Work Models

  1. Flow Model
  2. Sequence Model
  3. Artifact Model
  4. Cultural Model
  5. Physical Model
  6. Metaphors


  1. Design Problem
  2. Literature Review
  3. Work Models
  4. Design Patterns
  5. Design Experiments
  6. Lesson Ideas
  7. Montessori Computes
  8. Thinking About Circles

Related Links

Patterns and Design


Computer as Artifact

Materials that fit into a Montessori environment are portable to support freedom of movement and association.  They support activities that can be easily observed by the teacher.  The teacher guides selection and use of materials through preparation of the environment and intervention.  One of the goals of preparation is to keep intervention to a minimum.

Computer as practical life material

John Chattin-McNichols (1992) places the computer among the exercises in Practical Life.  From this perspective, reasonable activities with the computer might include demonstrations on using the mouse, the keyboard, and other input devices; how to insert and remove a CD; how to change printer paper; how to change a printer cartridge; how to add memory.

A practical life approach to software might include use of graphics software, typing, moving files, creating directories, use of office software, use of networking software (e-mail, chat, Internet Explorer), creating and publishing HTML pages, software installation, and programming.  Kids at one of the schools I visited were programming in Microworlds.  This was the only school I visited that had kids programming.

Computer interface as manipulable illustration

Another analogy suggested by Chattin-McNichols (1992) is the computer screen as a more concrete version of a picture book or a set of static illustrations, with images that can be manipulated.  Manipulation of on-screen objects with a mouse might provide bridging activities between work with Montessori manipulatives and work with static images on paper.

Computer as museum piece

Montessori advocated a "museum of machines" where students could tinker with and repair everyday machines.  It has been suggested that computers would be a logical exhibit for a modern version of this museum (Lillard, 1996).  Montessorians who see computers in this way might want to create exhibits that show the workings of hardware, operating systems, networking, or computer applications.

Computer as affordance for teachers and researchers

Classroom observation has always been a central role of the Montessori teacher.  It guides her decisions about the introduction of new materials into the classroom, demonstrations, and all other forms of classroom intervention.  Computer software should support the development of observable artifacts (such as Word documents) or automatically generate a log of student activity.