The concepts of the Montessori approach to education are based on sophisticated understandings of the relationship between child development, learning, and the environment. After studying children in a variety of countries, cultures and backgrounds, Dr. Montessori came to the conclusion that the human mind is constructed to organize and learn from the environment. Based on this recognition, she developed a prepared environment carefully designed to support the young child’s absorbent mind and to assist in their complete development.
These key principles that contribute to the success of the Montessori approach are that movement and learning are closely connected and that movement enhances learning. Children working together in mixed age groups enables them to relate to children who are both older and younger. The Montessori guide's observation of the child reveals the proper timing for the introduction of new experiences, attending to the child’s sensitve periods of development. In addition, the classroom experience is built on the desire of the young child to master his or her environment and the use of self-correcting materials. These materials allow the child to manipulate and explore at their own pace.
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