An important aspect of the Montessori philosophy is that within each child is the person he will become. In order to develop the child’s fullest potential (physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally), he must have freedom. This comes through order and self-discipline.Montessori education succeeds because it is based on the principles of the natural development of the child. The method meets the needs of the individual, regardless of the child’s learning style, social maturity or ability. Each Montessori classroom is a prepared environment (with carefully arranged sequential learning materials) where children are free to exercise their natural drive to work and learn. Their natural love of learning is encouraged by providing them opportunities to engage in spontaneous, meaningful activities under the guidance of a trained adult. It is through their work with the materials that the children develop concentration, motivation, persistence and self-discipline.
The mixed ages and diverse backgrounds of the children in both the Primary Class (for three to six year olds) and the Elementary Class (for six to 12 year olds) allow for individual and social development. The more experienced children share what they have learned with those newer to the class.
The Montessori teacher, a guide and observer, has the goal of intervening less and less as a child develops. She helps promote self-confidence and self-discipline through encouraging the child and building an atmosphere of calm, order and joy in learning. The teacher is more active with the younger children at each level, showing them the use of the materials and presenting activities based on an individual assessment of each child. The teacher develops an understanding of when to observe and when to intervene during a rigorous, specialized course of training at one of the AMI training centers (located in the United States and throughout the world).
The Montessori child is free to learn because he has acquired an inner discipline of concentration, thoroughness and perseverance from exposure to order. The groundwork for a lifetime of confident, joyful and interested learning is laid as the child develops social and intellectual discipline.