The Montessori learning environment is a thoughtfully conceived and painstakingly prepared. The classrooms are refreshingly sensible in their approach to educating children. The learning environment is executed with elegance, simplicity, and good common sense.
First, we create a space that is orderly and child-sized.
Maria Montessori wrote, “ Only practical experience and work lead to maturity…. Those children who have been able to work with their hands make headway in their development, and reach a strength of character which is conspicuous.”
At the Montessori School we provide specially designed, concrete materials that engage the children constantly in their own learning, allowing each to learn — and to understand — by doing. There is time for process, and the fixing of one’s attention on a key experience that engages a unique concentration and promotes the necessary repetition to imprint the experience within the intellect. In this way knowledge is learned with enthusiasm and guided through hands-on experience. Inspiration and motivation is intrinsic in the educational process.
The fundamental characteristic of the Montessori environment is the prevailing order in the classroom, we create a space that is orderly and child-sized. This order includes a neat and tidy work area, along with proper display of materials, but goes beyond to social conditions and the acceptance of constructive activity as the means for development.
Here, the child feels comfortable. He doesn’t feel small or out of place. He relates to the room. The order of the room assists him in orienting, in getting to know the physical space. Its consistency means that he can count on finding what he needs. Here, he can establish a secure relationship with the objects in the room. The classroom feels more like a home than an institution.
“We all know the sense of comfort of which we are conscious when a good half of the floor space in a room is unencumbered; this seems to offer us the agreeable possibility of moving about freely.”