The Montessori method of education is characterized by respect for the child as an active learner who forms his own character in an environment of ordered freedom. Dr. Maria Montessori observed that every child has certain needs and tendencies. These are natural impulses leading the child without conscious effort to perform those activities which will bring about learning, growth and development. Among those needs and tendencies are movement, the use of all the senses, a capacity for sustained concentration and a strong sense of order.
Dr. Montessori also recognized critical periods of development. During such a period, the child is endowed with a special sensitivity which urges him to focus his attention on certain aspects of his environment. When education is organized in accord with these sensitive periods, children work with remarkable, sustained enthusiasm.
Dr. Montessori also found that the child has a different type of mind from the adult’s, an absorbent mind, which enables him to learn quickly and easily, as if by simple absorption. The child is not a passive recipient of knowledge but an active learner, using all his senses to explore and master the order in his environment.
The Montessori classroom is a prepared environment for physical, emotional, intellectual, aesthetic and spiritual development. Children learn geography, science, history, reading spelling, mathematics and English grammar and composition along with good work habits and respect for themselves, others and property.