Three Wonderful Videos, One Central Idea (Part 1 of 2)

Part One: The Three Videos Challenge

During the past year, I’ve come back to three videos that, in different ways, brought to life a central Montessori concept. This concept, often hard to understand, is one I believe to be at the very core of Montessori education.

I want to invite you to “play detective,” and to watch these three short videos and see if you can identify the concept I think unifies them. As you watch each video, ask yourself:

  • What words come to my mind as I watch?
  • What are the children you see in each of these videos learning (beyond the content of a given lesson)?
  • How do you think they feel about what they learn?
  • How does the experience depicted help the child grow into the adult he or she will be one day?
  • Is there a principle, a central idea that is common in these very different videos?

(By the way, this type of mental “detective work is one of the ways we get our students engaged in learning—but that’s the topic of another blog post!)

Video One: “Ruby Reaches for a Toy”

An infant, a toy and a rug.


Video Two: “A Montessori Morning”

A four-year-old and his uninterrupted Montessori Work Period: three hours sped up to fit into four minutes.


Video Three: “Montessori Madness”

A comic depiction of Montessori elementary, by Trevor Eissler, a Montessori parent and advocate.

We hope you’ll watch each video, before you click to Part Two, where we discuss a central idea that connects all three. (There are many connections, for sure—but I’ve picked one that really jumped out to me.) Feel free to share your answers and reactions in the comments—then click on Part Two to read about the central Montessori idea that stood out as I watched these three videos.

Have fun!