although she is obviously a supporter (and product) of Montessori education, she does not wear her bias on her sleeve. She does not leave out research that either does not support or cannot yet be shown to support the Montessori method. If you already send your child to a Montessori school, you will find your good decision supported by her research; if you are thinking about Montessori, you will be convinced after reading this book that your choice is easy.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dr. N. Smith on October 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a very well written book, with a wealth of information culled from studies on children's development and the optimal conditions for growth and learning. The prose is clear and easy to digest. I recommend Lillard's book for anyone - parents, teachers, and policy makers - interested in children regardless of interest in Montessori.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Heather on April 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As a psychologist and parent of two young children, Dr. Lillard's book helped me to understand more about increasing my children's cognitive abilities, emotional intelligence, and independence. The book is rich with current social and developmental research. It also provides a thoughtful overview of leading perspectives on childrearing and education ranging from the works of Baumrind to Dewey. At its heart, the book describes how a woman who was born in the 1800's changed the landscape of education through a lifelong dedication to her observation and work with children. This is not only a book about Dr. Montessori and the approach she created, but about the child's innate curiosity, concentration, and passion for learning. Thank you, Dr. Lillard. This is a brillant piece of work.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Duffy on April 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I believe your book is an indispensable resource for Montessori teachers and for any non-Montessori teachers and/or administrators who want to know how and why Montessori works so well with children. For Montessori teachers, it provides the validation of principles that are sometimes abandoned in Montessori classrooms to appease parents, administrators, or the teacher's own insecurities. For non-Montessori educators, it offers a rationale for what we do in terms that they can understand and a wealth of non-Montessori research to back up our classroom practice. It's quite a convincing book for both audiences!

-Michael Duffy, co-author of "Children ol the Universe: Cosmic Education in the Montessori Classroom" (Parent Child Press)
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