This illustration is simply an attempt to clarify and – believe it or not (see previous post) – simplify (for my own understanding), the streams of thought that appear to have influenced Dr. Maria Montessori in her work of formulating a Scientific Pedagogy. The components described here are not drawn from any explicit references, in her writing, to the sources of her thinking. Importantly, the fields of Ethnography and Ethology were just coming into their own during the time that Montessori was developing her methods. There would no doubt be great value in a concerted effort to uncover some of the immediate intellectual cross currents – dialogues between and among scientists, evidence of Montessori’s having been influenced by published works, or evidence that Montessori’s work impacted that of scientists in other disciplines, for example.
In the mean time, my own efforts are simply an attempt to clarify the origins and axioms of a research methodology that has lain fallow for more than half a century, while its early fruits have been harvested and pressed into service by sundry practitioners of the educational arts, many of whose aims depart considerably from the research objectives that guided the original methodology.
It’s my belief that a return to the intellectual roots of the science of cultivating healthy and actualizing human beings may light the way for some of us who seek a rational path out of the current educational insanity. Scientific Pedagogy, after all, was simply a systematic approach to the design and development of diverse, inspiring, and life affirming learning environments for the children who will lead humanity into the future.