possible connections between the montessori method and philosophy for children

mariangela scarpini

Abstract


This paper aims to focus on certain aspects of two education methods: one initiated in the first half of the twentieth century by Maria Montessori, and the other in the second half of that century by Matthew Lipman. The aim – neither comparative nor analytical – is to shed light on the connections and, more specifically, the elements of the Montessori Method that reflect on Lipman’s proposal. The question this paper aims to answer is: can P4C find fertile ground in schools applying the Montessori Method? The paper will focus, among other elements: on the importance to give space to thinking experience from childhood and on the recognition of the value of childhood. Both Lipman and Montessori have systematically observed children of different ages – the former in the first half, the latter in the second half of the twentieth century. Both characterized, gave value, and focused their scientific contributions on children’s ability to think and express their thoughts through languages (purposely in the plural form). As educational researchers and professionals know, children have the ability to think, but such ability has not always been (still isn’t) considered to exist. Even when it is evoked in words, educational choices and proposals seem – still today – to express mistrust towards children’s thought. The two mentioned authors have repeatedly highlighted the importance of an essential right: the right to think and to be given a space – even as children – to exercise thinking with others. In particular, both authors – though envisaging different educational paths – identified the same categories functional to exercising thinking. Their interconnection may guide the actions of teachers, educators, and learning process experts. In fact, P4C might play a role in educational contexts in which the class is already considered a community of inquiry, in which the teacher is assigned the same role as a facilitator


Keywords


montessori; lipman; right to think; creative environment; new teacher

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12957/childphilo.2020.46784

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