The Montessori Environment

Dr Montessori created a learning environment to enhance the development and expression of these 'planes of development', each building on the previous one, providing the optimum opportunity for each individual to reach their full potential.

Respect for self and others develops as each child works within the Montessori classroom using grace and courtesy as a means of relating with their teachers, peers and environment.

The classroom forms part of the "prepared environment" which includes the equipment, the furniture and the activities set up by the Montessori teacher. This prepared environment also applies to the aesthetics in as much as the classroom should be beautiful, ordered and clean. This provides boundaries for children within which they can have freedom to choose.

Not only does a Montessori classroom encourage individual learning, it also provides opportunities for children to work together in a co-operative and caring manner providing opportunities to increase their communication skills.

Multi-age grouping provides a family style environment where the older children support and nurture younger children, consolidating their knowledge and skills in the process.

The Equipment

Equipment in the Montessori environment stimulates children into discovery and logical thought by being:

  • Appealing and challenging
  • Most often self-correcting
  • Designed to introduce only one new stimulus at a time
  • Sequenced from simple to complex
  • Designed to enable the child to learn specific skills and concepts

Within The Classroom

When observing a Montessori classroom you will notice students moving purposefully around the classroom. They select an activity from the many displayed on the easily accessible shelving. The children can work by themselves or with a friend or a group of friends on the chosen activity.

Depending on the activity students may work at a table or on a mat on the floor.