Maria Montessori’s approach, usually thought of as a pre-school educational process, has important implications for our work as well.  A careful exploration of Montessori’s ideas suggests that there are other, critical, factors to consider in planning for quality education.  Some of them have been incorporated in to certain mainstream classrooms.  Sometimes, however, it feels like lip service rather than a real commitment to the transformation of education.

Montessori said that learning had to be meaningful and relevant to the learner.   There are specific guidelines for teachers at every phase of the educational process which invite teachers in to the process of thinking carefully about all aspects of their classrooms including how activities are described, who is in charge of the completion of them and how that happens and the use of tactile elements in teaching.  Montessori’s banner call was to follow the learner.  Don’t lead, but follow.  See what the learner is interested in and how each one is engaging with the material.  Make your decisions as a teacher based upon that information.  More on what this will look like in a classroom to follow.