Psychology Research and Montessori Education See Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius by Angeline Lillard, Oxford University Press, 2005, or www.montessori-science.org. A Research Based Approach Dr. Montessori based her system of education on insights regarding child development, now supported by modern psychological research. Cognition and Movement Movement and cognition are closely entwined and thinking is often expressed by the hands or body before it can be put into words. Choice and Control Freedom and choice are linked to better psychological and learning outcomes. Montessori classrooms are based on personal choice and freedom within the limits imposed by being constructive for oneself and society. Learning and Interest Interested in a topic has a significant influence on one’s proficiency in learning about the topic. Montessori children learn because the environment is set up to create interest in topics, and to capitalize on the interests children already have, thereby optimizing learning. Extrinsic Rewards People report significantly higher levels of psychological well-being and competence when they are engaged in intrinsically rewarding activities. Montessori education promotes sustained, intense periods of concentration as central to learning. The rewards in Montessori education are internal ones. Collaborative Learning Optimal learning and social outcomes occur through imitation of models, through peer tutoring and in collaborative situations. Learning and Meaningful Context Meaningful contexts assist learning by providing frameworks and motivation for the acquisition of new knowledge. Montessori education embeds meaningful context in its methods and makes what happens in the classroom meaningful and transferable. 23