Brain-Based Learning

“The basis of the reform of education and society…. Must be built upon …scientific study” – Maria Montessori


Dr. Montessori, a doctor and scientist, developed her educational insight through many years of observing children of all ages and cultures. Through her innovative thinking, scientific trials and objective observation, she built a body of knowledge that informed her education theories. Unlike other theorists, Montessori put her theories to the test in actual classrooms to continuously refine what has become the Montessori method.


Montessori’s theories were developed through observing the behavior of children at different stages of development, from which she deduced intrinsic tendencies and needs and goals.


Today, as a result of technology that allows us to view the brain in action, we can amaze at her visionary abilities. The field of neuroscience, which now informs most educational practices, has affirmed her basic principles.

Eight Principles of Montessori Education
The eight principles of Montessori education discussed here are:

  1. That movement and cognition entwined, and movement can enhance thinking and learning;
  2. That learning and well-being are improved when people have a sense of control in their lives;
  3. That people learn better when they are interested in what they are learning;
  4. That tying extrinsic rewards to an activity, like money for reading or high grades for tests, negatively impacts motivation to engage in that activity when the reward is withdrawn;
  5. That collaborative arrangements can be very conducive to learning;
  6. That learning situated in meaningful contexts is often deeper and richer than abstract contexts;
  7. That particular forms of adult interaction are associated with more optimal child outcomes; and
  8. That order in the environment is beneficial to children.

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