Educating the ‘whole child’

Howard Gardner’s research about the Multiple Intelligences of how children learn has been utilised extensively in education. He argued that intelligence is an extensive array of skills and knowledge rather than a unitary IQ (Vardin, 2003). Maria Montessori and Gardner both challenged the general views of their respective eras about intelligence and potential, coming to similar conclusions but with different foci (Vardin, 2003). Theorists such as they influenced the educational frameworks that are used today, as seen in the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF).

How Montessori principles of educating the ‘whole child’ relate to theories of ‘Multiple Intelligences’ and the EYLF 

Gardner believed that humans process the information gathered in cultural settings to make valuable contributions to that setting (Vardin, 2003). He understood intelligences to be ‘potentials’ that are used or activated as needed in accordance with the standards of the surrounding culture, the opportunities available, and the decisions to be made therein (Vardin, 2003). Gardner used regular observations of people to gather his research, just as Montessori did (Kramer, 1988; O’Donnell, 2007; Röhrs, 2000; Standing, 1957; Vardin, 2003). They both observed people with special needs and those considered ‘normal’, allowing them to gain better understandings of the variety of human capabilities and to challenge the limited views of the time about these abilities (Kramer, 1988; O’Donnell, 2007; Röhrs, 2000; Standing, 1957; Vardin, 2003). Montessori and Gardner recognised that each child is an individual, with unique personality traits becoming evident in the early years of life (Montessori, 1912, 1966; Vardin, 2003). Gardner argued that each person has their own combination of intelligences, and as such, each person should be appreciated for their unique personality and what they can contribute to society (Vardin, 2003). Recognising and valuing these differences is central to his theory of the Multiple Intelligences.

Montessori and Gardner alike recognised that children have a natural inclination to learn. They believed that the child’s innate interest and ability to learn comes from a genetic base, but that continuing development is the result of a continuous and vibrant relationship between the child’s genetics and the influence of the surrounding environment (Haines, Baker, & Kahn, 2000; Vardin, 2003). It was Montessori’s understanding that the child absorbs information from the surrounding environment, which can be seen in her theories about the absorbent mind (Montessori, 1912, 2012; Vardin, 2003). Both theorists recognised the significance of the environment in its influence over the child’s development, whether that be its positive or negative effects (Haines et al., 2000; Vardin, 2003). Gardner argued that even those considered gifted will not flourish if their environment did not provide the resources, interventions, and materials to encourage their intelligence to develop (Vardin, 2003).

While Montessori and Gardner share some viewpoints of education and development, their work foci differ (Vardin, 2003). Montessori’s main focus from the start of her educational career was that of the welfare and education of children with special interests in the poor or the overlooked (such as those with special needs) (Kramer, 1988; Montessori, 1912; Standing, 1957; Vardin, 2003). This focus is evident in her approach to education, her didactic materials, teacher and parent training, and her method of teaching. Her work influenced her philosophy and methodology, both of which then influenced her educational practice. Gardner’s work, on the other hand, was theoretical. His theories were derived from his observations and research, not from practice (Vardin, 2003). He did not have an educational approach that he created based on his theories, instead believing that educators should use his research to inform their practice for the betterment of the children (Gardner, 1995; Vardin, 2003).


Gardner’s research focused on the areas of human potential that he defined as intelligences. He took moral and spiritual characteristics into consideration but did not consider them to be part of his Multiple Intelligences as they did not meet his criterion (Vardin, 2003). Conversely, Montessori’s theories encompass all aspects of the child’s nature. This includes the moral and spiritual characteristics, as she viewed the human tendencies and potentials as parts of the ‘whole child’ (Haines et al., 2000; Vardin, 2003). She recognised the importance of each aspect of the child, and designed her materials and environments to support the development of all of these human potentials and tendencies (Haines et al., 2000; Vardin, 2003). Consequently, her materials also correlate with the core operations of Gardner’s intelligences. Vardin (2003) gives the example of a lesson with Montessori’s geometric solids where the child:

… uses a bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence in feeling the forms, visual/ spatial in observing and internalizing images of the forms, logical-mathematical intelligence in establishing relations between them, naturalistic intelligence in observing and classifying them, and linguistic in labelling them. If the child did this activity with other children, he or she could also exchange ideas about the forms and share them, thus utilizing interpersonal intelligence. (Vardin, 2003, p. 43)

Vardin (2003) went on to explain in detail how Montessori’s curriculum areas connect to Gardner’s eight intelligences and their core operations. She acknowledged how Montessori explored the social and emotional characteristics of the child as well, including the value of self-regulation and self-knowledge (Vardin, 2003). Vardin (2003) stated that Gardner and Montessori were innovative individuals of their times, paving the way for greater understandings of how people learn and the potential they have within.


