1.Children are qualitatively different from adults-they require a different approach:

- A childhood is valid in itself-not man in making

- It is a state to be protected

- Children should be REJOICED IN

- Children require a different approach

- Children require a different environment


2. The ‘WHOLE CHILD’ is educated: physical, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual


3. The child is an active learner

- Spontaneous activity: the child chooses an activity-the equipment supports concrete learning

- The links in knowledge are built up step by step, i.e. education of the senses – general notions

-abstract thought.

- Individual activity is encouraged as every child learns at a different rate

- The importance of the connection between the mind and the brain is emphasized


4. Intrinsic motivation

- Children want to learn; they do not have to be motivated by external forced-reward and punishment are not used.

- Through the prepared environment the child is free to select his chosen activity-therefore he learns what he wants to learn. This spontaneous activity encourages self-direction and self-reliance. Concentration develops if a child is self-motivated.


5. Self-discipline is encouraged

- Self-discipline emerges from allowing intrinsic motivation

- Also the child is allowed the space for self-regulation

- The child is protected from the adult and other children’s intervention

- The apparatus also encourages self-discipline-by completing an activity satisfactorily, the child feels rewarded and is encouraged to take on longer and more complex tasks-thus disciplining himself.


6. There are Sensitive Periods in development

- A Sensitive Period is a short period of time when a child is completely absorbed by one aspect of the environment

- Dr Montessori was the first educator to identify these sensitive periods

- Examples of sensitive periods: Language, order, social aspects

- From a educational point of view, if a child is in a sensitive period he is encouraged and allowed to follow it. His interest and concentration will not be broken


7. A child-centred approach starting from what the child can do

- Through the prepared environment, the child builds on what he can do, gradually and accomplishing more and more skills and knowledge

- The teacher is scientific in her approach: she observes and keeps careful records so that she can plan appropriate activities to extend the child’s horizon

- The teacher guides and directs the child’s activities

- The teacher serves the child


8. The inner life of the child is respected

- The child’s dignity is respected

- The child is never hit or verbally abused

- Tranquility and peacefulness are encouraged

- Silence is often found in the classroom it is not imposed

- Harmony, both externally and internally, are aimed for the child’s unique personality must be allowed to develop naturally


9. Social Interaction

- The adult and the children with whom the child inter-acts are seen as crucial to the child’s whole development

- Competition is not encouraged

- Children are vertically grouped because it is more natural


10. The environment affects the child’s development

- The quality of the child’s interaction with the environment affects development

- The child learns from the environment

- Adults and other children are part of the environment