Discipline in a Montessori School

Ground rules protect the rights and liberty of each individual child and the group as a whole. They promote the internalization of pro-social behaviors and values including: self-control of impulses, consideration of others and a sense of responsibility for oneself and the welfare of the group. Ground rules can help to make life at school easier, make the days run more smoothly, enable children to be more independent and help to develop responsibility. The number of ground rules is generally kept to a minimum, stated and presented in a positive manner with an emphasis on safety, respect for others / environment and the results benefits all members of the group.

Here is a list of some typical, often automatic, ground rules used in most Montessori classrooms:

  • The child selects a material to use from the shelf and takes it to a suitable table, floor and/or other designated work space.
  • The child is free to use the material as long as they like as long as it is treated with respect.
  • After using the material, the child returns it to its place on the shelf, in the same condition in which it was found, for the next person to use.
  • The children restore the environment, clean up spills and messes, put rugs away in proper order, push chairs in etc., after each activity
  • The child is free to work alone – no child is forced to share with another materials they have first chosen for activity.
  • The child has the right not to choose any materials or activity.

Many other common ground rules are established to insure safety if special equipment is used, when traveling as a grop, or when staying within supervised areas.

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