Steve Hughes’ conference – “Education for life: neurosciences perspectives on Montessori education” – held in Vésenaz on May 9, 2019, in partnership with the Maria Montessori Training Institute (IFMM)
Dr. Steve Hughes, a renowned American pediatric neuropsychologist and a prominent member of the Research Council of the International Montessori Association, is no longer being introduced.
The purpose of his intervention in Vésenaz was the confrontation between Montessori pedagogy and neuroscience, through the key concept of Montessori as “education for life”. A complex program that Dr. Steve Hughes has made intelligible to everyone.
Beginning by recalling the specificity of living systems, which is to resist the second law of thermodynamics by extracting energy from their environment to survive, he presented the child as a living being lacking the skills necessary for survival. Hence the importance of freedom of movement for children, through which they will gradually acquire the opportunity to interact with their environment. The brain is thus an extraordinary tool for adapting to the environment.
The role of a Montessori environment is first and foremost to promote the child’s purposeful movement, which helps to build his or her brain. In this sense, Montessori pedagogy is directly an “aid to life”.