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Montessori Principles

The following Montessori principles are valid throughout all subjects and during all planes of development.

  1. Follow the Child Dr. Montessori was not interested in teaching the children a particular subject as such. Her interest was in the child. The task she set herself was to try to discover all aspects of natural human development.
  2. The Prepared Environment The prepared environment contains materials that permit children to reach abstractions. The materials given to the children contain either an indirect preparation for future work or the possibility of bringing into the light of consciousness something the child has already possessed in the subconscious. They can also accomplish both at the same time. The materials analyze complex abilities and knowledge into their component parts, including isolation of quality or of difficulty.
  3. Mixed Ages Children in the classroom must be of mixed ages. There is a minimum of a three-year span required for each (excepting classes as they are being established) and each group must be able to move easily from classroom to classroom.
  4. A Planned Sequence with Freedom of Time There is no “timetable” for the teaching of a particular subject. Children can stay with a subject for an indefinite period of time, allowing them to store more subconscious information to renew as conscious realization. We give freedom of choice and freedom of time as much as is practically possible.
  5. Individual Concentration Abstraction is the result of individual experience. Each child must experience things for themselves, as a person cannot really benefit from other people’s abstractions. The time involved in reaching abstractions differs from person to person.
  6. Interest is Key The interest in certain exercises and activities are really determined by the sensitive periods and not by the efforts of the teacher alone.
  7. Build a Community Each Montessori classroom is a stable community for children to stay for least three years. Montessori children learn how to become an active part of the community at a very young age. They make friends by interacting with each other, they take grace and courtesy lessons, they learn how to observe, they practice leadership by taking care of their environment and taking care of their friends, they pay attention to details, and they are happy to help whenever there is a need.

“In fact we do not have a program for instructing a child, but rather it is the child who, living in the midst of, and developing himself with the helps of physical and intellectual labors achieves different levels of culture which generally speaking corresponds to his advance  in age. ”                                            – Dr. Montessori, The Discovery of the Child