There were certain things that Montessori saw were very important for a child's natural development.
Montessori saw that children held within them something wonderful, something so special that it could be the key to changing the world. She saw that they were inherently good and that, if allowed to develop freely, they felt connected to everything and were naturally caring to each other and the world around them. The more that she worked with the children, the more convinced she was that they had precise inner guides and that the work of adults was to help them to be all that they could be. She felt that it was the spiritual nature of children that had been ...view middle of the document...
What became clear is that at such times it was as though there was a light shining on that particular activity that completely held the childs attention. If left to follow this natural interest the child could achieve much more than would normally be expected. Montessori teachers therefore watch out for these very creative periods and make sure that the children have the freedom to follow their interests.
Children learn through their senses
Montessori saw that children built on their physical experiences of the world through their senses and that by carefully designing interesting materials which the children were drawn to experiment with, she could help them extend this understanding. She did so by taking each of the senses in turn and developing materials that isolated certain aspects that could then be increasingly explored by the children. She believed that children loved working with beautiful objects so all the materials were prepared with the greatest care. Rather than proving to be outdated in the modern world, these beautifully designed items have gone on to show how accurate Montessoris initial observations were. Many are now reproduced in schools of all types throughout the world.
Children need freedom
Montessori saw freedom as the single most important factor in allowing children to develop as spontaneous, creative individuals. She saw the role of education as providing environments in which the children could be set free to follow their natural impulses to become the wonderfully dynamic, natural learners they were designed to be.
Children absorb their culture
Montessori's emphasis on children being allowed the freedom to work alone and to develop concentration, did not mean that she underestimated the importance of social development. Instead what she saw was that it was precisely because the children were allowed to work in such freedom that they could display such love and care towards others. She saw that children literally absorbed the world around them and that true discipline and harmony was something that came from within and was not something that could be enforced.
Montessori called her teachers Directresses because she felt that they sensitively guided, rather than controlled, the childrens activities. She asked that they be more psychologists than teachers and considered that success lay in the ongoing nature of the teachers own personal development as well...