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Internationally Acclaimed Psychologist to Speak on Montessori Method

newsasl.milmont.jpgDr. Angeline Stoll Lillard—an award-winning researcher in cognitive development, best-selling author and professor of psychology at the University of Virginia—will be speaking in the Maddox Grand Atrium on Tues., Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. With her 2005 book, Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, Lillard made a major contribution to the scientific exploration of how the Montessori education model best prepares children to succeed in school and later life.
Prior to Dr. Lillard’s lecture, State Representative Janis Sontany will present “House Joint Resolution No 292: a Resolution to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Montessori Method of Education.” A book signing will follow the lecture, which is open to the public for a ticket price of $25 per person and $40 per couple. Tickets will be available at the door. Belmont opened Nashville’s first Montessori teacher preparation program in 2005. The program, which is accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) and American Montessori Society-affiliated (AMS), offers both graduate and undergraduate tracks.
Merrie King, the Belmont Montessori Program Director, said, “The Nashville community is fortunate to have Dr. Lillard join us in celebrating the Centenary Anniversary of Montessori education! One of the goals of our Belmont program is to strengthen the teaching and learning for all children and families in our community. By focusing on research-based best practices, she provides significant information for teachers, parents and school administrators. We look forward to deepening this important dialogue among the citizens of Nashville.”


Lillard will discuss scientific findings of eight key characteristics of learning environments in which children flourish. In her book she carefully demonstrates how ongoing brain research and studies about child development support the validity and effectiveness of the Montessori approach.
Dr. Maria Montessori, one of Italy’s first female physicians, combined sensory-rich environments and hands-on experiential techniques in the hopes of reaching children previously labeled “deficient and insane.” The experiment was a resounding success. In 1907, Montessori continued shaping her learning model by opening “A Children’s House” for pre-school children living in slums. With her scientific background to guide her, she observed how young people learned best when engaged in purposeful activity rather than simply being fed information. She drew upon her clinical understanding of children’s cognitive growth and development in constructing an educational framework that would respect individuality and fulfill the needs of the “whole child.” Since that time, Montessori’s philosophy, materials and practices have spread around the globe and have been implemented in a variety of cultural settings. For more information, visit the American Montessori Society at www.amshq.org.