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As a result of the widespread interest that has been taken in my method of child education, certain books have been issued, which may appear to the general reader to be authoritative expositions of the Montessori system.

I wish to state definitely that the present work, the English translation of which has been authorised and approved by me, is the only authentic manual of the Montessori method, and that the only other authentic or authorised works of mine in the English language are The Montessori Method, and Pedagogical Anthropology.

Signed Maria Montessori

The Montessori method is a child-centered, alternative educational method based on the child development theories originated by Italian educator Maria Montessori (1870–1952) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Primarily applied in preschool and primary (elementary) school settings (and occasionally in infant, toddler, middle school, and high school), its method of education is characterised by emphasising self-directed activity on the part of the child, and clinical observation on the part of the teacher — to stress the importance of adapting the child’s learning environment to his or her development level, and the role of physical activity in the child’s absorbing abstract concepts and learning practical skills.

Auto-didactic (self-correcting) equipment is used for introducing and learning concepts, and reading is taught via phonics and whole language, the comparative benefits of which are presently being recognized.

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