In "Montessori from the Start: Foundations for Independence," Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen describe the ways in which the Montessori approach, particularly as it applies to infants and toddlers, is unique. Traditional education views babies and young children as "empty vessels" to be "filled" by an adult. Instead, "in Montessori education the adult must do an about-face. From the continual dispenser of knowledge, he or she has to learn to accompany and serve the child on a journey of self-formation, to an independent and fully functioning being."
Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen co-founded Forest Bluff School in 1982. Additionally, Lillard and Jessen co-authored Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three.