- AMI approved
- Unequalled beauty
- Precise control of error
- Exact isolation of one quality
- Perfect interrelations
A children's house
The Montessori pre-school classroom is a ‘living room’ for children, a place in which they should feel at home and secure. Children choose their activities from among the self-correcting materials displayed on open shelves that allow the children to learn through all five senses.
Provide children with an early and general foundation
The preschool environment unifies the psychosocial, physical and academic functioning of the child. Its most important task is to provide children with an early and general foundation that will enable them to acquire more specialised knowledge and skills throughout their school career. This foundation includes a positive attitude toward school; an inner security and a sense of order and pride in the physical environment; abiding curiosity; a habit of concentration; habits of initiative and persistence; the ability to make decisions; self-discipline; and a sense of responsibility towards other members of the class, school, and community.
When children come into the world, their first function is to adapt to their environment so that they may become a member of the human group to which they uniquely belong.
The Sensorial Materials have been given many names: Materialized Abstractions, Keys to the Universe, Paths to Culture…The materials are deceptively simple in appearance and totally satisfying to the developing child.
Visitors came from all over the world to see Maria Montessori’s “miracle children,” the children in her first Casa dei Bambini in Rome.
Of all the Montessori apparatus, the Math Materials are the most glamorous. They are beautiful, showy, and in their simplicity, supremely intelligent. They give children a sensorial experience of the abstraction that is mathematics.
In the first three years of life, children have absorbed a limitless wealth of impressions, taking in all the elements of the world around them. Among these are a multitude of animals, plants, trees, and flowers – an infinite variety of growing things.
With the Geography Materials, the child is given the facts of his physical world – that it is a sphere, that this sphere is composed of land masses and bodies of water, that these have different forms and that these forms have names.
The materials themselves invite activity. There are bright arrays of solid geometric forms, knobbed puzzle maps, coloured beads, and various specialised rods and blocks. All the materials in a Montessori environment are designed, for the child to be as independent as possible and everything, including a dustpan and brush, is child sized. The activities are laid out in an orderly way on easy accessible open shelves and the design of the materials makes it easy for the child to identify, and gradually correct, any error. This last point eliminates the need for correction by a teacher, a feature that has become a mainstay of traditional education. Instead of having an external force judging him, the child relies on the impersonal judgement that comes from his senses. The guidance the material itself offers may be mechanical (all the pieces fit together only one way), it may be visual (the eye checking groups of objects sorted by touch), or there may be an answer sheet. In any event, the more a child relies on its own judgement, the more it develops a ‘friendly feeling’ towards error and that is the best way to self-improvement.