I explore Montessori’s story in terms of her initial warm reception by America to her educational research, and her later cooling off, once Dewey’s student, Kilpatrick, published The Montessori System Examined and declared her work to be based on psychological theory that was fifty years behind the times. I argue that there is a troubling gendered side to Montessori’s story that affected her in significant ways and still lingers and limits her contribution to educational theory, and for my purposes, democratic theory. We recognize Dewey’s significant contributions to democratic theory but not Montessori’s; I hope to help right that wrong.

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