The Inclusive Classroom: Creating a Cherished Experience through Montessori brings together experts in Montessori Education and Special Education for the 3- to 6-year-old child in Montessori school. This book will be used by Montessori professionals in teacher training programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, by Montessori teachers in classrooms including public, private, sectarian, and nonsectarian schools for classrooms ages 3 to 6, and by Montessori administrators in all types of schools. The Montessori chapters (Introduction, Practical Life, Sensorial, Math/Geometry, Language, and Conclusion) describe and include examples of how to modify or re-present Montessori lessons for children with learning challenges. These lessons are supported by the principles of Universal Design for Learning AND specific standards from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Ginger Kelley McKenzie, EdD, is professor emeritus, Montessori Institute, Xavier University, a past member the Board of Directors of the American Montessori Society (2010-2016, and the former executive director at Amarillo Montessori Academy, Amarillo, Texas, where she also taught 3-6, 6-9, 9-12. Ginger has 39 journal publications and 56 professional presentations in the United States, Taiwan, South Korea, and Canada.
Victoria S. Zascavage, PhD, is associate professor and director of special education programs in the School of Education, Xavier University. With a focus on issues of transition, equity, and educational best practices for students, she has published in journals such as International Journal of Special Education, Teacher Education Quarterly, the Middle School Journal, Higher Education Research and Development, and the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science.
Vanessa M. Rigaud, EdD, is an assistant professor at the Montessori Institute, Xavier University, in Cincinnati, OH, and a former teacher and administrator in both public and private Montessori schools. She holds Montessori credentials in Early Childhood and Elementary I-II.
Crystal Dahlmeier, MEd., is a Montessori consultant, teaches at two Montessori teacher training centers, and holds a Montessori credential in Early Childhood. She has taught in Montessori classrooms in the United States, U.K., Australia, and South Korea for over 40 years. She has presented at conferences both nationally and internationally.
My Le N. Vo, MEd, is the principal and middle school teacher at the Montessori Learning Institute and executive director and instructor at the Montessori Teacher Education Institute, Houston, Texas. She holds a Montessori credential in Early Childhood and Elementary. She is the author of various educational materials and teacher training manuals.
Forewordby Laura Saylor PhD
Chapter 1 - Introductionby Ginger Kelley McKenzie and Victoria S. Zascavage
Chapter 2 - Practical Lifeby My Le N. Vo
Chapter 3 - Montessori Sensorial Lessonsby Crystal Dahlmeier
Chapter 4 - Montessori Early Childhood Math and Geometryby Ginger Kelley McKenzie and Victoria S. Zascavage
Chapter 5 - Montessori Early Childhood Language Practices Meet the Needs of All Learnersby Vanessa M. Rigaud
Chapter 6 - Conclusionby Ginger Kelley McKenzie and Victoria S. Zascavage
About the Authors
The Inclusive Classroom: Creating a Cherished Experience through Montessori demonstrates the
effectiveness of a dynamic pedagogy whose curriculum and facility for differentiated instruction puts the child at the center while encouraging engagement, connection-making and concept mastery according to the child’s needs. All early childhood practitioners can benefit from the conscious links of Montessori curricula and methodology to the NAEYC standards and the Universal Learning Design framework in this clearly written guide to meeting the needs of young learners in an inclusive early childhood classroom community. The reference to specific curriculum lessons enhanced by case study examples makes this a suitable handbook for teacher education students as well as new and experienced early childhood practitioners.
The authors offer their reader a bridge connecting the Montessori pedagogy with best practices in inclusive early childhood education. Each chapter highlights key areas of the Montessori curriculum, demonstrating how to modify lessons to increase accessibility for all children. Educators will recognize Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and alignment with National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) standards as complementary to the Montessori philosophy - offering a foundational approach to creating equitable early learning experiences for all children.
The Inclusive Classroom: Creating a Cherished Experience Through Montessori provides insight into the direct link between Montessori, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and meeting the needs of all learners, including those with disabilities. It supports teachers with clear lessons, examples, and suggested adaptations to foster an environment that promotes the philosophy of Maria Montessori through a contemporary lens that adheres to the National Association for the Education of Young Children standards.
Research has shown that Montessori teachers feel positively about inclusion but may not be confident in their knowledge on how best to implement it. While Montessori teacher preparation provides a strong foundation, this book is a much needed, practical guide that integrates Montessori practices with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) which brings the field back to Maria Montessori’s roots in serving children with special needs.
The book entitled,The Inclusive Classroom: Creating a Cherished Experience through Montessori, beautifully embraces the gift of a Montessori education while updating the curriculum to address the issues that impact the modern classroom. Each chapter examines a different component of a Montessori education while addressing the current curricular standards which guide our collective practice and acknowledges the needs of all learners. Humbly, the authors attend to the essence of a Montessori education while offering suggestions to meet the needs of diverse learners while respecting the child’s learning and opportunity for growth.