The research done by theorists like Montessori and Gardner influenced our current understandings of how children learn and develop. Montessori’s concept of educating the ‘whole child’ is evident in Australia’s Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) (Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), 2009). The document recognises the significance of each facet of the child in their development, with the concepts of belonging, being, and becoming central to its holistic philosophy (DEEWR, 2009). Its vision for children’s learning is that “[a]ll children experience learning that is engaging and builds success for life” (DEEWR, 2009, p. 7). It takes into account all aspects of a child’s learning journey, not simply focusing on academics. It recognises that all children bring unique experiences and knowledge to their learning, and that all areas of their learning are intrinsically linked (DEEWR, 2009). Like Montessori, the EYLF acknowledges that children are active participants in their own learning, and that understanding and utilising this participation will allow educators to transcend limited preconceived ideas about how children learn (DEEWR, 2009).

Evidence shows that educating the whole child through recognising the interconnectedness of education and care is the most beneficial path for the child (Browning et al., 2002; DEEWR, 2009; Edwards, 2002; KidsMatter Early Childhood, 2011; Montessori, 1912; Rushton, 2011). When understanding the child as a whole, taking into account body, mind, and spirit, the educator facilitates learning experiences for all aspects of the child’s present and future life (DEEWR, 2009; KMEC, 2011; Montessori, 1912; Rushton, 2011). From a neuroscience perspective, Rushton (2011) argued that “… any developmentally appropriate program focuses on the ‘whole child’” to benefit the child’s “… mental, emotional, social, and physical life …” (p. 92). Once again, this proves that Montessori was ahead of the times in recognising the significance of holistic development. DEEWR (2010) stated that the Practices and Principles of the EYLF are based on the conviction that “learning is dynamic, complex and holistic” (p. 14), as can be seen in the works of Montessori (Montessori, 1912, 1966). Furthermore, both Montessori and the EYLF identify the significant role of the learning environment in a child’s development. The EYLF describes constructive learning environments as those that are welcoming, vibrant, flexible, and responsive to the child’s needs (DEEWR, 2009). This view of the learning environment mirrors that of Montessori’s, where it is understood to be the second teacher, a living environment that is adapted to the needs of the children (Montessori, 1912; Röhrs, 2000). Due to the similarities, Australian Montessori educators have the opportunity of blending these two brilliant tools for educating young children with best practice—the EYLF and the Montessori method.

Reference List

Browning, K., Mugyeong, Eunseol, K., Ock, R., Nary, S., Moon, … Weikart, D. P. (2002). Curriculum in Early Childhood Education and Care. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 3(2), 81–87.

Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations. (2009). Belonging, Being & Becoming: The Early years Learning Framework for Australia (Vol. 1). Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.

Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations. (2010). Educators ’ Guide to the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.

Edwards, C. P. (2002). Three approaches from Europe: Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 4(1).

Gardner, H. (1995). Reflections on Multiple Intelligences: Myths and Messages. Phi Delta Kappan, 77(3), 200–209.

Haines, A., Baker, K., & Kahn, D. (2000). Optimal Developmental Outcomes: The social, moral, cognitive, and emotional dimensions of a Montessori education.

KidsMatter Early Childhood. (2011). KidsMatter Early Childhood Connecting with the Early Childhood Education and Care National Quality Framework.

Kramer, R. (1988). Maria Montessori: A Biography. Chicago: Da Capo Press.

Montessori, M. (1912). The Montessori Method. English (Second). New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company.

Montessori, M. (1966). The Secret of Childhood. (M. J. Costelloe, Ed.). New York: Ballantine Books.

Montessori, M. (2012). The Absorbent Mind. California: BN Publishing.

