Updated: Dec 21, 2021
Observation is the basis of our decision making. Scientific observation helps us to methodically gather pertinent data to check for the manifestation of human tendencies and developmental characteristics. Observation can reveal the facets of self-construction that are dominant aspects in a particular child’s current developmental efforts. Reflecting on these observations enables us to better serve the children placed in their care.
Observation - Montessori Theory
"Introductory," from Education for a New World, by Maria Montessori
"Methods Evolved by Observation," from Education for a New World, by Maria Montessori
"Some Suggestions and Remarks upon Observing Children," from London Lecture 1921 (AMI Communications 2008) by Maria Montessori
"Observation and Development," from AMI Communications 2, by Maria Montessori
"Becoming a Scientific Observer," from NAMTA conference talk, 2015, by Greg McDonald
Scientific Observation - Principles to Practice
Observation from Montessori Guide (AMI) [16 min.]
Eight Stages of Observation by Wendy Calise [15.5 min.]
Scientific Observation (NCMPS Slide Deck)
The Scientist in the Classroom: The Montessori Teacher as Scientist by Ginni Sackett
Observation: The NAMTA Journal, Vol. 41, No.3, Summer 2016.
Observation - Reflection Questions
Greg McDonald, in "Becoming a Scientific Observer," wrote that: "In Montessori's view, observation was a tool that offered us the possibility of supporting the self-construction of children, and observation could also be utilized as a technique that could guide us to appropriate responses to the particular needs (or problems) of the children in our care." (page 135)
Please write about the significance of scientific observation in Montessori's work and in the development of her philosophy of education.
Why might observation be considered a cornerstone of the Montessori method? In your explanation, please refer to the role of observation in understanding the human tendencies, developmental characteristics, and self-construction of children.
Observation and its Role in a Scientific Pedagogy
What does it mean to scientifically observe? Why must Montessori teachers be scientific observers? How is the practice of scientific observation rooted in Montessori’s scientific pedagogy?
What are the three main types of observation? What tools of observation do Montessori teachers have to do each?
The Observation Artist
What are the limitations and constraints of observing human behavior?
Of the human qualities that characterize an observation artist, which resonate with you? Why? Which would you say you would like to develop more? Why?
The Observation Scientist
Describe a model for the implementation of observation. In your description, please outline the components of scientific observation that will help to guide the process.
What practical tools and tips can be used to show the development of the child through observation?
Observation and Data Informed Instruction
Observation in Practice
General Observation Tools
Elementary Observation Tools
Early Childhood Observation Tools