I agree with your observation about some Montessori schools. Regarding the idea of learning to be independent without being pushed, again, this was not Montessori’s intention for children. She gave examples of how teachers should observe children and help them discover things when they are ready, and her classrooms were designed to promote self-discovery. She taught life skills like tying shoelaces, or taking a bath, to children who had no role models to teach them. Montessori was appalled by the classrooms of the time, and designed the child-sized furniture and child-friendly environment we see in our preschools today.
As HH Dalai Lama said, “To study a text, we should take into account the circumstances, the situation, the time, the society and the community was originally written or a teaching taught.”
As an English historian wrote, when Montessori started her work, education was the “gloomiest chapter in Italian social history.” So, we could at least praise her for her lifelong efforts to change that.
Personally, I would probably not send my child to a montessori school today. But, I think her philosophies are well-worth reading, and there are many ideas in say “The Montessori Method” (available on-line) that many of us working with young children here would benefit from contemplating. And, the history of education is actually very interesting.
Anyway, I still need any ref. to that quote in my first post, can anyone help?