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The Modern Montessori Method

Maria Montessori’s ideas were far from popular when she opened her first Montessori school. Today is a different story, as Montessori methods have grown exponentially in popularity over the past decade. Parents are opting for their children to be educated in Montessori schools, with some parents using Montessori methods as a rearing technique in the home.


At first, Montessori education methods made a significant impression in America—but with its popularity came the critiques. Other educators started to examine Montessori’s ways of learning. William Heard Kilpatrick, an admired professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College, published The Montessori System Explained, which criticized Maria’s methods and gained the attention of other educators who shared the same opinions. After his campaign, Montessori education started to decline in popularity, and by 1920, there were hardly any Montessori schools left in the US.


In the 1950s, an educator from New York, Dr. Nancy McCormick Rambusch, interested in Montessori methods, met Maria Montessori’s son, Mario Montessori—who motivated her to restore his mother’s teaching methods in the US. A group of New York parents contacted Dr. Rambusch and expressed their interest in founding a Montessori private school. In 1958, she opened a school in Connecticut. Today, the American Montessori Society is the largest organization in the world dedicated to the Montessori approach, with almost 100 teacher training programs and over 1,300 affiliated schools (Mead, n.d.). Montessori schools still use the same basis of methods, including observing children’s educational interests and the encouragement of independent learning.


I have written this blog post to make it easier for parents and educators to understand each element of the Montessori approach and the benefit of incorporating these methods into a child’s life - hope it helps!