Literature Review

  1. Context
  2. Designing Montessori
  3. Influences
  4. Educational Software
  5. Arguments Against
  6. Answers to Objections
  7. A Good Quote
  8. Bibliography
  9. Resources


  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


Arguments Against Montessori Software

Why Montessorians might argue against proposal:

  • Computers are harmful to children (physically, intellectually or emotionally).
  • Computers are not harmful, but software by its nature cannot serve the function of a Montessori material (e.g., because the computer screen doesn't give the same manipulative experience that children can get from working with three dimensional objects).
  • Computers are not harmful, but don't compare favorably enough with alternative materials that might occupy the same classroom real estate, cost less, or require less maintenance or time for mastery on the part of the teacher.
  • Computers are helpful, but students should use kinds of applications that do not include applications designed especially for the Montessori classroom (e.g., only applications that adults use, or only applications that provide resource information).
  • Computers are helpful, but only for students of a particular age.  I might make some argument here, or just site current arguments by Montessorians for introducing computers at different ages.

Why software developers might argue against proposal: 

  • Montessori method inhibits or disrupts or misdirects child development in some way.
    • Too structured (or too unstructured)
    • Stifles creativity
    • Not enough (or too much) emphasis on academic work
  • Montessori method has potential to benefit only a minority of children (special ed, rich, poor)
  • Montessori is outdated
  • Montessori method is not a mainstream model for education
  • Montessori culture is not consistent with the computer-supported learning
  • Montessori method does not translate to the computer screen in any useful way
  • It is too costly to translate the Montessori method to the computer screen
  • The methodology adopted (Contextual Design or whatever) is not a good methodology for gathering data from the Montessori world and applying it to software.