Over her lifetime, Maria Montessori examined childhood behavior throughout various countries and cultures and during times of war and peace. Her discoveries in human development and behavior uncovered universal principles that apply across cultures and time. In the first chapter of Montessori Today, Paula Polk Lillard discusses key points surrounding the origin and theory of Montessori education. Following is a brief review of Lillard’s discussion, focusing particularly on human development and behavior as it relates to Montessori’s shift from science to education.

[Montessori] believed that within the formative years of children lay the answers to humanity’s ability to renew itself in each succeeding generation.
— Paula Polk Lillard, Montessori Today, p. 3.

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