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HWLG Principles

HWLG’s approach is based on the independent research results of Dr. Jean Lave and Dr. Maria Montessori and the practical application of their work as shown in quality Montessori schools and other schools that use the same principles. HWLG prescribes a learning framework that frees learners of all ages from the confines of traditional learning, by providing guidance on the most effective way to learn.

How we learn group principles

Guiding Principles of How Individuals Learn Based Upon Scientific Field Research by Dr. Jean Lave and Dr. Maria Montessori:

  • Learning is a process of change through doing, practicing, and engaging in life with others. (Lave)

  • The source and substance of learning is participating every day in all sorts of projects –work, play, family – and the ways we connect these actions across our lives is what changes who we are and what we do. (Lave)

  • Learning is “going out” into the world. When learners engage in real activities in actual, lived places, it creates meaningful interactions and authentic experiences. These in turn drive curiosity, passion, and growth. (Lave, Montessori)

  • Only learners can learn. (Lave) Learning needs to be learner led and learner centered, concentrating on the learner’s interest or passion at that time. (Lave, Montessori)

    • The individual’s “Sensitive Period”: the period of time when an individual is curious about  and/or focused on a specific experience. (Montessori)

  • Effective learning often happens when learners can observe and work with more-advanced and less-advanced peers, as in apprenticeship. (Lave)

  • A learning environment is a community of learners engaged in mentoring and collaborative, shared experiences. It includes learners of varying degrees of skill and talent. Learners observe others, help others, are helped by others, and work together.(Lave, Montessori)

  • A learning environment is caring, supportive, sharing, respectful, and allows choice. In this environment, learners are expected to take responsibility for their actions.(Montessori)

  • In a designated learning environment, a knowledgeable person continuously guides, facilitates, evaluates, and reinforces learning through observation of the individual learner and the learner’s interactions with their physical and social environments.(Montessori)

  • An optimal designated learning environment is clean, organized, free of clutter and distractions, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, physically and emotionally safe, and well maintained with freedom to move around. It is equipped with materials, furniture, equipment, and technology that are appropriate and facilitating. (Montessori)

Our Principles:
“Learning is a process of change through doing, practicing, and engaging in life with others.”

No matter what our society seems to emphasize, the traditional classroom is just one place where people learn. Learning actually happens quite a bit differently than you may think.

According to Dr. Jean Lave, a social anthropologist, learning isn’t just a matter of acquiring new information. It’s not a linear, start-to-finish process. It’s complex and hands-on—made possible by the people around us, our surroundings, our culture, and our desires to participate in different everyday situations.

Jean Lave Story


Maria Montessori Story

More than a century ago, one of Italy’s first female physicians discovered and documented not a curriculum for educating children, but a method of encouraging and enhancing the natural process by which they learn.


What began as observation and hands-on trial and error among poor and developmentally challenged Italian children is today the foundation for successful schools around the world. Maria Montessori blended her studies and experiences in medicine, psychiatry, and practically applied anthropology into the Montessori Method, an approach that challenges students to discover their strengths, fall in love with the process of learning, and creatively solve the problems they find before them.

“The child who does not do, does not know how to do.”
Lave & Montessori
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