Major Points of the Montessori Method
1. It is based on observations of the true nature of the child.
2. Its application is universal. The same results can be achieved in any country and with any racial, cultural, or economic group.
3. It reveals the small child as a lover of work, both of the intellect and of the mastery of the body (especially the hand). This work is spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy.
4. Through his work, the child shows spontaneous discipline. This discipline originates within him and is not imposed from without. This discipline is real, in contrast to the artificial discipline of reward and punishment common to other methods.
5. It provides suitable activities based on the vital urges of the child at each stage of development. Each stage is mastered before the next is attained.
6. It offers the child the greatest possible choice of physical and mental activity. In doing so, the child reaches the same or higher scholastic levels compared with traditional systems.
7. Each child works at his own pace. The quick are not held back and the slow are not pressured. The child has much opportunity to work in groups and to help other children with work he has already mastered.
8. It enables the teacher to guide each child individually in each subject area, according to his own unique needs.
9. It allows the child to grow in biological independence by respecting his needs and removing undue adult influence. It allows the child a large measure of liberty grounded in respect for the rights of others. This liberty is not permissive license but forms the basis of genuine discipline.
10. It does away with competition as a prime motivation for learning. The child competes with himself. It presents endless opportunities for collaborative work and reciprocal assistance– joyfully given and received.
11. The child works from his own free choice. This choice is based on knowledge and is thus an authentic choice.
12. The Montessori method develops the child’s whole personality, not merely his intellectual faculties but also his powers of deliberation, initiative, and independent choice, with the associated emotional complements. By living as a free member of an authentic social community, the child learns the fundamental social qualities that underlie good citizenship.
(Adapted from E.M. Standing, The Montessori Method: A Revolution in Education, Academy Library Guild, 1962.)