O’Donnell, M. (2007). Maria Montessori. (R. Bailey, Ed.). London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Röhrs, H. (2000). Maria montessori (1870-1952), XXIV(1), 1–12.

Rushton, S. (2011). Neuroscience, Early Childhood Education and Play: We are Doing it Right! Early Childhood Education Journal, 39(2), 89–94.

Vardin, P. A. (2003). Montessori and Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Montessori Life, 40–43.

Montessori at home: Independence

I am often asked how parents can implement the Montessori method at home without buying all the materials. My first suggestion is this: give the child as much independence as you can!

Independence and freedom for the child is a huge part of the Montessori philosophy. Children are not viewed as vessels to be filled with wisdom from the all-knowledgeable adults. Instead, they are seen as people in their own right, that we as adults encourage to develop and grow, explore the world, and absorb as much knowledge from their surroundings as possible. To this end, there is so much that families can do at home to ‘follow the Montessori way’ and encourage their child’s independence. 

This blog post will explore a few simple ways to enable your child to be as independent in the home as possible. 


Ways to enable your child’s independence

There are so many ways in which you can encourage your child’s independence, from the practical way you set up the living spaces, including them in regular routines, and in the way you communicate with your child. 

Communicating with your child

The way you speak to your child can make a huge difference in how they view themselves. If you speak to them as you would an adult with respect and as though you are actively listening to what they are saying, they will come to think that you value what they are saying just as much as when you listen to an adult. This increases their self-confidence and self-worth. 

Children like routine and the security of knowing what is happening in their life. Talking with your child about what will be happening in the day prepares them for what is ahead and will enable them to possibly take some more responsibility and control of their life for that time. Children are often more capable than we realise! Having a regular routine assists the child to move through the day with confidence, and allows them to expand and extend their learning because they don’t need to expend energy on everyday recurring instances. 

Setting up a child-friendly space

If your child is able to easily access things within the space, they will need to rely on you less, increasing their independence and giving you a bit more freedom too! 

Setting up a child-friendly space can be as simple as putting things within their reach. For example, enabling the child to help get their own breakfast would be made simpler by having all the parts accessible to them in the lower shelves or cupboards in the kitchen. Some people buy specially designed furniture, while others modify their current space like using ladders with platforms and safety railings for the children to stand at the bench and sink. 

Giving them responsibility

Giving your child certain jobs about the house will improve their level of responsibility and once they become accustomed to doing it regularly they will become independent in it as well. For example, this can be as simple as giving them the job of packing away their toys every afternoon, or getting them to help with food preparation or the dishes. If a child is involved in preparing food they will also be more likely to eat it! (A helpful hint for those fussy eaters!) 

Encouraging your child to choose their own clothes for the day will also boost their sense of responsibility and independence. Obviously, the clothes need to be situation and weather appropriate, so provide them with two options that fit into those categories. For instance, two tops, two bottoms, two warmer layers (if required) and two footwear options. This way, you know that they will be dressed appropriately but they will feel like they have controlled the situation by you providing them with the freedom to choose. This links in with Montessori’s concept of freedom within limits

Having a regular routine

If you have a regular routine your child will become so accustomed to it that they won’t have to think about it, freeing them up to extend their learning, explore and experiment, and challenge themselves in different ways. This includes their independence. Within the security of a regular routine the child becomes more confident in knowing what will happen next. Therefore, they are able to preempt it and take control of the situation themselves. 

Obviously, there are sometimes situations where your routine will change. This is fine, as it is realistic of life. But if you can, try to explain this to your child beforehand so they have prior warning. 



In this online day and age, there is a veritable treasure trove of resources available! There are some great blogs about using the Montessori method at home, wonderful instagram accounts to follow, and some fantastic videos, books, etc.

Edison’s Day

If you’ve never seen the video Edison’s Day by NAMTA I definitely encourage you to find a copy! You can access it online to rent or buy, or watch snippets for free. 

It follows 20-month-old Edison as he goes about his day, showing some of the ways his parents have modified the space to be more accessible to him and how their routines and lives are set up to enable his independence and development. We see how he dresses himself (but asks for help if he needs it), sets the table, gets his breakfast things, spreads his toast, and some of his time at his childcare. Most of the strategies we see his parents use are easy to apply at home.

