Site-Wide Glossary

Site-Wide Glossary

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Absorbent mind

A term used by Montessori to describe the capacity of young children to absorb information from their environment without conscious effort. It is only observable in children from birth to approximately six years of age.

As you go assessment

A type of summative assessment specific to a Montessori Professional Learning Series course. 

It is an assessment item that is completed as the student progresses through the learning activities of a course or module.

At the end assessment

A type of summative assessment specific to a Montessori Professional Learning Series course. 

It is an assessment item that is completed after a student has completed all learning activities of a course or module.


Casa dei Bambini

Casa dei Bambini 1Casa dei Bambini 2

(In Italian: "Children's House”) It was the name of Dr. Montessori's first school in San Lorenzo. 

Certification Stream

One of two enrolment types in a Montessori Professional Learning Series course. 

Students work through all learning activities with the aim of achieving the learning outcomes of the modules.  Students are required to successfully complete the assessment items of the module, as judged by the trainer. Upon exit, students are awarded a Certificate of Attainment.

The other type of enrolment is the Participation Stream.

Children’s House

Children's House

The name often given to a classroom specifically prepared for early childhood - children between approximately 3 and 6 years of age. Other names include: casa, preschool, prep or kindergarten.

Control of error

Control of Error

A term used to describe an important design feature of Montessori Materials. 

Materials are designed to provide children with instant feedback as they work - allowing them to recognise, correct, and learn from mistakes without adult assistance. This puts the control in the hands of the learner and protects the young child's self-esteem and self-motivation.



DirectressThe label used by Montessori for the lead teacher in a Montessori classroom. 

In Montessori education, the role of the adult is to direct or guide individual children to purposeful activity based upon observations of each child's readiness. The child develops new skills and knowledge through hands-on learning with Montessori materials. 

Another label that is commonly used is "guide.”


Formative assessment

One of two types of assessments.

These are assessment activities designed to be informal means of checking students' learning.

They are most commonly embedded into the course content - through questions in lessons, forum discussions and wikis.

In Montessori Professional Learning Series courses, all students are required to complete formative assessment activities, regardless of the stream of study (participation or certification).

Four Planes of development

Four distinct periods of growth, development, and learning that build on each other as children and youth progress through them.

Each planes last for about 6 years, ending when the individual reaches maturity at approximately 24 years of age.


Infancy0 - 6the period of the "absorbent mind” and sensitive periods
Childhood6 - 12 the period of reasoning and abstraction
Adolescence 12 - 18 construction the "social self,” development of moral values and becoming emotionally independence
18 - 24
understanding of the self and the search to know one's place in the world

Planes of development

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