Montessori Method is an “education by means of liberty in a prepared environment.” The “prepared environment” consists of an open and airy classroom with many materials with each area of learning displayed in an ordered fashion. It is the objective that this ordered environment will create an ordered life. The child learns to return each job to its place before choosing a new project. The pre-school child has the free choice of jobs within the prepared environment which creates independence and self-direction. The free choice is limited to each material not already in use by another child, unless the child using a specific material “invites” another child to aid or share in the project. This develops respect of individuals and their rights as well as cooperative skills.
The elementary child works on a “contract basis.” The child has the responsibility of scheduling his or her time to complete a given amount of work in a given amount of time. The child has the freedom of set the work sequence.
Younger students make extensive use of self-correcting materials. These help children to develop motor and sensory skills, to lengthen concentration span, to discover problem-solving techniques, to learn to care for themselves, and to work with others.
The teacher’s role in the Montessori classroom is to motivate and stimulate children by continuously introducing them to new materials and activities. Cooperative projects help children bring together individual talents to accomplish common goals.