The Montessori Method
- It is based on observations of the nature of the child.
- Its application is universal; the results can be successfully achieved in any country and with any racial, cultural or economic group.
- It reveals the small child as a lover of work, both of the intellect and of mastery of the body (especially the hand). This work is spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy.
- Through his work, the child shows spontaneous discipline. This discipline originates within him and is not imposed from without. This discipline is real, as contrasted with the artificial discipline of rewards and punishments prevalent under other methods.
- It provides suitable occupations based on the vital urges of the child at each stage of development. Each stage is successfully mastered before the next is attained.
- It offers the child a maximumspontaneity in choice of physical and mental activity. Nevertheless the child reaches the same or higher levels of scholastic attainment as under traditional systems.
- Each child works at his own pace. The quick are not held back nor are the slow pressured. There is much opportunity for group work, and the children spontaneously offer help with work they have mastered to those children who have not.
- It enables the trained adult to guide each child individually in each subject according to his own individual requirements.
- It allows the child to grow in biological independence by respecting his needs and removing undue influence of the adult. It allows the child a large measure of liberty based on respect for the rights of others. This liberty is not permissive license, but forms the basis of real discipline.
- It does away with competition as a major motivation for learning. The child competes with himself. It presents endless opportunities for mutual work and help–these joyfully given and received.
- The child works from his own free choice. This choice is preceded by knowledge and is thus a real choice.
- The Montessori method develops the whole personality of the child, not merely his intellectual faculties but also his powers and deliberation, initiative and independent choice, with their emotional complements. By living as a free member of a real social community, the child is trained in those fundamental social qualities which form the basis of good citizenship.
Adapted and quoted from: The Montessori Method: A Revolution in Education. – E. M. Standing, The Academy Library Guild 1962.