The Montessori learning environment and activities for your child reflects the school's Montessori philosophy and goals. Montessori's education method calls for free activity within a "prepared environment", meaning an educational environment tailored to basic human characteristics, to the specific characteristics of children at different ages, and to the individual personalities of each child. The function of the environment is to help and allow the child to develop independence in all areas according to his or her inner psychological directives. In addition to offering access to the Montessori materials appropriate to the age of the children, the environment should exhibit the following characteristics:
Montessori education is fundamentally a model of human development and an educational approach based on that model.
The course of study uses an integrated thematic approach that ties the separate disciplines of the curriculum together into studies of the physical universe, the world of nature, and the human experience. Literature, the arts, history, social issues, political science, economics, science and the study of technology all complement one another. This integrated approach is one of Montessori's great strengths. Montessori schools offer a rigorous and innovative academic program. First, children and developing adults engage in psychological self-construction by means of interaction with their environments. Second, children, especially under the age of six, have an innate path of psychological development. Based on her observations, Maria Montessori believed that children at liberty to choose and act freely within an environment prepared according to her model would act spontaneously for optimal development.
Maria Montessori saw universal, innate characteristics in human psychology identified as "human tendencies" as listed below:
In order for self-directed learning to take place, the whole learning environment-classroom, materials and social setting must be supportive of the child. The teacher provides the necessary resources, including opportunities for children to function in a safe and positive environment. Together, the teacher and the child form a relationship based on trust and respect that fosters self-confidence and willingness to try new things.