Montessori Principles: Observation: Montessori's Secret Ingredient

Details and Price

Presenters: Anna Perry, Jennifer Nolan
Representing: Seton Montessori Institute, Clarendon Hills, IL
For: Montessori school leaders interested in an overview of Montessori concepts


This presentation is part of a package of 5 webinars available for a 90-day rental via Vimeo On Demand. You may watch all 5 webinars any time and as often as you like within your rental period. 

$150/package of 5 webinars (Certificate of Continuing Professional Development for 1 person)


Observation is at the heart of everything we do in Montessori. As a scientist and an educator, Maria Montessori used observation as the basis of her discoveries and theories, paving the way to the development of Montessori education as we know it today. At our very essence, Montessori educators are to be “scientific pedagogues”— reliant on observation, analysis, and reflective responses to guide all activity. In the absence of meaningful and ongoing observation and documentation, we would be hard-pressed to call our schools Montessori schools. 

In active, mixed-age classrooms and busy administrative offices, observation can be over-shadowed by the many details that need to get handled each day. Dedicating time to observe, document, and analyze has been a perennial issue for many. In this session we will explore school-wide observation, address common hurdles, and share some ways to create a culture of observation within your school.  

Additionally, our view of observation in the whole school culture can be shortsighted at times, found only in the job description for teachers. Observation is fundamental to all aspects of effective school functioning and is everyone’s work in the Montessori setting. As our primary assessment tool, understanding and articulating the essential nature of observation is critical to the administrative role. Observation is a vital step in gathering the information necessary to effectively support students, teachers, and parents.

This webinar will you think more broadly about observation at the administrative level, used not only as an annual employee assessment tool, but as a way to achieve a more encompassing view of classroom and school effectiveness. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn about Montessori’s concept of the “scientific pedagogue”—or, in today’s terms, teacher researcher
  • Understand how observation is the foundational practice in a Montessori classroom
  • Explore suggestions for creating a schoolwide culture of observation as a priority
  • Consider suggestions for becoming model observers and fitting the practice into their administrative role

About the Presenter

Anna Perry, MEd, is executive director of Seton Montessori Institute and Schools, in Clarendon Hills, IL, and a consultant for Montessori schools and teacher education programs worldwide.  AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Administrator).

Jennifer Nolan is head of school at Seton Montessori School, and a program coordinator and lecturer for Seton Montessori Institute, both in Clarendon Hills, IL. With a degree in journalism and over a decade working in corporate communication and training, Jennifer specializes in communication with parents, staff, and student resource specialists. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood, Administrator).