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The Development of Executive Function Started With Montessori

The Development of Executive Function Started With Montessori

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Early in the Montessori movement, Maria Montessori identified several essential abilities that young children need to develop to be a successful human beings. Among these are independence, concentration, self-regulation, delayed-gratification, intrinsic motivation, memory and order. These developmental milestones are a part of the day-to-day Montessori curriculum and are fostered through the respect and role models of the teachers, as well as a focus on creating a community that practices grace and courtesy.

You cannot measure the mastery of these skills by administering ‘norm’ referenced standardized tests. Montessori teachers are trained to use scientific observation to discern what lessons children are ready to be introduced to, which ones they should be encouraged to practice and those lessons that are mastered or internalized into the everyday life of the child. For several decades, the benefits of a Montessori education were difficult to explain in a culture so dependent on test scores.

Recent theorists of human growth and development have coined the term Executive Function to describe the cognitive control and supervisory attention system that includes working memory, reasoning, task flexibility, problem solving and planning and execution. All of those essential elements of a Montessori education are now part of mainstream education and highly regarded for success in school, in college and in the work force. Now is the time for the Montessori Method to shine because we have been developing executive function skills for more than 100 years!

On Thursday, March 12, 2015, Dr. Kathy Roemer and Dr. Janet Bagby will be presenting at the 2015 American Montessori Society’s Annual Conference. The focus of their presentation is Children’s Development of Executive Functions.

Please watch this video to learn more about Executive Function, and contact Twin Parks Montessori Schools for more information.


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