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Category Archives: Pedagogy

蒙特梭利國小環境的三個工具 Montessori Elementary 3 Essential Tools

These are notes I took while reading this article:  for the purpose of sharing with Mandarin reading friends in Taiwan who are interested in how Montessori functions at the elementary level. For the English version of these notes, please scroll down to the bottom. or just read her excellent article! : )


#1. 紀錄本


  • 孩子得到的演示
  • 孩子自由選擇的工作


  • 之後的計畫
  • 孩子對於某個指定學習項目的心得


  • 日期、時間(某個工作)、工作/演示名稱、結束時間
  • 休息時間如何運用
  • 選擇性的塗鴉



  1. 一開始是老師手作的精美記錄本,只有足夠一週紀錄的。
  2. 一個(美國經典黑白)筆記本 composition style notebook,可以讓孩子自己裝飾。這應該由孩子來購買,賦予孩子對本子有責任感。


  • 監督(檢查記錄本):可以每天用一種友善、幽默的態度去檢查記錄本,讓孩子知道這很重要。
  • 老師應該以身作則,自己有用一本記錄本。


  • 你最有意思的工作是什麼?
  • 最具挑戰的工作是什麼?
  • 你今天有什麼發現嗎?
  • 你在X時候在什麼?
  • 你今天跟朋友做了什麼工作?
  • 你最後一個(生物)工作是什麼?



#2. 社會的期待



  • 社會的期待應該被整理成一個讓孩子可以懂的形式。
  • 如任何其他工作一樣跟孩子做演示(每年小組演示)。在適當的時機提起。如:『對於社會期待你能在年底前了解的分數工作,現在做的怎麼樣啊?』



  • 給正確的孩子種下足夠的責任種子。
  • 工具主要是由孩子來監督的。



  • 幫助我們的自由有架構
  • 對探索有一些指引的方向
  • 幫助緩和家長的疑慮

#3 與孩子開會 


  1. 日常的:規律的檢查紀錄本、跟孩子交集。孩子可能不會意識到這是開會,不過老師對於這些都應該要做紀錄。
  2. 正式的:每兩個禮拜做一次,有著清楚地先前預期(要做什麼)和開會的時間有公佈


  • 檢視記錄本並討論學生的時間運用
  • 全觀完成且進行中的工作
  • 孩子是否有責任的運用他所得到的自由呢?
  • 工作是否是期待的品質?
  • 孩子是否有探索了環境的各領域?還是只有在最喜歡的領域?
  • 有哪些示範有帶給孩子了(同儕和老師)?
  • 對社會的期待很重要的課程,孩子是否有效跟進?
  • 孩子有負責任的選擇嗎?


開會後,老師一定要再跟進follow up(孩子是否有執行)!



Reading notes on The Three Essential Tools, by Melinda Nielson

#1. The Journal

Introducing children to The Journal is the 1st great lesson given to children on their 1st day of class. It is an account of how the child spent his/her day, including:

  • Lessons that were given to child
  • Freely chosen work.

Not for recording:

  • Planning ahead
  • child’s feelings about an assigned topic

CONTENTS of The Journal:

  • date, time (of certain work), name of work/lesson, end time.
  • How downtime is spent
  • illustrations (optional)

Goals: “specify, clarify, quantify, & beautify”.

Suggestions for how the journal is made:

  1. Initially a teacher made booklet with just enough pages for a week at a time. Beautifully bound.
  2. a composition style bound book (can be decorated by child) This should be purchased by child to embrace responsibility.

Teacher’s responsibility:

  • Monitor (check journals): can check in daily in a kind, humorous way just to let the child know it is important.
  • Teacher should set an example by keeping a journal too!

Questions that can be asked to community (children):

  • What was your most interesting work?
  • What was your most challenging work? or, What did you find challenging?
  • What did you discover today?
  • What were you doing at X time?
  • What work did you do with a friend today?
  • What was the last work done with (biology)?

Montessori: “Recognize the child as an individual, and the children as a group.”

Make journaling a part of the community culture. Help each other who have difficulty with this responsibility.

#2. Societal Expectations

These are local and national curriculum…etc.

Societal Expectations should be considered as a tool to assist child is self-construction; evaluate themselves.

Teacher’s work:

  • These expectations should be synthesized and rewritten in a form accessible to the child.
  • Offered to child as any piece of material is (present to small groups yearly). Make reference at opportune/appropriate times. ie: “How are you doing with that fraction work society expects you to know by the end of this year?”

As a community, the confident leaders will enable the younger members to self-evaluate with this tool.

Teacher’s work:

  • Plant enough seeds of responsibility to the right children
  • tool will essentially be monitored by children

Important: Societal Expectations should not detract from Cosmic Education!

