The E.M. Standing Center

The E.M. Standing Center for Montessori Studies School of Education Seattle University, Seattle, WA 98122-4460


Edwin Mortimer Standing was the child of Quaker missionaries; born in Madagascar, and reared in England, he became one of the first and most devoted adherents of Dr. Maria Montessori. He was a translator of her lectures and books. He also wrote two important books on Montessori; Montessori, The Revolution in Education, a short introduction to her ideas, and Maria Montessori, Her Life and Work, which is still considered the standard biography.

In the 1960's, Mr. Standing entered into a correspondence about Montessori with a faculty member at Seattle University's School of Education, Fr. William J. Codd. As a result of this correspondence, Mr. Standing came to Seattle University and began to give lectures on the philosophy of Maria Montessori. Father Codd and Mr. Standing found a ready audience for Montessori's ideas in the Seattle area.

When Mr. Standing died, he left his estate to the University to support Montessori education. This consisted of a small sum of money, the royalties from his books, and his personal papers. Fr. Codd established the E. M. Standing Center for Montessori Studies in his honor.

From 1973 to 1986, Seattle University offered a Montessori teacher education program. This program was begun by Sr. Christina Trudeau, and was affiliated with the American Montessori Society. Much of the growth in Montessori education in the Seattle area was due to the Seattle University program. Karla Marken directed the program after Sr. Trudeau's departure. John Chattin-McNichols was the director of the program from 1979 to 1986. The program ended at Seattle University in 1986 because of declining enrollment. This was due to the rising costs of Seattle University tuition; in 1986, it would have cost almost $7,000. to take the Montessori course.

The Standing Center supported the Montessori program through purchasing Montessori materials. Since the ending of the Montessori program, these materials are used in child development and other classes in the School of Education.

Researchers have made some use of Standing's papers, and a small fraction have been published. There are still numerous pieces worthy of further study, including Standing's lecture notes, word for word, of two whole courses given by Dr. Montessori in the 1920's, and a second volume of Her Life and Work.


For more information, contact John Chattin-McNichols at jcm@seattleu.edu

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