Montessori education is not a system of teaching but a method of helping children in the total development of their personalities during the fundamental period of maturation. The child must have freedom in order to develop his or her personality to the fullest – a freedom that is achieved through work, order, and self-discipline. The world of the child is filled with sights and sounds which at first appear chaotic. From this chaos, the child must gradually create order, and learn to distinguish among the impressions that assail his/her senses, slowly but surely gaining mastery of self and environment.
Dr. Montessori developed what she called “the prepared environment”, which already possesses a certain order. This specially designed environment provides exactly what is needed for the child at each plane of development.
“Scientific observation has established that education is not what we teach. Education is the natural process carried out by the human individual and is acquired not by listing words, but by experiences in the environment.” –Maria Montessori