Skip to main content

Summit Montessori School

Search form

Montessori Math and the Developing Brain

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Montessori Math and the Developing Brain


Why do we teach Mathematics the way we do in Montessori classrooms? Research indicates many advantages to using materials rather than relying on textbooks and other pre-packaged curricula. These advantages include the child’s deep understanding of what s/he is learning, as opposed to memorized or mere surface learning. They also include the child’s ability to come to abstraction as s/he is truly ready, rather than when the text demands it.  What we don’t always think about is that using these concrete materials also helps build a more powerful brain in each child. Children internalize the patterns that are inherent in the number system through use of Montessori didactic materials. This pattern internalization creates a mental framework that supports all mathematical learning moving forward.

On Thursday March 14th, 2019 Michael Duffy will present an evening of exploring the ways in which your children are learning mathematics and the number system through use of the Montessori materials. As you learn more about Montessori math, you will be more at ease with an approach that may be very different from the way most of us learned math.

Michael Duffy has been a Montessori classroom teacher and a teacher-trainer for almost 30 years, including his current position as co-director of the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative (METTC) in Lexington, MA.  He holds American Montessori Society credentials at the 6-12 age level and taught both lower and upper elementary classes at the Blackstock Montessori School in Ville Rica, GA. He holds a M.Ed. with a specialty in media education. As a teacher-trainer, he has taught adults in Lexington, MA for the past five years and previously in New York, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Vancouver, and Puerto Rico. He has given keynote presentations and workshops at national and international Montessori and non-Montessori conferences. Michael co-authored with his wife D’Neil the books Children of the Universe: Cosmic Education in the Montessori Elementary Curriculum, and Love of learning: Promoting Intrinsic Motivation in Montessori Classrooms, and he authored the book Math Works: Montessori Math and the Developing Brain. Michael and his wife were recipients of the American Montessori Society’s Living Legacy award in 2018.