Guided by Nature
The Guided by Nature theme for the Portland 2013 Congress reads, “The 2013 International Montessori Congress will allow us to look closer at how Montessori education is guided by children’s natural development and how that growth fosters a respectful relationship with the environment.” The chorus of voices that you will hear in this publication represents the Montessori legacy of the child and nature as an evolving vision of lifelong learning (early childhood, childhood, and adolescence) that was integral to an evolving pedagogy that is now 106 years old. What is the Montessori book of nature that scrutinizes these two natures: one nature belonging to the developing human and the other nature to the changing natural environment? Maria Montessori discovered the unfolding nature of childhood within the literal framework of a house and a garden. An ordered and prepared environment inside contrasted with a changing, evolving, prepared environment filled with living things on the outside. The children’s house fully integrates the two natures of childhood with two surrounding and complementary physical environments, one man-made and the other natural.