Montessori Method

Last week, the famous Montessori Method celebrated its 100th anniversary. Created by Dr. Maria Montessori, it consists of a philosophical and educational method that aims to change the way we acquire knowledge when we are kids. Today’s educational system perceives children as “adults in little bodies” and the goal of this revolutionary dogma is to stimulate children to explore their own natural curiosity.

Why am I so interested on this? We live on an era of Information. We can get access to the history and theories of absolutely any subject through a simple search on Google or Wikipedia. And the biggest asset an individual can have in post-industrial age is Knowledge. At this moment of history no one doubts that Education is the key for survival; but in a world that has changed so much in the last 10 years, educational models haven’t evolved at all.

Like many others, I have constantly defended games for their huge educational attributes: The very essence of gaming is about learning. Dogs play to learn. We play to learn. A few posts ago I’ve mentioned a stat that says that people remember 20% of what they see, 40% of what they hear and 60% of what they interact with. Maria Montessori found a nicer way to express the value of Play through a very similar and elegant proclaim:

I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I learn.

Montessori taught me the joy of discovery…It showed you can become interested in pretty complex theories, like Pythagorean theory, say, by playing with blocks. It’s all about learning on your terms, rather than a teacher explaining stuff to you. SimCity comes right out of Montessori—if you give people this model for building cities, they will abstract from it principles of urban design.
Will Wright


6 Responses

  1. […] video lo encontré en un interesante post de gamesareart donde Santiago Siri comenta los 100 años del método Montessori. El método Montessori que es como […]

  2. This method is very interesting, it reminds me of a book I read about a school called Summerhill, in which the students could learn what they wanted and they were free to leave the class if they pleased. And then it was prooved that in the end the child would return to class naturally. The writer was S. Neil, a psychologist and the principal of the school.
    It would be wonderful if the educational system finally evolved, because now we have a system that tells us everything is invented already and gives us no chance of exploring our own curiosity.
    I tell you because I am still suffering from it.
    After a mediocre education we have stoopid people who reign and stoopid people who vote.
    Thank for making this wonderful page.
    Con amor, Lucía.
    PD: Cuándo se hace eva 2007?

  3. Oye, que bueno que hables de esto. Yo ni sabia que significaba Montessori, pero gracias a este post me entere de que en pre-escolar yo estube en una escuela montessori puro….ahora se porque me aburria tanto en el colegio, y porque me parecian tan naturales y tan educativos los juegos :p

    Santi, I think you must have heard about Alternate Reality Games, have you? they are games set in real life, I have always thought that if someone were to create an ARG where every step is thought out with Montessori ideals, it would be the ideal way to make all those things we have learnt about Gameplay reach people who could never afford a PC.

  4. I have a question about this type of education. What about the child who has grown up in a public school- Jr. High or HS age and struggled all the way for a decent grade? How do they, or can they transition to this form of education?
    Thank You, Mary Loy

  5. Unfortunately Mary, I’m not a specialist on Education in order to answer such question to you. I do know about cases of students that grew under a Montessori method till 5th grade and then switched.. such is the case of Game Designer Will Wright or technologist Kevin Rose. It may take a period of adaptation, but all in all, I think a kid raised under Montessori will end up having more tools to outstand in regular classes than other kids..

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