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.