The basic idea in the Montessori philosophy of education is that every child carries unseen within him the man he will become. In order to develop his physical, intellectual and spiritual powers to the fullest.

Dr. Maria Montessori developed what she called the "prepared environment' which already possesses a certain order and disposes the child at his own speed,

The child who has had the benefit of a Montessori environment is freer at a later age to devote himself more exclusively to the development of his intellectual faculties. The method by which children are taught in the Montessori school might well be called "structured learning".

Dr. Montessori as recognized that the only valid impulse to learning is the self-motivation of the child. Children move themselves toward learning.


1. It is based on years of patient observation of child nature by the greatest educational genius since Froebel.

2. It has proved itself of universal application. Within a single generation it has been tried with complete success with children of almost every civilized nation. Race, color, climate, nationality, social rank, type of civilization. All these make no difference to its successful application.

3. It has revealed the small child as a lover of work, intellectual work, spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy.

4. It is based on the child's imperious need to learn by doing. At each stage in the child's mental growth, corresponding occupations are provided by means of which he develops his facilities.

5. While it offers the child a maximum of spontaneity, it never-the-less enables him to the same, or even higher level of scholastic attainment as under the old system.

6. Though it does away with the necessity of coercion by means of rewards and punishments, it achieves a higher discipline than formerly. It is an active discipline which originates within the child and not imposed from without.

7. It is based on a profound respect for the child's personality and removes from him the preponderating influence of the adult, thus leaving him room to grow in a biological independence. Hence the child is allowed a large measure of liberty (not license) which forms the basis of real discipline.

8. It enables the teacher to deal with each child individually in each subject and thus guide him according to his individual requirements.

9. Each child works at their own pace. Hence the quick child is not held back by the slow, nor is the later, in trying to keep up with the former, obliged to flounder along the way hopelessly out of his depth. Each stone in the mental edifice is '"well and truly laid" before the next added.

10. It does away with the competitive spirit and its train of baneful results. More than this, at every turn it presents endless opportunities among the children for mutual help which is joyfully given and gratefully received.

11. Since the child works form his own free choice, without competition and coercion, he is freed form danger of over stain, feeling of inferiority, and other experiences which are apt to be the unconscious cause of profound mental disturbances in later life.

12. Finally, the Montessori method develops the whole personality of the child, not merely his intellectual faculties but his powers of deliberation initiative and independent choice, with their emotional complements. By living as a free member of a real social community, the child is trained in those fundamental social qualities which form the basis of good citizenship.

A Comparison of Conventional & Montessori Education

Late start at school (5-6)Early start at school (2-3)
One age per class3 year age range per class
Seated at desksFreedom to move about
Little socializationCommunity atmosphere
Large group lessonsIndividual lessons
Teacher as a source of answersSelf-correcting materials
Rewards and punishmentsNatural, logical consequences
Adult centered scheduleChild centered schedule
Frequent interruptionsLarger free work periods
Limited curriculumEnhanced curriculum
Peer comparison as testProgress of student as test
Emphasis on gradesEmphasis on learning
Emphasis on conformityEmphasis on individuality
Annual promotionProgress at individual rate
Teacher as disciplinarianEmphasis on “self” control
Corporal punishmentPEACE in education
Little parent involvementStrong school/home ties
Graded report cardsObservation based progress reports