Reading Recommendations from the Trainers

In her lifetime Maria Montessori read widely. It is said that she would have the books ordered for her by her friends as she traveled so that she could read them immediately on her arrival. To support child development and Montessori principles it is important that all Montessori practitioners read widely. This helps us step outside the classroom and to orient ourselves within a broader social context. Here are some reading recommendations from our trainers. – a mixture of old favorites and more recent publications.

  • Rest, Play, Grow: Making sense of Preschoolers

    By Deborah Macnamara and Gordon Neufeld

    The idea of attachment between a parent and child is the basis of all relationships is the key idea in this book. The author helps us to see a bigger picture of the holistic development of the child and who he will be one day. Many key Montessori principles like positive discipline, observation as the basis for supporting the child pulled me further into this book.

    Ramya Sridhar, AMI 3-6 Trainer

  • Punished by Rewards 

    The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise and Other Bribes

    by Alfie Kohn

    Montessori’s idea was that young children deeply  and spontaneously engage with the environment without any need for reward or punishment, and that children were gradually led towards discipline if they lived in freedom. These ideas are echoed in this book which simply yet with the weight of  social science research sets out the case for children to be helped towards intrinsic motivation.

    Rukmini Ramachandran, AMI 3-6 Trainer

  • Sapiens: A brief history of humankind

    by Yuval Noah Harari

    This is a book about human beings (sapiens, as the author refers to them!) and how they appeared on earth. The author delves into how civilisation came about, how language evolved and about the emotions and desires of humans. All these are explained with great relevance to current day scenarios.

    Ramya Sridhar, AMI 3-6 Trainer

  • Human Instinct

    by Robert Winston

    This book outlines how different humans are from other species on earth. The author deals with both physical aspects and clearly sets out the changes humans underwent physically as they evolved from the greater apes and the development of higher order thinking skills like imagination, reason, consciousness and free will. The author argues that it is these abilities that helped humans evolve and adapt to changes, that helped them survive and thrive.

    Ramya Sridhar, AMI 3-6 Trainer

  • The Gardener and the Carpenter

    by Alison Gopnik

    This book is on child development and parent child relationship. I was curious about the title and wanted to understand the author’s perspective. The central idea of this book is familiar to Montessori practitioners – that the right kind of freedom will enable children to flourish. The author says that ‘parenting’ should not be a verb and parents are not sculptors chiseling their child’s personality. She says that parents instead must be the nourishing gardeners allowing their children to flourish.

    Ramya Sridhar, AMI 3-6 Trainer

  • Humankind: A Hopeful History 

    by Rutger Bregman

    In this book, the author deals with the idea that humans are basically wired to care for one another. He brings in various subjects like anthropology, philosophy, psychology and sociology to support his theory that humans are intrinsically good even during times when we think as a group we are not.

    Ramya Sridhar, AMI 3-6 Trainer

  • The Ascent of Man

    by Jacob Bronowski

    The book is a transcript of a BBC television series presented by the author that appeared around 45 years ago. My mother’s well thumbed copy had sat on our family bookshelf since my childhood but I read it only when our trainer quoted it when I took the 6-12 course. The ideas it presents run side by side with the Montessori’s grand vision of human intelligence, and the engagement of humans with their environment and their social interactions through the lens of history.

    Rukmini Ramachandran, AMI 3-6 Trainer

  • Up the Down Staircase

    by Bel Kaufman

    The story of a New York public school teacher told in letters, notes exchanged between teacher, school memos and notices. Through the characters brought to life by their own words we experience the life of the teachers from multiple points of view and walk with them as they try to engage with the impossible task of educating the children within the stifling rules and regulations of the school. We must laugh out loud and shed a few tears in its humourous and compassionate presentation of the universal tragedy of an educational system that cannot meet the needs of the children whom it serves.

    Rukmini Ramachandran, AMI 3-6 Trainer

  • Montessori Books in India
    Books published by Indian Montessori Foundation (IMF) are available online

    In case of any further queries please contact the distributor

    Coral Groups
    Mobile: +91 98416 89808