How Does the Montessori Environment Facilitate and Encourage the Freedom of the Child?

750 Words Aug 24th, 2008 3 Pages
In a Montessori classroom, a child is free to move about and explore the environment because with activity and movement comes learning. Movement, in fact, contributes not only to the physical, but also to the intellectual potential and spiritual development of the child. The child must have freedom achieved through order and self-discipline. The child in a Montessori environment can learn, discover and be creative. He has the freedom of choice and develops his individual interest.
The child learns best in a prepared environment. It is a place where the child can do things for him or herself. The environment is created in proportion to the child and his or her needs. They decide for themselves which materials to work with. “The extern
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The child is given the opportunity to become independent and care for him or herself in a responsible way. “A teacher simply assists him at the beginning to get his bearings among so many different things and teaches him the precise use of each them, that is to say, she introduces him to the ordered and active life of the environment. But then she leaves him free in the choice and execution of his work.” (Montessori, the Discovery of the Child. 1972. P.63)

The exercises that are developed in the practical life area help the children to be independent and feel at home. There are example frame boards where the child learns to button, lace, hook, or tie things together. This encourages them to practice putting on real clothes and dressing themselves. There are also sinks where the child can wash their hands. “The surrounding objects should be proportioned to the size and strength of the child: light furniture that can carry about; low dressers and low shelves that they can easily manipulate. Light doors that they can open and shut readily. Brooms with short and smooth, light handles, clothes he can easily put and take off himself.” (Montessori, Spontaneous Activity in Education, 1969, p.75)
Finally, general overall movement ties together the physical, intellectual, and spiritual qualities of each child. It keeps the entire child or adult healthy. Both the spirit and the intellect of the child or person depend
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