The Five Principles of the Montessori Method
Principle 1: Respect for the Child – Appropriate behaviors are expected. These behaviors help the child support their own personal self satisfaction. The Montessori Method respects the child and also respects the learning process. This is the utter respect of the child. In the Montessori environments, mistakes are OK.
Principle 2: The Absorbent Mind – According the the American Montessori Society, the absorbent mind is from birth through age six. The young child experiences a period of intense mental activity that allows the child to “absorb” learning from him / her environment with conscious effort, naturally and spontaneously.
Principle 3: Sensitive Periods – The Montessori Method identifies eleven different sensitive periods that occur from birth through age six. Those are: order, movement, small objects, grace and courtesy, refinement of the senses, writing, reading, language, spatial relationships, music and mathematics.
Principle 4: The Prepared Environment – The Montessori concept of that the environment can be designed to facilitate maximum independent learning and exploration by the child. Montessori classrooms are designed to offer lessons, activities and tools that match the developmental needs and interests of each individual child.
Principle 5: Auto Education – Auto education or self education is the concept that the child is capable of education themselves. This is one of the most important beliefs in the Montessori Method. Montessori teachers provide the environment, the inspiration, the guidance and the encouragement for the child to educate themselves.