Fundamental Principles of Montessori Schools

Principle 1:
Classes in Montessori Schools are mixed age and non-graded.

Mixed age classes comprise at least three-year groupings corresponding to the Planes of Development:
3–6; 6–9 and 9–12 or 6–12; 12–15 and 15–18 or 12–18.

Mixed-age groups are not correlated to grades, nor are they divided in other ways according to achievement levels or normative standards.

Principle 2:

Montessori schools accommodate an extended period of uninterrupted self=chosen activity
– a period during which children can choose their own activity and work undisturbed for a minimum of three hours.

Principle 3:
Rewards and Punishments are not used in a Montessori environment.

Principle 4:
A prepared environment is a critical component of Montessori Pedagogy.

  • The prepared environment Serves the developmental and pedagogical needs of the children using it;
  • Supports freedom of movement, speech and association;
  • Supports free choice of activity;
  • Facilitates normalization and valorization;
  • Includes a full range of Montessori materials appropriate to the age for which it is prepared.

Principle 5:
The adults in the Montessori environment exhibit and apply the principles of Montessori pedagogy through

  • A disposition of respect and patience towards the child;
  • An ability to balance the principle of non-intervention while at the same time not abandoning the child;
  • Trust in Montessori principles, methodology and pedagogical aims;
  • Seeing the role of the adult as primarily observer, scientist and interpreter of the environment rather than as a teacher in the conventional sense;
  • Guiding the child to normalization and development appropriate to each Plane of Development.

Principle 6:
Montessori schools develop curriculum guidelines which conform to the vision of child development and the educative goals outlined by Maria Montessori