SAMA Fundamental Principles

SAMA Fundamental Principles2019-12-13T10:15:49+02:00

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.

The 0-3 sub-plane is divided as follows:
– Infant (Nido) groups: Approximately 3 months (or older) to when the child is walking well (about
12 – 18 months; and
– Toddler Communities: From when the child is walking well (about 12 – 18 months) to about 2½ or
3 years.

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 (3-6), adaptation (6-12) and valorisation (12 – 18);
– 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
– 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
– 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 implement the SAMA Montessori curriculum for ages 0-12.

*Principles adopted at the 2011 SAMA AGM/Amended at the 2016 SAMA AGM/Amended at the 2018 AGM