The Montessori philosophy in education is based on the understanding that a child’s natural development is motivated from within, through powerful energies, and that this development passes through well-recognised and clearly observable phases from birth to adulthood.

It is an approach which carefully follows the development of the individual child and aims to meet their changing needs.

When a child’s interests are met and they are free to follow these according to the inner motivation, they can develop to their fullest potential at that stage. Through such activity the child is educating themself.

The role of the adult, therefore, is not to prescribe and limit but to

  • be prepared, providing equipment and materials to interest the child and give them opportunities for constructive activity
  • provide sensitive guidance and support where required and
  • be a natural role model for the child to observe and absorb.

In summary, the Montessori environment at all levels should be a dynamic and interactive source of experiences for the child, to nourish the developing intellect and emotions and provide opportunities for social and emotional wellbeing.

“And so we discover that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment.”

Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind

Structure with Choice in the Montessori classroom