"The philosophy of our education is that all children carry within themselves the person they will become. In order to develop physical, intellectual, and spiritual potential to the fullest, the child must have freedom: a freedom to be achieved through order and self-discipline. The world of the child, say Montessori educators, is full of sights and sounds which at first appear chaotic. From this choas, children must gradually create order, learn to distinguish among the impressions that assail their senses, and slowly but surely gain mastery of themselves and their environment.
Dr. Montessori developed what she called the Prepared Environment, which already possesses a certain order and allows children to learn at their own speed, according to their own capacities and in a non-competitive atmosphere. \"Never let children risk failure until they have a reasonable chance of success.\" [The years between three and six are the years in which children learn the basic rules of human behavior.] These years can be constructively devoted to \"civilizing\" children, freeing them through the acquisition of good manners and habits, to take their places in their culture.
Dr. Montessori has recognized that the only valid impulse to learning is the self-motivation of the child. Children move themselves toward learning. The teacher prepares the environment, directs the activity, and offers the child stimulation, but it is the child who learns, who is motivated through work itself (not solely by the teacher's personality) to persist in a given task. If Montessori students are free to learn, it is because they have acquired an \"inner discipline\" from their exposure to both physical and mental order. This is the core of our philosophy. Patterns of concentration, \"stick-to-itiveness\" and thoroughness, established in early childhood, produce a confident, competent learner in later years. Montessori teaches children to observe, to think, to judge. It introduces children to the joy of learning at an early age and provides a framework in which intellectual and social discipline go hand-in-hand."
Excerpted from the preschool's website