This system of education is both a philosophy of child development and a rationale for guiding such growth. It is based on two important developmental needs of children:
The need for freedom within limits
A carefully prepared environment which guarantees exposure to materials and experiences.
Through these developmental needs, the child develops intelligence as well as physical and psychological abilities. The Montessori method of education is designed to take full advantage of the childrens desire to learn and their unique ability to develop their own capabilities. Children need adults to expose them to the possibilities of their lives, but the children must determine their response to all the possibilities.
The main premises of Montessori education are:
Children are to be respected as different from adults and as individuals who differ from each other.
Children possess an unusual sensitivity and intellectual ability to absorb and learn from their environment that are unlike those of the adult both in quality and capacity.
The most important years of childrens growth are the first six years of life when unconscious learning is gradually brought to the conscious level.
Children have a deep love and need for purposeful work. They work, however, not as an adult for the completion of a job, but the sake of an activity itself. It is this activity which enables them to accomplish their most important goal: the development of their individual selves – their mental, physical and psychological powers.