To Will Or Not To Will

To Will Or Not To Will is a short online course for Montessori teachers, working with children under six years. It will explore a question that is crucial to Montessori practice: how to balance the adult’s will against the child’s will in order to provide environments that are true enablers of children’s development.  

Over three sessions our Head of Training Louise Livingston will look closely at Montessori’s writings for elucidation of Montessori’s conceptualisation of the will. She will also draw on current educational neuroscience to gain further insight.

Who is the course for?
This course is for those who have a Montessori 3-6 Diploma or assistants working with this age group in a Montessori environment.

What will I learn about?

If you have ever asked yourself these questions, then this course is for you:

  • How do I balance the apparently contradictory ideas of being relentless in my effort to engage children in purposeful activity against allowing them to make their own spontaneous independent choices?
  • How do I know when to step back so the child’s will can emerge?
  • Do I really understand my own will and the effect it has on the development of the will of children?
  • When does my intervention promote the child’s will and when does it inhibit it?
  • Does the language I use make children feel they don’t really have a choice even if I am saying they do?
  • How is the will related to self-discipline?
  • Is self-control the same as self-discipline?

Participants will receive an MMI certificate upon completion of the course.

Standard Fee: £95

Upcoming Courses:

In English – starts 9th May 2024

Sessions will run online on Thursdays from 6:30– 8:30pm (UK time) on the following dates:  9th, 16th and 23rd May 2024.

To view additional ticket options, click the "Filter by Date" button and select more dates.


Details Price Qty
Standard Ticket £95.00 (GBP)  

About the Trainer

Louise Livingston first developed an interest in understanding children through her work as a counsellor for abused children with the UK charity Childline. She gained her Montessori diploma at the 3-6 level at the Maria Montessori Institute in London and worked for many years in Children’s Houses latterly running one of the Maria Montessori Institute’s own exemplar schools. Louise is presently Head of Training at the Maria Montessori Institute in London, where she also directs the 3-6 courses. She is the coordinator of the AMI faculty delivering Montessori training in China and has been training Montessori teachers in China since 2011 and co-ordinates the AMI China Training of Trainers programme. She is an AMI Examiner, an AMI Trainer of Trainers, a school mentor and lectures both in the UK and internationally. 

She is a member of the AMI Training Group, which directs the AMI Training of Trainers Programme, and a member of the AMI Global Research Group. 

Louise is managing editor of the AMI parent support initiative Aid to Life and was responsible for co-writing and editing all the audio visual and printed resources, as well as overseeing their translation into multiple languages. 

She holds a MSc and MPhil in Pharmacology and an MSc in Educational Neuroscience, having submitted a dissertation exploring the interplay between Executive Function and engagement in activities in a Montessori Children’s House. She is now undertaking a PhD. Her doctoral studies address the role of motor skills and executive function in development.

How will I study?
The course will take place with live sessions on Zoom. You can access the sessions on a PC/laptop/tablet/smartphone with speakers, a microphone and a good internet connection. You will have opportunities to ask the trainer questions during the session.

Please note that we strongly recommend the use of a desktop computer or laptop for all live Zoom sessions.

Do you accept students from outside the UK?
The course can be taken from anywhere in the world but will be delivered via live online sessions so you will need to check the time in your time zone.