Vol. 8 No. 2 (2021): Maria Montessori, her times and our years. History, vitality and perspectives of an innovative pedagogy
Maria Montessori, her times and our years

Maria Montessori, pedagogical orthodoxy, and the question of correct practice (1921-1929)

Bérengère Kolly
“Lettres, Idées, Savoirs” Laboratory, EA 4395, University of East ParisCréteil, Creteil, France
Published November 4, 2021
Keywords
  • Maria Montessori,
  • New Education Fellowship,
  • pedagogical orthodoxy,
  • correct practice,
  • internationalization of pedagogy
How to Cite
Kolly, B. (2021). Maria Montessori, pedagogical orthodoxy, and the question of correct practice (1921-1929). Rivista Di Storia dell’Educazione, 8(2), 49-58. https://doi.org/10.36253/rse-10350

Abstract

The issue of correct practice (i.e., according to Henri Louis Go, practice that reflects the spirit and letter of a pedagogy), concerns every pedagogue, and Maria Montessori certainly took correct practice very seriously from the outset. Indeed, her emphasis on this crucial issue explains some of the strategic choices she made, as well as the ways she promoted her method abroad, and the relationships she maintained with her contemporaries (analyzed here via the early years of the journal Pour l’Ère nouvelle). These all led to accusations of dogmatism or pedagogical orthodoxy that continue to be leveled at the Montessori network today. This article sets out to explore the controversy surrounding the issue of correct practice in the field of pedagogy, taking Montessori as its example. Focusing on the 1920s, it considers the questions raised by attempts to protect a life’s work within a heterogeneous array of philosophical and political practices and positions. It also explores the reticence that some of Montessori’s contemporaries (particularly Decroly and Ferrière) showednot toward her pedagogy per se, but toward the way she conceived of and applied this pedagogy. 

References

Baumann, Harold. 2007. Hundert Jahre Montessori-Pädagogik, 1907-2007. Eine Chronik der Montessori-Pädagogik in der Schweiz. Berne : Haupt.
Bucci, Sante. 1990. Educazione dell’infanzia e pedagogia scientifica. Da Froebel a Montessori. Roma : Bulzoni.
Go, Henri Louis. 2007. Freinet à Vence : Vers une reconstruction de la forme scolaire. Rennes : Presses Universitaires de Rennes.
X. 2017. “Regards genevois sur Montessori et l’essaimage du Montessorisme.” Paper presented at the colloquim Genève, une plateforme de l’internationalisme éducatif au XXe siècle », Archives de l’Institut Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Équipe de Recherche en Histoire Sociale de l’Éducation (ERHISE), Genève, Suisse, 14-15 septembre 2017.
X. 2018. “Anthropologie et montessorisme : itinéraire d’une idée pédagogique”. In Riondet, Xavier, Hofstetter, Rita, Go, Henri Louis, Les acteurs de l’Éducation Nouvelle au XXe siècle. Itinéraires et connexions, 113-138. Grenoble : Presses Universitaires de Grenoble.
X. 2019. “Chronique d’une non-réception ? Montessori et l’école maternelle française à travers L’Éducation Enfantine (1910-1921).” Paper presented at the colloquim of the Association Transdisciplinaire pour les Recherches Historiques en Éducation (ATRHE), Équipe de recherche en histoire sociale de l’éducation, EHRISE, “Passages, transferts, trajectoires en éducation”, Université de Genève, Suisse, 24-25 juin 2019.
X. 2020. “L’internationalisation montessorienne selon la stratégie du double gain : diffraction et problématiques de diffusion”. In Hofstetter, Rita, Droux, Joëlle, Christian, Michel, Construire la paix par l’éducation : réseaux et mouvements internationaux au XXe siècle. Genève au cœur d’une utopie. Genève : Aphil, Presses Universitaires Suisse. En ligne https://www.alphil.com/freedownload.php?sku=978-2-88930-323-6. Accessed : november 11, 2020.
Lecuyer, Catherine. 2020. « La perspective montessorienne face au mouvement de l’éducation nouvelle dans la francophonie européenne du début du XXe siècle ». European review of history, 27/2020. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13507486.2020.1765150
Pesci, Furio. 2019. “Montessori e la questione della pace”. In L’utopia montessoriana. Pace, diritti, libertà, ambiene, edited by Baldacci, Massimo, Zabalza, Miguel A., 92-112. Roma : Erickson.
Pironi, Tiziana. 2007. “La cure educative nelle scuola di Mompiano e nelle case dei bambini di Roma e di Milano età giolittiana”. Pedagogia e didattica dei servizi education, 2 : 27-39.
Pironi, Tiziana. 2018. “Maria Montessori e gli ambienti milanesi dell’Unione Femmiline e della Società Umanitaria”. Anali di storia dell’educazione, 25: 8-26.
Pozzi, Irene. 2015. “La Società Umanitaria e la diffusione del Metodo Montessori (1908–1923).” Ricerche di Pedagogia e Didattica – Journal of Theories and Research in Education, 10(2), 103-114. Bologna: University of Bologna. http://dx.doi.org/10.6092/issn.1970-2221/5359
Trabalzini, Paola. 2011. “Maria Montessori through he season of the ‘Method’”. The Namta Journal, 36-2.
Wagnon, Sylvain. 2017. “Les théosophes et l’organisation internationale de l’Éducation Nouvelle (1911-1921).” RHEMLAC, 9,1: 146-180