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Montessori Today: A Comprehensive Approach to Education from Birth to Adulthood Paperback – January 30, 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lillard (Montessori: A Modern Approach) brings over a decade of experience as a Montessori teacher and administrator to this overview of Maria Montessori's teaching methods which, says Lillard, "balance freedom with responsibility in the classroom and also set high standards of intellectual and social development for children. Lillard uses graphs to explain the fundamental difference between "regular" education and Montessori, showing that regular education offers an ascending, relentless scale of information and responsibility while virtually ignoring the pivotal years between birth and Kindergarten. She contrasts this with Montessori which considers the ages from birth through 24 years, and within those argues that there will be four periods of "intense change" in the child as well as four periods of "slower pace." Lillard, co-founder, director and teacher atthe Forest Bluff School in Lake Bluff, Illinois, draws heavily upon classroom anecdotes and examples, bringing these theories to life by discussing real children and their very real imaginations, words and artowrk. Teachers of "regular" classrooms would gain insight from Lillard's ideas; any adult interested in children and education would find this book an important link between the ideal of liberal education and the reality of the United States' collapsing school system.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Lillard, author of Montessori: A Modern Approach (1988) and cofounder of a respected Montessori school in Lake Bluff, Illinois, describes the Montessori approach and sketches its application from preschool through early adulthood in this short but thorough volume. After a brief discussion of the origin and implications of Montessori's theories about child development, the author surveys the primary years and the stories and lessons that are most appropriate to this stage of development; analyzes the elementary classroom and teacher from both theoretical and practical perspectives, complete with anecdotes from her own and other Montessori teachers' experiences; and moves into less familiar territory to describe the impact of Montessori's theories on education at the middle school, secondary school, and college levels. Montessori Today will be a useful tool for parents analyzing educational alternatives as well as for students who may be thinking about a career in education. Mary Carroll
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken (January 30, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080521061X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805210613
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Three years ago - I was scrambling for alternatives to public schools and I NEEDED to know what a Montessori shool was all about. I read Maria Montessori's book and that explained her goals and her methods in a highly abstract manner - it left me at a loss of how a Montessori class was conducted, how it operated day-to-day. In other words, I understood the theory, but I could not visualize the application.

This book explained the practical application should look like - ie:
1. what a Montessori class should look like when you're observing.
2. What/How your child will be guided on a day-to-day basis.
3. How to track his or her progress in the absence of a report card, etc.
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Format: Paperback
I must respectfully but vehemently disagree with "A Reader" who said that this book was inaccurate. I am a Montessori directress with a diploma from the Association Montessori Internationale - the international organization founded by Dr. Montessori - and a Masters in Montessori Education from Loyola College in Baltimore. In fact, my trainer was trained by Dr. Montessori herself. I have ten years' experience teaching in Montessori primary classrooms. I have found all of Ms. Lillard's books to be quite accurate. She does an excellent job of taking the great volumes written by Dr. Montessori and distilling them down to the points that are important for parents to understand. She presents things in very straightforward terms. For those of us who have devoted our lives to studying Montessori principles in depth, some of the points may seem to be "oversimplified" but they are most certainly not innacurate. These books are meant to be a resource for parents, not for Montessorians in training. I recommend her books over and over for parents who want to learn more about Montessori education.
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Format: Paperback
This book was extremely informative on what you should expect from your montessori school for your children over age 6 (it also described before age 6 but there are many books on the 3-6 age group for Montessori). I have found it very difficult(until this book) to find out what the montessori education has to offer over traditional education after age six. Boy was I blown over at the difference between the Montessori theory/practice over the traditional form of schooling. It seems almost cruel to ever put your child in traditional public schools that still teach children to take a submissive role. I urge everyone to please read this book. Learn about the Five Major Lessons and the positive,cooperative, interactive approach to education/life.
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By A Customer on August 9, 1996
Format: Paperback
Montessori Today is one of the best books I have read regarding how a Montessori elementary school educates its students. It answers alot of questions regarding the content of the elementary program and how it works. It gives parents who are considering or who have children in the elementary Montessori school a very good synopsis of what is covered. I feel that Paula Lillard has a special gift in being able to write a book that is so easy to understand. It makes you want the very best for your child or children and it gives parents a wonderful tool to use to help them evaluate and improve their child's education. It is also extremely helpful, I think, for the Montessori educator. It gives a clear overview of the elementary program and can help them better inform their student's parents about the Montessori program. Overall, I feel that it was a well-timed and well written book. It is very much needed
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Format: Paperback
This book was extremely informative on what you should expect from your montessori school for your children over age 6 (it also described before age 6 but there are many books on the 3-6 age group for Montessori). I have found it very difficult(until this book) to find out what the montessori education has to offer over traditional education after age six. Boy was I blown over at the difference between the Montessori theory/practice over the traditional form of schooling. It seems almost cruel to ever put your child in traditional public schools that still teach children to take a submissive role. I urge everyone to please read this book. Learn about the Five Major Lessons and the positive,cooperative, interactive approach to education/life.
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As a "graduate" of a Montessori school, I am a life-long fan of the approach and the woman behind it. When life circumstances prevented me from attending training to become a Montessori teacher, I lost touch with my Montessori passion as my education career sent me in different directions. After 15 years, however, my 1st-grade son was struggling with ADHD and dyslexia and our public school was not at all supportive. I suddenly realized that he belonged in a Montessori school.

But, how could I convince my husband that Montessori was our best option? How could he convince his mother (a retired teacher) that this was our best option?

I turned to this book. It perfectly explained everything we all needed to know about Montessori's history, philosophy, and concrete approach to educating children. I spent a lot of time studying Maria Montessori's work in college and this book serves as an excellent and even detailed summary of Maria Montessori's vast collection of writings, research, and curriculum development. It's the perfect book to help anyone get up to speed on Montessori quickly.

The best testimonial I can give... it's been two years since we moved my son to a Montessori school and there hasn't been one objection from my mother-in-law! ;)
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