The Montessori method of education is a type of educational method that involves children’s
natural interests and activities rather than formal teaching methods. A Montessori classroom
places an emphasis on hands-on learning and developing real-world skills.It emphasizes
independence and it views children as naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating
learning in a sufficiently supportive and well-prepared learning environment. It discourages
some conventional measures of achievement, such as grades and tests.
The method was started in the early 20th century by Italian physician Maria Montessori, who
developed her theories through scientific experimentation with her students; the method has
since been used in many parts of the world, in public and private schools alike.
A range of practices exist under the name “Montessori”, which is not trademarked. Popular
elements include mixed-age classrooms, student freedom (including their choices of activity),
long blocks of uninterrupted work time, specially trained teachers and prepared environment.
Scientific studies regarding the Montessori method are mostly positive,with a 2017 review
stating that “broad evidence” exists for its efficacy.


Principle 1: Respect for the Child

Respect for the Child is the major principle underlying the entire Montessori method.
Montessori believed children should be respected (not common practice in the early twentieth
century). Respect is shown for children by not interrupting their concentration. Respect is also
shown by giving pupils the freedom to make choices, to do things for themselves, and to learn
for themselves. Teachers model respect for all students as well as peaceful conflict resolution,
and must learn to observe without judgment.

Principle 2: The Absorbent Mind

Dr Maria Montessori’s educational philosophy holds the belief that education begins at birth.
Montessori describes this period from birth to six years as the “Absorbent Mind”.Montessori
education is based on the principle that, simply by living, children are constantly learning from
the world around them. Through their senses children constantly absorb information from
their world. They then make sense of it because they are thinking beings.
As the first plane of development in a child’s life, it is divided into two sub planes. The
Unconscious Absorbent mind (birth to three years) and the Conscious Absorbent mind (3 – 6
years). This first plane of development forms the foundation for a child’s intellectual and
psychological development and is the most important developmental plane in Montessori

Principle 3: Sensitive Periods

Montessori pedagogy believes there are certain periods during which children are more ready
to learn certain skills. These are known as sensitive periods, and last only as long as is
necessary for the child to acquire the skills. The order in which sensitive periods occur (i.e. a
sensitive period for writing) as well as the timing of the period varies for each child. Through
observation, Montessori teachers must identify sensitive periods in their students and provide
the resources for children to flourish during this time

Principle 4: The Prepared Environment

The Montessori method suggests that children learn best in an environment that has been
prepared to enable them to do things for themselves. Always child-centered, the learning
environment should promote freedom for children to explore materials of their choice.
Teachers should prepare the learning environment by making materials and experiences
available to children in an orderly and independent way.

Principle 5: Auto education

Auto education, or self-education, is the concept that children are capable of educating
themselves. This is one of the most important beliefs in the Montessori method. Montessori
teachers provide the environment, the inspiration, the guidance and the encouragement for
children to educate themselves.


The Montessori Method of educating children was initiated in the early 1900’s by Dr. Maria
Montessori, one of Italy’s first female physicians. Personal interest led her to devote her
professional life to discovering a better way of educating children. Through observation and
experimentation, Dr. Montessori refined a style of presentation and designed a set of learning
materials that best matched the way children learn. The materials Maria Montessori developed
are still used in Montessori classrooms today. Their substantial quality, sensory appeal and
inspired conveyance of knowledge keep them vibrant and current.
The Montessori Method of teaching represents a profound respect for the child. It is a model
grounded in stages of development as revealed by children themselves. It makes the most of
the innate intelligence of the child. Dr. Montessori discovered stages of readiness for
assimilating concepts, and she found that children have natural curiosity and instinctive
motivation to pursue what is of interest to them. Her method acknowledges that while all
children pass through phases of readiness, each child has an individual timeline which must be
When Dr. Montessori established her first classroom, Casa dei Bambini (Children’s House) in
1907, she arranged within it furniture and materials that were sized to match a child’s stature.
The setting was designed for success in lessons and mastery of independence. Over time, she
refined the Montessori Curriculum to focus on five areas of study: Sensorial, Practical Life,
Math, Language and Culture (geography, history, art, music, foreign language). Dr.
Montessori conceived of multi-age class groupings, which promote a supportive rather than
competitive environment and which foster confidence through role modeling.
As a person who lived through two world wars, Dr. Maria Montessori longed for world peace.
She believed that such a peace resides in the hearts of children. Because of her work, she was
nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in the years 1949, 1950 & 1951.
In the Montessori philosophy, the spirit of the child is as critically important as the mind of
the child. A true Montessori program nurtures the whole child. Alongside academic lessons,
children learn to respect cultures unlike their own and to accept differences among individuals.
Peaceful behavior is taught through ‘grace and courtesy,’ a component of Practical Life. The
Montessori educated child knows that each person has the ability to initiate ripples of peace
that will impact the world.

The Montessori Method lit upon an approach to education that was ahead of its time. Recent
scientific research into how children learn supports Dr. Montessori’s conclusions.
Furthermore, Montessori education fosters teamwork, global awareness and critical thinking –
all qualities that are needed in today’s world.


Faculty in charge: Sherin Mubeen
Date: 29th MARCH 2024
NCDC International Montessori Student

Scroll to top

You cannot copy content from National Child Development Council - New Delhi