Freedom of choice allows for the children to make choices for themselves. In a Montessori classroom, the teacher must first carefully plan the prepared environment. Then through observation, teachers can determine which presentations to give to a student. The child then has the freedom to choose what materials they would like to work with in the classroom.
You may see a younger student observing an older student. One student may be preparing their own snack or another student dusting the shelves. What you will not see, however, is all the children doing the same thing. The students are choosing activities in the classroom that they want to work with, not what the teacher or anyone else wants them or expects them to do.
There are times when children may have difficulty making their own choices. A student may approach a teacher and say, “I don’t know what to work on” or a teacher may observe a student wandering the classroom, disturbing the work of others. The teacher must then guide the students in the development of being able to choose for themselves.