Freedom in a Prepared Environment

Freedom in a Prepared Environment


The Montessori Method of education is often referred to as "education for life"(Absorbent Chapter 2, p.9). The Montessori environment is designed to facilitate the development of the child's independence and sense of personal empowerment. “There is in a child a special kind of sensitivity which leads him to absorb everything about him, and it is this work of observing and absorbing that alone enables him to adapt himself to life” (Absorbent, Chapter 2; p). Children learn by doing, and this requires movement and spontaneous investigation. They touch and manipulate everything in their environment. In a sense the mind is handmade, because through movement and touch, the child explores, manipulates and builds up a storehouse of impressions about the physical world.

Freedom is one of the cardinal elements of a prepared environment. It is in the atmosphere of freedom that a child can reveal itself.
Montessori in her words said; “Let us leave the life free to develop within the limits of the good, and let us observe this inner life developing. This is the whole of our mission”

These words by Montessori are directed towards the Montessori directress in the prepared environment; the directress must have the opportunity to observe the child in a free and open environment.

The directress sets the environment. It is always set up at a child’s eye level, which encourages them to approach the shelves. Natural wood is better for the eye, as it enables the child to focus on the individually displayed lessons. About 80% of the materials should be presented in silence, so as not to inhibit the child’s attention from the process of the lesson (Freedom)

The teacher presents each lesson to the children, and explains to them what the lesson is called and that they can use it “whenever they want to”. This allows the child “freedom to choose within a structured environment”.

Montessori further reiterated that the most urgent task...

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