Whilst stumbling through the interweb, I discovered an article entitled “Return of Montessori”, originally published in TIME magazine, Monday, February 3, 1930.
The passage of time has created its own distance between contemporary citizens and Dr. Montessori, and the Montessori community has deepened this distance through the awe and revere we create.
For these reasons I enjoy reading articles written, published, and read during Dr. Montessori’s lifetime. They often provide a glimpse into the thinking of the time, such as these concluding paragraphs
Criticism. Most U. S. educators, jealous of the fame of John Dewey, are quick to point out that Dewey, in 1902, was working with auto-education in his University of Chicago-school. The interpretation of his philosophy in the education of young children also emphasized the importance of correlating the infant’s use of its hands to its brain.
The system, derived from Dewey philosophy, now used at Columbia University Teachers College, differs from the Montessori plan in that it stresses the child’s supervised intellectual growth rather than its undirected development. At Columbia the pupil is taken to see a hangar full of airplanes which he is encouraged to copy in clay, wax or crayon in the classroom. Under the Dewey method, the child has opportunity for creative expression which the less plastic Montessori equipment does not allow.
As trained Montessorians, we can see the inaccuracy of describing the Montessori method as “undirected”, or “less plastic”. Yet, at the time of its publication in 1930, in a major news magazine, how influential was this opinions on the US public.