There is a lot of new information about the science of learning that is spawning a variety of new approaches, strategies and methods for educating children. Many of these are in alignment with basic Montessori tenets such as following the child, using hands on materials, control of error feedback, and more because Maria Montessori developed her “scientific pedagogy” based on her observations of how children learn. In other words, much of her method is finding support in current research and others are developing similar approaches to instruction. The resources below cover the cognitive psychology and neuroscience of learning as well as teaching and instruction methods developed from this information. They were gathered in the course of our work and provide high-quality information is of interest to Montessori teachers and schools. The information has been divided into sub-topics corresponding to the buttons below to make it easier to find the information you want. Don’t miss our other Online Resources pages that cover areas such as Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Childhood Health and Safety, Educational Technology, the Prepared Environment, Educational Technology, and Curriculum.

We continue to add resources as we find and review them, so be sure and check the pages often. To see new sites as we add them, visit the ClassrooMechanics Facebook page or better yet, sign up for our newsletter where we feature the new web resources along with other content and information of use to your Montessori practice.

Teaching Resources

Edutopia.org – Edutopia is dedicated to transforming kindergarten through 12th-grade (K-12) education so all students can thrive in their studies, careers, and adult lives. They are focused on practices and programs that help students acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, skills and beliefs to achieve their full potential.

Students at the Center is a New England based organization that helps educators to understand and make use of current research on student-centered approaches to teaching and learning by synthesizing and sharing research, best practices, and other resources. Together with their partners, they aim to ensure that all students—with a special focus on under-served youth and students of color—have meaningful opportunities to acquire the skills, knowledge, and dispositions needed for success in college, in the workforce, and in civic life. They believe that the new strategies must be grounded in the best available evidence about how students learn, including findings from important new lines of research into brain development, motivation, creativity, persistence, self-regulation, the application of knowledge to real-world problems, and other topics that the organization groups together under the banner of student-centered learning.

edWeb.net is a free professional learning network that hosts online communities and engaging edWebinars for educators – anytime, anywhere. edWeb’s community includes 500,000 teachers, librarians, and administrators who are passionate and generous in sharing the most innovative and effective ideas for improving each other’s own practice, and more importantly, student learning and preparation for life. edWeb.net is free for educators and hosts 300 programs a year on the wide range of educational topics. In addition, edWeb provides a free professional social network that any educator or educational institution can use to create a personal learning network to collaborate, share ideas, and move forward faster with new ideas and initiatives.

elearninginfographics.com – Infographics combine great information in a graphical display that is exactly what the brain loves. This amazing site collects a variety of education infographics that are perfect for all learners.

An Ethical Island – This is the personal web site of a person who stumbled into teaching in a roundabout way. Part of her journey involved a lot of work with research about how to teach more effectively. In the course of her journey, she has summarized in infographic form a lot of the principles of effective instruction. Check out her site and the great information she shares. In particular, one infographic I like is about Intrinsic Motivation, a subject I mention a lot in my own work. It lists 27 ways to help students develop intrinsic motivation.

New Instructional Approaches Resources

At the Buck Institute for Education (BIE), the highest priority is to help teachers prepare students for successful lives. They accomplish this by showing teachers how to use Project Based Learning in all grade levels and subject areas. BIE creates, gathers, and shares high-quality PBL instructional practices and products and provides highly effective services to teachers, schools, and districts. For teachers, BIE offers professional development on how to design, assess, and manage projects that engage and motivate students. For schools, BIE helps bring coherence to PBL practices across grade levels and subject areas, and supports the creation of school-wide processes and structures to support PBL. For districts, BIE offers unrivaled service and expertise in creating and sustaining district-wide PBL initiatives.

Maker Ed is a national non-profit organization that provides educators and institutions with the training, resources, and community of support they need to create engaging, inclusive, and motivating learning experiences through maker education. They work to make it possible for every educator in America—particularly those in underserved communities—to facilitate interactive, student-driven, and open-ended learning experiences for youth.

Genius hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school. The basic concept involves a teacher providing a set amount of time for the students to work on their passion projects. Students are then challenged to explore something to do a project over that they want to learn about. They spend several weeks researching the topic before they start creating a product that will be shared with the class/school/world. A goal of every teach should be to create lifelong learners. Genius hour projects are a huge step towards that goal.

The Right Question Institute aims to teach a strategy that allows anyone, no matter their educational, income or literacy level, to learn to ask better questions and participate more effectively in decisions that affect them. The skill of question asking is not always explicitly taught in school. We have worked with and learned from educators to develop a teaching strategy that provides a simple, yet powerful way to get students asking their own questions and building off their peers’ questions. In field after field, in community after community, RQI’s educational strategy has been tested and proven particularly effective for engaging and building question asking skills. As we all know, one of the keys to effective learning is asking the right questions. Be sure and visit the educator section for access to downloadable resources.

Science of Learning Resources

The publication How People Learn reviews a lot of recent research in the science of learning and discusses its implications for what we teach, how we teach it, and how we assess what our children learn. Published by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the book uses exemplary teaching to illustrate how approaches based on what we now know result in in-depth learning. On the right side of this site, note the free PDF download of this title. You do not need to purchase the book to get your hands on this information. The PDF can be downloaded for free.

 Centre for Educational Neuroscience – Neuromyth or Neurofact – A site with a collection of short articles addressing educational psychology beliefs. Each belief is reviewed to see whether it is supported by recent research.
The Science of Learning – This report summarizes existing cognitive-science research on how students learn, and connects it to practical implications for teaching. The report is a resource for teacher-educators, new teachers, and anyone in the education profession who is interested in how learning takes place.
This resource is a downloadable poster from the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) and contains practical tips for students to boost studying and learning. The QBI is home to more than 450 scientists and 42 laboratory leaders whose research has made important advances in fundamental neuroscience. They also have a free publication on learning and memory that might of interest to people.
This resource is an infographic with learning tips that are based on neuroscience. The tips and tricks are good to share with students as well as keep in mind when designing curriculum. If you take into account how people learn when developing lessons, the content will stick better with the student.
Research Resources
The What Works Clearinghouse is a government web site that reviews high-quality research on different programs, products, practices, and policies to answer the question “What works in education?”
ERIC is a comprehensive database of education research collected by the government. Contents come from journal publishers, reports, conference papers, grey literature and book sources, and individuals submitting materials through ERIC’s online submission system.