The Montessori Program Develops Creative Minds

It appears the Montessori Method may hold the answers to various concerns I am having. I have lamented in the past that we don’t have schools with Tools of the Mind programs that help children develop their “executive” functions. I have also been a little worried about Aristotle’s flagging interest in learning and his obsession with being right. Although the latter has not affected his creativity, I worry that it may do so in future if we don’t find a way to resolve it.

Although I have read about the Montessori Method before and think it is an excellent early childhood development program for children, I think I might have underestimated its true value. According to an article I read recently – “The Montessori Mafia“:

“Montessori educational approach might be the surest route to joining the creative elite, which are so overrepresented by the school’s alumni that one might suspect a Montessori Mafia: Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, videogame pioneer Will Wright, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, not to mention Julia Child and rapper Sean “P.Diddy” Combs.”

And in a 2006 study from the journal Science, they found:

“Among the 5-year-olds, Montessori students were found to be significantly better in “three WJ tests measuring academic skills related to school readiness.” They “were also tested on executive function, thought to be important to success in school… Montessori children performed significantly better on this test.”

Among the 12 year olds, “the Montessori students’ essays were rated as significantly more creative and as using significantly more sophisticated sentence structures.”

So in terms of creativity and executive function, the Montessori Method may be our alternative to a Tools of the Mind program (which we don’t have here). And as far as learning goes, we’ve already seen how well Gavin took to the holiday program from Young Explorers who run a Montessori playgroup. Unfortunately, although we have Montessori preschools, I have yet to hear about a Montessori Primary School.

Anyone living in Malaysia who knows of a Montessori Primary School please share the details in the comments section or contact me.

On the flip side, although Aristotle’s current school is not a Montessori school, some of their teaching methology sounds “Montessorish” – at least the description of a typical lesson that we received when we went to enquire at the school sounded like it.

And if I was considering any non-Montessori playschools for Hercules, I guess that’s all out the window now.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

16 thoughts on “The Montessori Program Develops Creative Minds

  1. hi,

    i would like to read more on montessori prg n shichida.
    any book or website to reco?

    as for shichida..u did mention that we can only buy d books on their website n their website is down now..anywhere that i can buy it? or can i borrow from u to photocopy it?

    Like

    1. Hi Aryl,

      Shichida books are available on their website:

      http://shichida.co.jp/english/c1-3_books.php

      Try it again. It’s working now. If you can read Chinese, you should search Popular. Apparently there are some 40 over books written in Chinese. I can’t help you with those because I can’t read Chinese. There are only 4 English books available from the Japan website.

      As for Montessori, Tim Seldin has “how to raise an amazing child the montessori way”. Elizabeth Hainstock’s books are very practical. They give you lots of Montessori activities you can do with your children. You can also find more Montessori blogs here:

      http://countingcoconuts.blogspot.com/2010/04/must-read-montessori-blogs.html

      and here:

      http://www.blogs.com/topten/10-popular-montessori-living-blogs/

      Like

  2. Hi Shen:
    My girl went to the montessori since she is 2 years old, her school teachers are very good and patient, the principals are British ladies. We are pretty happier to let her enjoys her pre-school life in this school.

    As for the montessori books, my frenz recommended me to read few years ago, which I think there are pretty good.
    1) Secret of Childhood by Maria Montessori (Author)
    2) The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori (Author)
    3) Montessori Today: A Comprehensive Approach to Education from Birth to Adulthood by Paula Polk Lillard (Author)
    4) Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius by Angeline Stoll Lillard (Author)
    5) Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child by Maja Pitamic (Author)
    6) How To Raise An Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin (Author)

    Apart from that, my girlfrenz also practice her montessori primary school at home to her 7 years old daughter, what she does was transformed the local primary school subjects to the montessori way as a home practice for her primary school daughter as the revision, these are included the languages (English: Pink, Blue and Green Card); maths, sciences. her daughter never learn mandarin before the primary school, yet she also using the montessori method to help to daughter learning mandarin. her efforts is counted and now her kids are enjoying the school life, didn’t heard they complaint about school homework, very well time-management and organizing skill. I think if we practice the montessori method at home as well as in the montessori school too, the children achieved better result than only learning the montessori method from school.

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  3. for ARYL:

    if you can read mandarin (chinese), these are the Shichida’s books which you can buy @ Popular books store or local online bookstore (I normally used: http://www.books.com.tw).

    Shichida (???) ????(major from taiwan):
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    Shichida new published??????????
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    hope its help.

    Like

    1. Hi Liz,

      I’m afraid I did not send my older son to a Montessori school. However, I do intend to send my younger son to one. At present he is only 20 months so I’m still looking at the options. I like Young Explorers at 1Mont Kiara best currently. Second on the list, based on the ones I have seen so far, is My Little Home. You can read about them both here:

      https://figur8.net/baby/2011/07/27/activities-young-explorer-gym-and-montessori-playschool/

      https://figur8.net/baby/2011/07/02/preschool-my-little-home/

      Like

    1. Thanks for the suggestions, Jo. I’ll check them out, too. Probably wait until Gavin is back at school, though. Lugging two kids around to see schools is probably not the best idea.

      Like

  4. thanks all for the reply..:)

    i cant read chinese..so the only way that i can buy d shichida book is through shichida website…

    anyone interested in selling off their montessori books to me 2nd hand?

    Like

  5. hi shen li,

    keep us posted on which pre-school tht u finally choose… 🙂
    btw, i already sent email to shichida website.. still waiting their reply..:)

    thanks for the info yah!! its really help a lot for new mum like me..
    i really do believe in right brain educations n should start as young as possible… i think this is the best thing that we as mom can provide to our kids.. once they know how to use their right brain, then their life ahead will be so much more easier…

    i’m really appreciate all d info that u posted here.. very very good work n very detail as well..

    now my babies just 6mth… n all ur info is so useful to me when they grow up later…

    Like

    1. Hi Cm,

      Unfortunately, in between school holidays, being sick, going on holiday, getting ready for our new house, and being sick again, I haven’t had time to look up more Montessori schools in Malaysia. I can’t say I have heard of a Montessori primary school though. Most are only up to 6 years old – the preschool and kindergarten programs.

      I am taking a course in Montessori (not accredited but they teach you how to teach Montessori style) so hope that will suffice if I supplement at home with Montessori activities I learn. The course is quite reasonable and the depth quite good. You are welcome to check it out:

      http://worldwidemontessorionline.com/

      Karen Tyler is a certified Montessori teacher herself and her albums and materials are very detailed. I like that she does not require the purchase of expensive materials to teach. A lot of lessons can be conducted using what we have around the house at home or cheaply made.

      Like

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