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Dr. Maria Montessori

The basic idea in the Montessori philosophy of education is that all children carry within themselves the person they will become. In order to develop physical, intellectual, and spiritual potential to the fullest, the child must have freedom; a freedom to be achieved through order and self-discipline. The worlds of the child, say Montessori educators, is full of sights and sounds which at first appear chaotic. From this chaos children must gradually create order, learn to distinguish among the impressions and their environment.

Dr. Montessori developed what she called the Prepared Environment. This already possesses a certain order and allows children to learn at their own speed, according to their own capacities and in non-competitive atmosphere “never let children risk failure until they have a reasonable chance of success.” The years between three and six are the years in which children learn the rules of human behavior most easily. These years can be constructively devoted to “civilizing” children, freeing them through the acquisition of good manners and habits, to take their places in their culture.