Montessori emphasizes reality-based hands-on learning. Classrooms are arranged with child-size furniture and open spaces to invite movement and exploration, with materials available on shelves around the room. Prepared environments allow the teacher to spend each day giving presentations or demonstrations of activities available on the classroom shelves. Children can observe a presentation, work independently, get their own snack or visit the in-class bathroom as the need arises. To the extent that they’re able to accept and respond to it, this freedom allows children to develop self-control and an internal set of guidelines that become part of their personalities.
These special environments also let children explore materials through a variety of tasks, which leads to thinking about how the tasks and materials all relate to each other. Each activity takes place at a table or while the child is seated at a rug. Free interaction in the classroom helps our students develop social relationships, with the older children in the room helping the younger students. Meanwhile, the logical, sequential nature of the curriculum provides orderly structure that guides discovery and creativity. Expectations are clearly stated in the classroom and reinforced by the teacher and the students.
This setting naturally leads to every child feeling important and like a member of the community. Children in the Montessori environment feel active, strong, excited, happy, relaxed, sociable and proud as they do their daily work. In short, Montessori students discover the joy in learning, and develop a sense of pride and ownership in their work.
Education for life