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

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Patterns and Design


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Influences on Montessori

  1. Jacob Rodriguez Pereira (1715-1780), who taught deaf-mutes by helping them develop their sense of touch. 
  2. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78), Swiss-French philosopher, author, political theorist, and composer.  A neighbor and friend of Pereira, who extended the idea of sense training to include all of the senses.  Montessori accepted the idea of sense training and learning from direct experience rather than imposed instruction, but rejected Rousseau's claim that society has a corrupting influence on the individual.
  3. Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard (1774-1838), a French physician who attempted to educate a feral child with limited success.  His efforts are documented in The Wild Boy of Aveyron.
  4. Edouard Seguin (1812-1880), a student of Itard's.  According to John Chattin-McNichols (1992, p. 36), Montessori "used many of the materials Seguin had developed, notably the grooved letters that were later to become the sandpaper letters, and a pair of boards for teaching number concepts, which are still called Seguin boards in many Montessori teacher training programs."
  5. Johann Pestalozzi (1746-1827), Swiss educational reformer who, inspired by Rousseau, started a school for poor children.  He saw education as a means of social reform.
  6. Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852), German educator and founder of the kindergarten system.  He applied "Pestalozzi's emphasis on nature and the senses... to the education of the very young." (Kramer, 1988, p. 65).
  7. Wilhelm Max Wunndt (1832-1920), German physiologist and psychologist, founder of first laboratory of experimental psychology.  Montessori sought to connect his principles of "physiological psychology" with Seguin's "physiological method" of education (Kramer, 1988, p. 94).
  8. Giuseppe Sergi (1831-1936), Italian anthropologist, one of Montessori's professors at the University of Rome.  "His most lasting contribution to Montessori's thought in particular was the idea of turning anthropology from the classification of abnormalities to the discovery of ways of preventing abnormality, through the establishment of a scientific pedagogy based on the anthropological study of children" (Kramer, 1988, p. 71).
  9. Theosophy.  Paul Epstein told me that Montessori was influenced by this philosophical system.  I need to follow up on this.

Others influenced by Montessori

It would also be interesting to see how Montessori's ideas were received and extended by these folks:

  1. Jean Piaget -> Seymour Papert
  2. Alfred Adler -> Rudolf Dreikurs
  3. Anna Freud
  4. Erik Erickson