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Maria Montessori on Italian currency.

Learning by doing: using the Montessori method in dementia care

The Montessori method of education was developed by the Italian physician, anthropologist and pedagogue Maria Montessori in the early 20th Century.

The philosophy centres around a child’s innate abilities. It is often described as a way of learning by doing and is used in over 22,000 schools worldwide.

Dr Cameron Camp, from the Center For Applied Research In Dementia in Ohio, USA, came in contact with the philosophy via his wife, a Montessori teacher, and his two children who were taught the Montessori way.

Slowly, Camp came to believe that the principles that his wife taught day to day could be applied to his work with people with dementia.

This led to the development of a program of activities that combines rehabilitation principles and the educational techniques of Montessori, using the physical and cognitive abilities available to individuals, in the hope that they can be supported to live fulfilling lives.

Camp is in Australia to give a number of workshops for Dementia Australia and joined Aged Care Insite to discuss his work.

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