Taken from The Student/Parent Handbook of:
The Montessori Elementary School
Major Points of the Montessori Method:
It is based on observations of the true nature of the child.
Its application is universal.
The results can be successfully achieved in any country, and with any racial, social, cultural, or economic group.
It reveals the small child as a lover of work, both of the intellect and mastery of the body (especially the hand). This work is spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy.
In his/her work, the child shows spontaneous discipline. This discipline originates within him/her and is not imposed from without. This discipline is real, as contrasted with structured discipline of rewards and punishments prevalent under other methods.
It provides suitable activities based on vital urges of the child at each stage of development. Each stage is successfully mastered before the next is attained.
It offers the child a maximum of spontaneity in choice of physical and mental activity. Nevertheless, the child reaches the same, or higher levels of scholastic attainment as under old systems.
Each child works at his/her own pace. The quick are not held back, nor are the slowed pressured. There is much opportunity for group work and the child spontaneously offers help with work they have mastered to those children who have not.
It enables the teacher to guide each child individually in each subject according to his/her own individual requirements.
It allows the child to grow in biological independence by respecting his/her needs and removing undue influence of the adult. It allows the child a large measure of liberty based on respect for the right of others. This liberty is not permissive license, but forms of the basis of self discipline.
It does away with competition as a major motivation for learning. The child competes with himself/herself. It presents endless opportunities for mutual work and help, which are joyfully given and received.
The child works from his/her own free choice. This choice is preceded by knowledge and is thus a real choice.
The Montessori method develops the whole personality of the child, not merely his/her intellectual faculties, but also his/her power, deliberation, initiative and independent choice, with their emotional complements. By living as a member of a real social community, the child is trained in those fundamental social qualities that form the basis of good citizenship.