• Montessori Children's House Wagga

About Montessori

Understanding Montessori

One hundred years ago, Dr Maria Montessori, an inspirational educator, developed a unique method of education, based on research into childhood learning.

The Montessori approach fosters children’s love of learning and encourages independence by providing an environment (see prepared environment below) of activities and materials which children use at their own pace. This builds self-confidence, inner discipline, a sense of self-worth and instils positive social behaviour. The approach forms the basis for lifelong learning.

In today’s world it is more important than ever that children become motivated individuals able to develop to their full potential. Montessori takes into account the whole child and his place in the community, hence its relevance for today and the future.

Montessori education is growing steadily in Australia. There are currently around 210 schools and centres nationwide. Montessori Indigenous learning programmes are also emerging, and Indigenous communities appreciate the fact that their own culture is respected within Montessori classrooms.

maria-montMaria Montessori, physician, anthropologist and pedagogue, studied children of all ethnic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds for over fifty years. Her intense scientific observation of the human being from birth to maturity allowed her to distil a body of philosophical, psychological and pedagogical principles. These, together with a vast range of auto-didactic materials, came to be known as Montessori Education.

The Montessori approach offers a broad vision of education as an “aid to life”. It is designed to help children grow from childhood to maturity. It succeeds because it draws its principles from the natural development of the child. Its flexibility provides a matrix within which each individual child’s inner directives freely guide the child toward wholesome growth.

Montessori classrooms provide a prepared environment where children are free to respond to their natural tendency to work. The children’s innate passion for learning is encouraged by giving them opportunities to engage in spontaneous, purposeful activities with the guidance of a trained adult. Through their work, the children develop concentration and joyful self-discipline. Within a framework of order, the children progress at their own pace and rhythm, according to their individual capabilities.

The Prepared Environment

“The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult” Maria Montessori

Walk into a Montessori classroom, anywhere in the world, and you will see happy and busy children working purposefully as great care has been taken to create a learning environment that will reinforce the child’s independence and natural urge toward self-development. This is achieved in three ways:

  1. Beauty
  2. Order and
  3. Accessibility

The Montessori materials are beautifully handcrafted and are displayed on low open shelves. Each piece of material has a specific purpose and is presented to the children in a manner that will enable them to direct their own learning.

“Our care of the child should be governed not by the desire to ‘make them learn things’ but by the endeavour always to keep burning within them the light which is called intelligence”

Principles of the Prepared Environment


The environment is prepared so that it enables the child to become physically independent of the educator, by supporting the child to do things for himself i.e. able to choose and decide things for himself.


Order is essential in a Montessori environment and includes the physical order of the prepared environment, consistency of educators and their approach, order of presentation.


The environment provides the child an opportunity to choose what they do from a range of activities that are suitable to their developmental needs.


Essential to the prepared environment is the child’s freedom to choose to work with an activity for as long as he wants to work without being interrupted by other children or by the constraints of a timetable as long as the activity does not interfere with other children’s right and freedom to do the same.

Mixed Age Range:

Part of the environment is the formation of a community with at least a three year age range. This allows children to learn from each other in a non-competitive atmosphere and directly prepares the child for living in society.


The environment allows the child to move freely around the room, to work with materials and with others if that is his choice.

Control of Error:

The environment and the materials are prepared in a way that allows the child to become aware of his mistakes and to correct them for himself so that he understands that it is all right to be wrong and that we can learn from our mistakes.

Role of the Educator:

Our Educators role is different from an educator in a traditional childcare environment. The Montessori educator main role is the make the child independent. Educators are proficient in timing appropriate new lessons in materials that are in line with their cognitive, social and emotional development.