Dr. Montessori developed a set of materials and a system of education in which the learning process is individualized to every child. She believed that deep concentration was essential for intellectual development. According to her this was best achieved through the use of materials.
At a young age, children learn through movement and cognition. Based on this insight Montessori developed a method of education in which a great deal of object manipulation occurs.
Montessori noted that children’s intellectual development was enhanced when having free choice and control. Montessori programsimpose limits on these freedoms. Nevertheless, Montessori children have the ability to control their learning process more so than children in traditional classrooms. In addition, children can choose to work alone or in self formed groups.
Research in psychology suggests that order is very helpful for children’s learning and development. Therefore, in a Montessori classroom, everything is in its place and children work quietly. Montessori classrooms do not have tightly ordered daily schedules, but are very orderly in terms of how each task is performed by the children.
Montessori considered material rewards to be disruptive for a child’s concentration. Self-achievement is likely to be the most important reward for a child. When adults provide clear limits but set children free, and respond to their needs while keeping high expectations, children show high levels of maturity, achievement,empathy, and other desirable characteristics (Lillard, 2007, pp 18-22).