, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 78–85 | Cite as

Mindfulness Practices in Education: Montessori’s Approach

  • Angeline S. LillardEmail author


Mindfulness training has had salutary effects with adult populations and it is seen as a potentially helpful to children’s development. How to implement mindfulness practices with young children is not yet clear; some meditation practices, like sitting still for long periods with internally-self-regulated focused attention, seem developmentally inappropriate. Montessori schooling is a 100-year-old system that naturally incorporates practices that align with mindfulness and are suited to very young children. Here I describe how several aspects of Montessori education, including privileging concentrated attention, attending to sensory experience, and engaging in practical work, parallel mindfulness practices. These aspects might be responsible for some of the socio-emotional and executive function benefits that have been associated with Montessori education, and they could be adapted to conventional classroom methods.


Education Mindfulness practices Montessori Attention Concentration 



The author would like to acknowledge the support from the Brady Education Foundation through a grant and the National Science Foundation grant 1024293. This paper was presented at the Mind and Life Summer Research Institute, June, 2010, Garrison, New York.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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