Instead, we use Societal Expectations as a tool:

  • Helps provide structure to freedom
  • offers guidance to explorations
  • ease parental anxieties

#3 Meeting with Child

There are 2 types of meeting that are conducted regularly:

  1. CASUAL : regular journal check, check-in conversations, children may not be aware that these are meetings but teachers should record all of these.
  2. FORMAL: done every two weeks with  – Clear Prior Expectations & – Schedule posted of meetings

The Agenda of Formal Meetings

  • Scrutinize work journal and consider student’s time use
  • Overview of completed & in-progress endeavors
  • Is child responsible for freedom given?
  • Is work of expected quality?
  • Has child explored all areas of environment, or just favorite?
  • What lessons have been given to child (by peers & teacher)?
  • Has child followed up appropriately on lessons that are essential to Societal Expectations?
  • Has child made responsible choices?

Work is quickly reviewed, always listening to child’s self-evaluation.


Personal thoughts:

This rather reminds me of productivity planning, and some of my husband’s management strategies that he shares with me time-to-time based on his corporate experience.

Montessori on Attachment


Attachment Theory was developed after Maria Montessori by Bowlby, beginning in 1969. So imagine my surprise to find Montessori speaking of Attachment in her 1946 London Lectures!

Little children between three and six years of age have a special psychology. They are full of love. They are only without love if they are ill treated. If they are badly treated their real nature is altered. Children are full of love and need to be loved in order to grow. All mothers naturally love their children and so the children get this love that they need.The love of the parents is the security of the young age. Their joy in life depends on the love for each other of all the people around them.

The sense of security that comes from having loving parents is necessary, too, for success in school; children of united families are more successful. Little children need to feel that their parents cannot live without them – that if they are not happy, their parents suffer. A psychologist gae a lecture here in London showing that harm was done to small children who had to be left behind by their parents when they went to work in the Colonies. He gave a striking example of a businessman who went to Australia, leaving his wife and little son in England. The child felt that he father was not so attached to them and then one day the mother told him that his father needed her and that she would have to join him. The child was broken-hearted. he had had the security of thinking that his mother loved him better than anyone else and then learnt that she, instead preferred the father. This meant the loss of all security for him.


By seven years of age, the child has a different psychology. He is no longer dependent on his parents’ love.

— Lecture 28 Religious Education, The 1946 London Lectures

I had previously written briefly on Montessori’s viewpoint on attachment here through the words of her student, Margaret Humfray. Half a year later, I wrote an essay that particularly focused on Attachment, as part of my Montessori training requirements, where I was not to quote Montessori. Here I had the opportunity to delve into the science of the theory of attachment. Where I found some surprising things. I think it is useful for parents to be aware of the findings of these attachment studies in the past half century, which I have summarized below.

  1. John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory (1969) was inspired by various animal studies : Harlow’s cloth mother/iron mother rhesus monkey study, and Konrad Lorenz’s discovery of imprinting in grey lag goslings.
  2. Bowlby’s timeline for attachment:
    – Infants begin to exhibit preferential communication with primary caregivers around 5~7 months of age
    – Attachment behaviours (clinging, upset when mother figure is absent…etc.) at around 9 months.
    – Attachment behaviours peak at 12~16 months.
    – Attachement formation has a sensitive period up to 2 or 3 years of age.
    – Child becomes able to accomodate for other people’s needs around age 3. This is the next stage in the attachment relationship. Child exhibits less need for proximity and can now operate on more abstract needs such as affection, trust and approval.
  3. Mary Ainsworth discovered that parenting style influences attachment style. It is important to note that infants, and later children, are shown to express different forms of attachment behaviours (or types) when presented with different adults in their life. Ex: the child may express type B when interacting with father, and type D to mother.
  4. Attachment style has ramifications for parent-child relationship into adulthood. Afterwards, other researchers found that:
    – Attachment styles can continue to be propagated into the next generation.
    – Children can change attachment category through life (Smith, Cowie & Blades, 2003)
    – Mothers who experienced deprived parenting, but were highly reflective individuals, tended to raise securely attached infants (Fonagy etal., 1994)
  5.  Further into his career, Bowlby had modified his statement from ‘mothers’ to ‘primary caregivers’. Attachment does not have to be the mother, or female. Can be small constellation of primary caregivers.
  6. Later studies have also shown that there is no absolute prediction of the child’s ability to relate to others based on the attachment type they displayed in the lab during infancy. There are two ideas about how this may be: 1) that some children may be more resilient than others. And 2) that later trust relationships that were formed may also be influential to the child’s social outlook.

    Keywords: Internal Working Model (Bowlby, 1969), Concept of Self (Bowlby, 1988), Secure Base, Strange Situation (Ainsworth), Parenting Styles (Ainsworth, 1978), 4 Types of Attachment (Ainsworth et al, 1978; Main, Solomon, 1990), Adult Attachment Interview (George, Kaplan, Main)