Preface: The Montessori Foundations for the Creative Personality, David Kahn

Creativity today is not just about art, originality, inventiveness—if we look deeper into the Montessori literature it is about the formation of the entire developmental continuum and the whole child.

PDF icon AMIJournalPreface20142015.pdf
The Montessori Foundations for the Creative Personality, David Kahn and Karen Bennetts

This article is a result of a review of the literature around a changing Montessori perspective due to the recent revelations of the powers of the adolescent and the creative leap into social ideals of the amazing human being entering adulthood.

Montessori’s View of Imagination and Creativity, Clara Tornar

Clara Tornar introduces the key writings of Maria Montessori, citing the famous line, ‘human consciousness comes into the world as a flaming ball of imagination’. She defines what Montessori meant by this term: distinguishing imagination from fantasy, which does not attach to any reality, while emphasizing that reality is essential to the grounding of imagination.

Imagination, Lecture 6, 27 March 1939, 24th International Montessori Teacher Training Course, London, Maria Montessori

An unpublished 1939 lecture by Maria Montessori puts imagination right at the core of the human great work on the planet.

Imagination and Exactitude, Lecture 7, 28 March 1939 24th International Montessori Teacher Training Course, London, Maria Montessori
The Right Use of Imagination, Chapter II from To Educate the Human Potential, Maria Montessori

In Montessori’s book To Educate the Human Potential, imagination provides the
underpinnings of Montessori cosmic education—a metaphysical, moral, and philosophic view of existence and the human ability to mobilize destiny for the well-being of the universe, humankind, and the self: ‘Everything invented by man, physical or mental, is the fruit of someone’s imagination.’ This article is the definitive framer of the role of imagination for the six-year-old.

Playing with Meaning: Humour, Language Development and Imagination, Carla Foster

Carla Foster shows how the imagination facilitates
evolutionary humour, which enriches language, and how linguistic humour introduces cognitive fluency—another
characteristic of imagination, referring to the movement of the mind in all directions through space and time.

Bringing to Light Storytelling, Music, and Dance Inside a Montessori Environment, Ryan Katz

Ryan Katz speaks of dance as movement arising out of imagination—sometimes natural, interpretive, behavioural, or even spiritual. Katz shows the connection of imagination to the art of storytelling, as an expression of culture, responding to audiences, and a means of imparting oneself through literacy to the next generation. Again, storytelling attaches knowledge to personal experience, brings the listener to the spiritual dimensions of history, and gives an
anthropomorphic understanding of the natural world. Imagination works! It unifies life.

How Dr Montessori’s Principles Intrinsically Foster Creativity, the Foundation for All Human Progress, Phyllis Pottish-Lewis

The stunning arousal of imagination and the sterling creativity of imagination is the enthusiastic message presented in Phyllis Pottish-Lewis’ comprehensive orientation to the “phenomenon” of creativity—an act of creation in which an original thought is born, which is the same across the disciplines.

Personal Expression, Laurie Ewert-Krocker

Arriving at the threshold of adolescence—in the state of becoming adult—Laurie Ewert-Krocker puts into personal terms what it means to express aspects of personality that answer a need for self-expression at this age. Montessori introduces this need by observing adolescents’ thinking about themselves. In the case of adolescents growing up Montessori, they are aware of the need to express oneself as part of the human condition.

Storytelling and Creativity, Carla Foster

Storytelling is a powerful and creative backdrop for all Montessori disciplines. Carla Foster inspires elementary teachers by contrasting factual storytelling with impressionistic stories that inspire the child ‘with a burning desire to know more’.

Orientation Towards Multilingualism in Class: A Montessori Experience, Federico Gobboin collaboration with Ilaria Adami, Chiara Bonazzoli, and Patrizia Pradella

Federico Gobbo reports on a project carried out at the Scuola Montessori Milano by nineyear-
old pupils as they grew interested in languages and linguistics, particularly in how languages function and behave in particular.

The Significance of Music for the Child, Maria Montessori

In these pages you will read of the great importance that Maria Montessori and her collaborators in the area of music ascribed to the cultivation of the musical sense from the very earliest years. Dr Montessori saw musical education and musical self-expression as the birthright of all. Music is as essential for a cultivated humanity as numbers, geometry, and cosmology, the other components of the classical quadrivium.

Montessori and Music, Elise Braun Barnett

The cultivation of a musical environment from birth, indeed from before birth, is a first necessity. Montessori understood that the child listens through movement, so to speak. Thus, with the aid of collaborators such as Elise Braun Barnett, the ‘daily concerts for listening-moving’ were developed experimentally over several decades.

Musical and Creative Education at the Vienna Montessori Schools during the Interbellum 101, Franz Hammerer

This article follows Viennese teacher Lisl Braun and Trude Hammerschlag's contribution to the development of Montessori music pedagogy.

Listening to Silence to Making Music, Isenarda De Napoli
The Music Environment: From the Beginning to the End, Susan Mayclin Stephenson

This article describes how important music is to us at every time in our life, from birth
to death.

