Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Thornton, B., Hayes, N. and Garrity, S.
An Leanbh Og - Journal of Early Childhood Studies
‘It can be daunting guiding through play’, Engaging with Aistear within the Montessori setting
Optional Fields
Learning , Play, Aistear, Early Years, Montessori
Profound learning occurs in the early years of a child’s life, laying the foundation for future learning. This is evidenced by the emergence of national curriculum frameworks focused on early childhood education and care (ECEC) provision (OECD, 2013; Dahlberg et al., 2007; NCCA, 2005). The publication of Aistear, the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework (NCCA, 2009) marked a milestone in Irish ECEC policy. Play lays the foundation for Aistear; the guidelines ‘Learning and Developing through Play’ support the provision of play-based, child centred experiences, nurturing children’s holistic development. At first glance, the Montessori approach, developed by Dr Maria Montessori in the early 1900s, appears to be at odds with this emphasis, promoting, as it does learning through sensory experiences, the engagement with the specific Montessori materials and the prepared environment (Lillard, 2012). With the establishment of a ‘play based’ national curriculum framework, Montessori preschools may find a need to adapt their practice and provision, while remaining true to their underpinning philosophy. This intersection of traditional practice and emerging policy set the context for a recent qualitative research project based in the West of Ireland. The study, reported herein, explores the experiences of ECEC Practitioners who adhere to Montessori’s educational philosophy, and their understanding of learning and development through play, as set out in Aistear
2009-5902 / 2009-5910
Grant Details
Publication Themes
Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy