A New Way of Being
Montessori teaching began in 1907 as Dr. Maria Montessori’s scientific observation of young children given freedom to use certain self-teaching materials. In this way, Dr. Montessori found that the children profoundly changed from their ordinary pattern of distracted, disorderly, and inattentive behavior, to a new state of spontaneous self-discipline, order and complete harmony with others. The stability of this new state convinced her that she had discovered the child’s true nature, which she later referred to as “normal.”
Dr. Montessori realized that her approach, later termed “Montessori teaching,” was radically different from conventional teaching because the outward changes in children were so striking and obvious. However, since she didn’t understand exactly how this occurred, Montessori teaching remained a perplexing mystery for many years. This basic misunderstanding led practitioners to deviate from her original approach, and therefore, achieve only limited results with children.
In 1969, Lee Havis began experimenting with Montessori teaching, and, in 1979, he discovered its essential truth, which he later described as a scientific way of being committed to laws of nature with children. Based on this discovery, he founded the International Montessori Society (IMS) to support the practice of this true natural Montessori teaching. In 2003, Lee discovered a breakthrough technology for the practice of this new way of being in a completely objective, reliable manner.
In practice, Montessori teaching functions to control the environment, not the child, viewing the child as a pure spiritual being, and the environment surrounding the child as consisting of physical objects, other children, and the adult personality. In this approach, controlling the environment implies an experimental process of testing out the premise that all children have a natural inner guidance for their perfect self-directed development.
Montessori teaching resolves misbehavior indirectly by removing detrimental influences at cause in the environment. For academic development, it provides an orderly arrangement of self-teaching materials that allows children to learn in a completely free and independent manner.
The unique IMS technology provides the essential tools for conducting the pertinent experiments in Montessori teaching in a precise and effective manner. It is available from IMS through correspondence teacher education as well as occasional workshops conducted around the world. It is also available in summary form in an audio cd and study guide, published in 2006. For more information, go to the IMS website: http://imsmontessori.org.