Listing of AMI 'Communications'
The Story of San Lorenzo
The Quarter of San Lorenzo
The Rules and Regulations of the Case dei Bambini
Summary of Signor Talamo's letter to Maria Montessori
The Miracle Children
A Quest for Meaning: the Intelligence of the Child between Three and Six
London Lectures 1946, Lecture 22
The Place of the Outdoors in a Good Childhood: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Outdoor Provision in Early Childhood Education
Maria Montessori's Cosmic Vision, Cosmic Plan and Cosmic Education
Question and Answer, Working on the Floor
Listing of AMI 'Communications'
Highlights from 'Communications 2007/1'
Two thousand and seven, the year, it cannot possibly have escaped our readership, Montessori education became a youthful centenarian.
Our history item, usually one of the last in Communications, in this special year has pride of place in the opening pages. The archives yielded an adapted version of the San Lorenzo story: how it came into being, the role of the property developers, the exploitation of tenants, and how, finally, Edoardo Talamo turned around the situation and also approached Maria Montessori to take on the running of a children's house, allowing her the opportunity to further develop her research and observations.
Edoardo Talamo ran a tight ship: he drew up rules and regulations that parents had to observe if they wanted their child to be in the Casa. His dissatisfaction if these were not followed to the letter even extended to Maria Montessori herself, as evidenced in the summary of his letter to her admonishing her for her not giving him advance notice whenever she expected visitors to the Casa.
The first children that attended the Casa benefited greatly from this experience, as did Maria Montessori herself from her work with the children. Many a revelation presented itself through careful and attentive observation. Renilde Montessori turned the spotlight on these "Miracle Children" when she spoke at the Montessori Centenary Conference in Rome, January 7. She argued that ‘this centenary year can be considered as a vantage point from which to view the past hundred years as an epoch of inchoate phenomena that offer the immeasurable value of indirect preparation, and this Conference in particular may be seen as a fitting starting point from which to undertake…the joint enterprise of calling for the latent talents for wise and sensible education…'
Nicole Marchak will delight you with "A Quest for Meaning: The Intelligence of the Child between Three and Six". She presents a concise and clear outline of the child's intelligence and makes a most compelling case for the role that Montessori can play in optimizing the development of that intelligence.
The core of this issue is devoted to Maria Montessori's own writings. In 1946, Maria Montessori and Mario returned to Europe after a prolonged stay of more than six years in India. The first post-war training course was given in London in the same year, and the "1946 London lectures" were to become the foundation of AMI primary courses. Part of the archives, they have been identified as one of the first unpublished ‘treasures' to be made available to a wider Montessori public.
A lecture has been selected for publication here, by way of introduction to the complete book of lectures and to complement Margaret Kernan's article on "The Place of the Outdoors in a Good Childhood: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives of Outdoor Provision in Early Childhood Education."
Margaret Kernan is a researcher and a lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology, and as part of her thesis in Education, she devoted a chapter on the role of the outdoors in education throughout the last two centuries; Montessori had explicit ideas on the importance of movement and the healthy interaction between the indoor and outdoor environments, and she contributed an important element to the perception of how outdoor education can be integrated into essential experiences needed for the full development of the child.
As part of our ongoing exploration of the idea of Cosmic Education, we searched the archives for fresh material and identified a series of six lectures on that topic given as part of an extension to the 21st International Course held in London in 1935. The first of the series is published in this issue, and is enhanced by a passage from Montessori's great-uncle Antonio Stoppani, a highly regarded naturalist and geologist.
Cosmic Education was also one of the particular areas studied in depth by Camillo Grazzini. In his lecture "Maria Montessori's Cosmic Vision, Cosmic Plan and Cosmic Education" he points out how the three expressions, Vision, Plan and Education, all share the great qualifier ‘Cosmic' and argues that in reality they all represent different aspects of a single mode of thinking.
Our traditional Question and Answer feature gives an in depth insight into a key aspect of a Montessori environment: that of working on the floor. Rita Zener expands on its significance.
The many and varied items, past and present, provide solid and profound material, indispensable to Montessori. Please let us have us your reactions to particular articles and items in this issue. These will help us when planning future issues of Communications and ensure that areas of interest are not overlooked. Also, should you wish to contribute an article or a question, the deadline for copy for the next issue is August 1.