‘Montessori at home’ blogs

To get some ideas about how you can encourage your child’s independence at home, there are already several great blogs available. These range from simple changes you can implement to complete Montessori-style re-decorations! Some of them are written by teachers, others by parents, some are both. I have collated a few below for your perusal, but Living Montessori Now has collated a much more detailed list. Check out any that take your fancy! 

Montessori-themed accounts on Instagram

There are now HEAPS of accounts on Instagram by centres or parents or teachers of the Montessori method. By simply searching for the phrase Montessori a whole gamut of accounts will come up. Also, once you find one, you can then check out who they’re following! If you follow me on Instagram (@themontessorianaus) you’ll be able to see who’s following me and who I’m following! 

Here’s some suggestions for ‘Montessori at home’ accounts:

I hope this has given you some food for thought! Let me know how you implement the Montessori ways in your home or classroom. 

The Sensitive Periods

In a recent post I explained the term Absorbent Mind. In this week’s post we will explore another common phrase that is heard in relation to Montessori education: the sensitive periods

Hugo de Vries (Dutch botanist and geneticist) detected the sensitive periods through his research with animals, but Montessori declared that she and her fellow educators discovered it to be true of children as well, utilising it for improving teaching (M. Montessori, 1966).  The sensitive periods in a child’s development establish and control each developmental plane, and are inextricably linked to all other aspects of the child’s development, including internal and external growth (Grazzini, 1979; M. Montessori, 1966; The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2008; Zener, 2003). Furthermore, the importance of early learning experiences is recognised in brain research due to the neural connections made during the sensitive periods (The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2008). Montessori (1966) described the concept thus:

A sensitive period refers to a special sensibility which a creature acquires in its infantile state, while it is still in a process of evolution. It is a transient disposition and limited to the acquisition of a particular trait. Once this trait, or characteristic, has been acquired, the special sensibility disappears. Every specific characteristic of a living creature is thus attained through the help of a passing impulse or potency. (M. Montessori, 1966, p. 38)

Thus, in connection to the development of a child, they have an innate impulse that drives them to carry out certain acts at certain developmental times (M. Montessori, 1966; The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2008; Zener, 2003). However, Montessori (1966) noted that if a child is unable to act on the impulses of that sensitive period the chance for a “natural conquest” (p.39) will be gone forever. Obstacles to learning or stressful experiences during these times can create a strong negative reaction, as can sometimes be seen in tantrums in the very young child (M. Montessori, 1966; The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2008).

Source: My own image.

The learning experiences during these sensitive periods play a vital role in a person’s neural development (The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2008). During the sensitive periods, the child is able to accomplish and absorb great learning feats with an ease and passion that are unavailable later in life (M. Montessori, 1966; The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2008). As one conquest is completed, the child moves onto the next one, creating a constant pattern of learning and enjoyment (M. Montessori, 1966; Zener, 2003). The child’s sensitivities result in strong interests for some things and a great indifference to others (Zener, 2003): “When a particular sensitiveness is aroused in a child, it is like a light that shines on some objects but not on others, making of them his whole world” (M. Montessori, 1966, p. 42). Joy and excitement in learning become manifest during these times, fuelled by the child’s surroundings and the adults that encourage and assist in this learning. These sensitive periods prepare the child’s mind to absorb and process the world surrounding them, complementing the ‘absorbent mind’ (Zener, 2003).

Strong correlations have been drawn between Montessori’s sensitive periods and Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development. In both approaches, the teacher observes the child to provide learning experiences that meet the needs and learning requirements of the child at that point in time (Mooney, 2013; Vettiveloo, 2008). However, Vygotsky believed that this support to a child’s learning does not just come from a teacher, but also from peers (Mooney, 2013). Such learning can be seen in Montessori classrooms with the combined age groups (and now in mainstream early education centres as well).

If you have any questions or comments about any of my blog posts, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Reference List

Grazzini, C. (1979). Characteristics of the child in the elementary school. AMI Communications, 29–40.

Montessori, M. (1966). The Secret of Childhood. (M. J. Costelloe, Ed.). New York: Ballantine Books.

Mooney, C. G. (2013). Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky (2nd ed.). Minnesota: Redleaf Press.

The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. (2008). The timing and quality of early experiences combine to shape brain architecture.

