Montessori: Organized Play or A New Way to Learn?

Student: Paradise Garrett*
Mentor: Susan Gannon
Major: Psychology 

The talk reviews a comparison of the pedagogies used in a Montessori school as well as a traditional school.  The talk is intended to better understand the Montessori methods of teaching and how it compares to the traditional methods seen in American public schools.  A background of Maria Montessori and the development of the Montessori Method is used as a foundation to understand the theory of the Montessori Method. The talk describes student-teacher interactions, delivery of instruction and implantation of lessons plans, and observations done in the Montessori school and a public school. These specific elements are used to examine differences between the pedagogies used in a Montessori school and a traditional public school. Evidence was gathered through first-hand observations in both types of school, in addition to print and online sources. It was concluded that both pedagogies have unique elements that can be misunderstood, the Montessori Method is indeed more than organized play and comparable to traditional American education.

*Honors Senior