An Act of Faith

via personal collection from Art Institute of Chicago

“It does definitely require an act of faith on the part of the directress to trust this power of choice within the child, and not always be taking upon herself to say, ‘do this – and do not do that!'”  It is an act of faith which experience will amply justify.”  – E. M. Standing, in Maria Montessori – Her Life & Her Work

Dr. Maria Montessori is beloved for her didactic materials.  The pink tower.  The sandpaper letters.  The moveable alphabet.  She is remembered for her contributions to the nature of early learning environments.  Child-sized tables and chairs.  Open shelving.  Sinks at the proper height for children.  But, the more I learn about her work the more it seems to me that Montessori’s approach to education is most unique in its adherence to two principles.  Observation.  Trust.

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