The Montessori Philosophy is based on the idea that every child has the innate urge to learn and grow, which is facilitated through interaction with his or her environment. The Montessori materials found in the classroom are designed to be manipulated and experimented with, promoting independence, concentration and creativity.
The Montessori classroom is based on four major principles:
1. The Child
Montessori realized that children are all different, needing the greatest individual liberty to grow. Children are not pressured to follow the pace of the teachers or other students. Instead, they work directly with the materials, competing only with themselves. Their success becomes its own reward.
2. Prepared Environment
Montessori believed that the classroom environment should facilitate maximum exploration and independence by the child. In the peaceful and ordered classroom, children work on activities of their own choice at their own pace. This gives them a sense of freedom and self-discipline designed to meet their developmental needs.
The children are able to solve problems independently, which builds self-confidence and analytical thinking.
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3. The Directress
Montessori called the teacher in the classroom the "Directress" because she directs the child's activity in the environment. She is the vital link between the children and the environment, presenting the materials so that the children have the greatest chance for success. The Directress is always aware of each child's goals and actively seeks ways to fulfll them.
4. The Materials
In the Montessori classroom colorful materials are attractively displayed on shelves, inviting children to work with them. The materials are self-correcting, and the children can realize their error without assistance.