Freedom: A child in order to develop his physical, intellectual, and spiritual powers to the fullest, must have freedom – a freedom that achieved through order and self-discipline, a freedom with responsibility.
Prepared Environment: A Montessori classroom is one that possesses a certain order and so disposes the child to develop at her own speed, according to her own capacities, in a non-competitive atmosphere. It is an environment that ensures success before failure.
Inner Discipline: If a child is free to learn because of exposure to both physical and mental order, that is inner discipline. This is the core of Dr. Montessori’s philosophy. Patterns of concentration and the thoroughness established in early childhood produces a confident and competent learning in later years
Joy of learning: The “prepared environment” introduces the child to the joy of learning at an early age and provides a framework in which intellectual and social discipline go hand in hand so that the child may respond to life with her complete personality.
Absorbent mind: From the moment of birth each child has a mind to absorb (take within) knowledge. Each child has the power to teach himself.
Sensitive periods: Each child passes through “sensitive periods” that are successive stages of development. During a particular sensitive period, a child shows an insatiable hunger for the acquisition of some particular knowledge or skill.
Movement and learning: A child needs to move as she learns (physical movement), and needs to learn coordination also.
-Amy Goodenough, DMA PEN Newsletter, October 2016