Vettiveloo, R. (2008). A critical enquiry into the implementation of the Montessori Teaching Method as a first step towards inclusive practice in early childhood settings specifically in developing countries. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 9(2), 178–181.

Zener, R. S. (2003). How sensitively timed are sensitive periods? The NAMTA Journal, 28(1), 20–40.

Theories of developmental stages

Several educational theorists believe that there are different stages of development over the course of a human’s life. Some of these theorists include Maria Montessori, Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, and Rudolf Steiner. In this section, Montessori’s theory about the developmental stages will be compared to those of the other three theorists mentioned above.

Erik Erikson

Erikson’s theory focuses on the psychosocial development of humanity (Mooney, 2013). He believed that there are eight ‘ages’ of humanity that cover the whole life span (Mooney, 2013). The age brackets seen in Erikson’s theory (refer to Table 1) are similar to those seen in Montessori’s planes and sub-planes, with some comparable terminology as well. Just as with Montessori’s planes of development, as the person passes through each of Erikson’s ages they adopt certain characteristics before passing on to the next age (Mooney, 2013). For each age of Erikson’s theory, Mooney (2013) specified a developmental stage and strength, similar to Montessori’s sensitive periods. However, Erikson also identified ‘weaknesses’ of each stage (Mooney, 2013).

Erikson believed that patterns were developed in the earliest years of life from the strengths and weaknesses acquired during that time (Mooney, 2013). These patterns would “… regulate, or at least influence, a person’s actions and interactions for the rest of his or her life” (Mooney, 2013, p. 55). This is comparable to the significance of Montessori’s ‘sensitive periods’ for a human’s development in the early years. Similarly, Erikson and Montessori both understood the importance of the early years for children’s development. However, Erikson thought that it was possible for a person to go back and ‘renegotiate’ any difficulties encountered in the first three stages.

Erik Erikson (
Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development
AgeStageStrength Developed
Birth to 12 monthsTrust vs. MistrustHope
1-3 yearsAutonomy vs. Shame and DoubtWillpower
3-6 yearsInitiative vs. GuiltPurpose
6-11 yearsIndustry vs. InferiorityCompetence
AdolescenceIdentity vs. Role ConfusionFidelity
Young adulthoodIntimacy vs. IsolationLove
Middle ageGenerativity vs. Self-AbsorptionCare
Old ageIntegrity vs. DespairWisdom

Source: Mooney, C. G. (2013). Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky (2nd ed.). Minnesota: Redleaf Press.

Jean Piaget

Piaget followed Montessori’s work, using it as the foundation for his own educational theories (Mooney, 2013). He too believed that children need to do meaningful work for themselves and identified stages of cognitive development linked to age brackets (Mooney, 2013) (see Table 2). Contrary to Erikson’s ‘psychosocial’ stages, Piaget described his developmental theory as ‘stages of cognitive development’ (Mooney, 2013). He focused more on behaviours learned through these times, rather than ‘strengths’ or the broader characteristics identified by Montessori in her planes of development.

Piaget’s sensorimotor stage has strong correlations with Montessori’s first plane of development. They both believed that children first learn through absorbing information with unconscious thought, dubbed reflexive by Piaget (M. Montessori, 2012; Mooney, 2013). Both Montessori and Piaget understood that children process their environment through their senses in the first plane and the sensorimotor stage, and that this is where intelligence formed and cognitive development is started (M. Montessori, 2012; Mooney, 2013). Montessori and Piaget had differing views on the ages of the next developmental stage, with Piaget’s preoperational stage two to seven years of age, whilst Montessori considered this part of the sub-plane of the first plane, and considered the age bracket to be three to six years of age (M. Montessori, 2012; Mooney, 2013). They both viewed learning during these times as forming ideas from life experiences. Furthermore, Piaget recognised the importance of large blocks of time for ‘free play,’ based on Montessori’s theories about the uninterrupted work cycle (Mooney, 2013). Real life experiences were also considered vital by both theorists in children’s learning, providing opportunities for deeper construction of knowledge (Mooney, 2013).