Nurturing the Creative Personality, Rita Schaefer Zener

Rita Schaefer Zener studies the passage through the Montessori materials with their increase in difficulty, complexity, and challenge as children develop skills. The reduction of difficulties (deviations) in development as a result of repeated concentration “normalizing” events arises from freely chosen work resulting in creative self-discipline at its best.

Lecture on Handwork, Lecture 32, 27 June 1927, 13th International Montessori Teacher Training Course, London, Trude Hammerschlag

Trude Hammerschlag provides many examples of children’s self-expression including art.

What About Free Expression?, Mario M. Montessori

Mario Montessori ponders the profound sketches of children under six, their uncanny likeness to impressionist and cubist art, recognizing that freehand expression goes to the emotional essences of children’s understanding of reality.

Spiritual Aphorisms about Children’s Art, Maria Montessori and Sofia Cavalletti

Sofia Cavalletti viewed children’s drawings as a window into the core of their beings and therefore recognized that they represent much more than literal understanding.

Development of Creative Drama, Shyama Jain

Another spontaneous form of expression is interpretive drama, where the child shows his self-expression through acting out meaning, history, readings, and human emotions as argued by Shyama Jain, who published in Around the Child, a journal of the Indian Montessorians, in 1969.

Drama as Education, Dorothy Heathcote

The writing of Dorothy Heathcote, a creative drama teacher, comes very close to Montessori’s ideas about interpretive reading.

Creative Development in the Child Vol. 1: Chapter 30, Maria Montessori

Montessori designed the colour tablets, not with paint and varnish, but with silk thread wound on a tablet with handles on each end. Yet in her essay on colour she describes in detail the scientific rationale for and method of presenting all three colour boxes.

Colour Boxes I & II (Or Why is Red, Red), Annette Haines

Annette Haines provides a historical and cross-cultural survey of research showing that people representing twenty different languages share the same perceptions about the basic colours that we find in Montessori’s colour boxes.

I Ludi Geometrici, Daniele Pasquazi

Also coming from Dr. Scoppola inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings in the Codex Atlanticus, Daniele Pasquazi article describes a learning activity for lower secondary school students.

Montessori Mathematics: A Neuroscientific Perspective, Benedetto Scoppola

Benedetto Scoppola demonstrates interdisciplinary skills can enrich easily and document that
“Maria Montessori really knew” the recent discoveries of neuroscience.”

Intuitive and Analytic Thinking, Jerome Bruner

Bruner assumes a reconciliatory position between structure and creativity, suggesting that ordered sequences can lead to discovery

Flow and Creativity, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Csikszentmihaly observed intense engagement (flow) in artists, leading to their creative success and argues that flow is a basic ingredient of the artistic personality. Flow is kindred to the process of “normalization” which Montessori cites as ‘the most important single result of our whole work’.

Montessori Education and Creativity, Angeline S. Lillard

Lillard explores Montessori on its own terms using a variety of research to define creativity qualitatively and quantitatively.

Assessing Creativity and Critical Thinking in Schools: Montessori as a Holistic Intervention, Jacqueline Cossentino and Katie Brown, National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector

The authors project hopes to demonstrate the high Impact of Montessori on academic, economic, and social outcomes and how various educational interventions promote the growth of creativity.

Creating a Context for Flow: The Importance of Personal Insight and Experience, Kevin Rathunde

Kevin Rathunde maintains that the success of those creating “optimal” learning environments is more likely when adults working with children understand flow as a result of experiencing it in their own lives. This perspective is consistent with Montessori’s views on normalization and deep concentration of the child.

Teaching Peace in a Time of War: Maria Montessori’s 1917 Lectures, Erica Moretti
Peace Lecture I, The First of Four Special Lectures delivered on the 1917 San Diego Training Course, February 18, 1917, Maria Montessori
The White Cross (1917), Maria Montessori
Nobody left behind: Montessori’s work in defence of children as victims of war, Paola Trabalzini
Letter on the White Cross addressed to Professor Ferrari, Physician at the Italian Soci età Umanitaria, of Milan (1917), Maria Montessori
Montessori, the White Cross and Prof. Ferrari, Augusto Scocchera
Peace through Education, Maria and Mario Montessori
The Aims of the Social Party of the Child, Maria Montessori
A Step forwards towards the Future: The Social Party of the Child , Maria Montessori
Speech Mohanda K. Gandhi at Montessori Training College, London, October 28, 1931, Mahatma Gandhi
From a letter to Dr Montessori Dated November 19, 1931 Mahatma Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi and Maria Montessori, Albert Joosten
A New World and Education (1946/47), Maria Montessori
San Remo Lectures IV: World Unity through the Child, Maria Montessori
A Lost Opportunity Nobel Peace Prize—Some “Notes in the Margin”, Camillo Grazzini
In Support of Maria Montessori’s candidacy for the Nobel Peace Prize, Maria Jervolino
Maria Montessori writes to her friend Giuliana Sorge and reflects on the Nobel Prize for Peace, Maria Montessori

The AMI Journal includes articles by Dr Montessori as well as scholarly papers on Montessori and related topics. This website includes a searchable index of all articles contain in the AMI Journal. To purchase copies of an article or journal please contact [email protected]

Search the AMI Journal

Other Publications