Jean Piaget (
 For the final two stages of Piaget’s developmental theory, similarities are evident with Montessori’s works in that the child moves from concrete thought to abstract thought. Mooney (2013) describes a flexibility of thought, where the child moves towards logical and hypothetical thought, where richer questions can be considered, and several qualities can be held in the brain at one time (Grazzini, 1979; Haines et al., 2000). While Montessori described young adulthood age brackets in detail as part of her developmental planes, Piaget’s stages of development are much broader and end with “11 or 12 years of age and older” (Mooney, 2013, p. 81). 
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
Birth to 2 yearsSensorimotorLearn through the senses; learn through reflexes; manipulate materials.
2-7 yearsPreoperationalForm ideas based on their perceptions; can only focus on one variable at a time; overgeneralize based on limited experience.
7-11 or 12 yearsConcrete OperationalForm ideas based on reasoning; limit thinking to objects and familiar events.
11 or 12 yearsFormal OperationalThink conceptually; think hypothetically. 

Source: Mooney, C. G. (2013). Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky (2nd ed.). Minnesota: Redleaf Press.

Rudolf Steiner

Steiner believed in three stages of learning, with unique requirements for learning in each (Edwards, 2002). Steiner, like Montessori, viewed the first stage of learning as a time where learning is done through ‘doing’ with hands-on experiences. However, while they both cited this stage as a time for physical, intellectual, and emotional growth, Steiner put a much greater emphasis on the term ‘imaginary play’ (Edwards, 2002).

While this terminology is not seen as frequently in Montessori’s works (and her views on it created controversy), the descriptions of activities and characteristics are similar to the work and qualities of children in Montessori programs. For example, children will “… become deeply and engaged and develop powers of concentration and motivation” (Edwards, 2002, p. 5) through “bodily exploration, constructive and creative play, and oral … language” (Edwards, 2002, p. 4) in both Steiner and Montessori education. Both theorists recognised the importance of an uninterrupted work cycle and a regular schedule (Edwards, 2002). Furthermore, they both emphasised the significant impacts science, literature, music, and education through nature have on children’s learning.

Rudolf Steiner (

However, a noteworthy difference between the two approaches was Steiner’s focus on learning through oral language rather than the concrete to abstract approach that Montessori employed (Edwards, 2002).

Steiner’s Cycles of Child Development
Birth to 7 yearsImitationLearn through imitation and doing; imaginary play the most important ‘work’; educational focus on bodily exploration, constructive and creative play, and oral language.
7-14 yearsImaginationExplore the world through conscious imagination; integrated, multisensorial approach to learning and expression.
High schoolIntellectRational, abstract power of intellect emerges; focus on ethics, social responsibility, and mastery of complex and rigorous subject matter.

Source: Edwards, C. P. (2002). Three approaches from Europe: Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia. Early Childhood Research and Practice4(1)


Montessori’s planes of development have clearly delineated age brackets and characteristics, each of which plays its own significant role in the development of the human. A variety of educational theorists believed in these stages, with connections between Montessori’s theories and those of some other theorists evident. There were, however, some differences in their understandings of where the age brackets started and stopped, and differences in terminology or developmental characteristics.

The sensitive periods of development are evident in brain research as well as educational theory. Educational experiences that are tailored to meet the needs of children in these periods will provide rich learning that will be carried throughout life. Furthermore, these sensitive periods are intrinsically linked to Montessori’s concept of the absorbent mind. The absorbent mind processes and utilises what is learnt during each plane of development so the information can be used appropriately by the person.

The concepts discussed in this paper are evident in early childhood education today. The way children are observed, curriculum planned, and our understandings of child development owe a lot to the theories and research mentioned here. The work of theorists such as Montessori, Erikson, Piaget, and Steiner paved the way for quality, tailored education in modern society.

Reference List

Edwards, C. P. (2002). Three approaches from Europe: Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 4(1).

Grazzini, C. (1979). Characteristics of the child in the elementary school. AMI Communications, 29–40.

Haines, A., Baker, K., & Kahn, D. (2000). Optimal Developmental Outcomes: The social, moral, cognitive, and emotional dimensions of a Montessori education.

Montessori, M. (1966). The Secret of Childhood. (M. J. Costelloe, Ed.). New York: Ballantine Books.

Montessori, M. (2012). The Absorbent Mind. California: BN Publishing.

Mooney, C. G. (2013). Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky (2nd ed.). Minnesota: Redleaf Press.