This video lesson is designed for parents to guide them about the Montessori-prepared environment and its principles and benefits.
What is a Montessori Prepared Environment?
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that a child should be provided an environment to facilitate maximum independent learning and exploration; thus, named it as “Prepared environment.”
Therefore, a Montessori-prepared environment is an organized, clean, spacious, warm, safe, and inviting space that helps children learn from the activities prepared to tailor their development needs.
In a Montessori classroom, lessons, activities, and teaching tools are visually appealing and are tailored to meet every child’s developmental needs and interests. Each child is allowed to choose the lessons they want to learn. The furniture is child-sized and activities are kept at the eye level of children.
With a prepared environment, each child gets the freedom to develop their unique potential through appropriate learning materials and activities. These materials are realistic and easy to use. It ranges from simple to complex and concrete to abstract, catering to every child’s age, ability, and independence.
Montessori teachers act more than just as guides. They are responsible for preparing the lessons, and the environment. They are also responsible for maintaining a healthy environment and assisting with behavioral interventions.
The Montessori-prepared environment greatly differs from that of conventional education, here a child experiences a combination of freedom and self-discipline, as guided by the environment.
The Prepared Environment is composed of six aspects, or principles: Freedom, Structure and Order, Beauty, Nature and Reality, Social Environment, and Intellectual Environment.
6 Principles of Montessori Prepared Environment
There are 6 basic principles or aspects or characteristics of a prepared environment in a Montessori school: freedom, structure and order, beauty, nature and reality, social environment and intellectual 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
Children in a Montessori-prepared environment have freedom of choice, movement, and interaction. It means a child can explore, learn, move around, observe, and engage socially. Children are allowed to make choices of what they want to learn and with whom they want to learn.
Structure and Order:
This principle refers to how the universe functions and its structure and order. A child understands the order of their surroundings and relates to the world around them. In a Montessori classroom, a routine is followed and children know what to expect and how to be confident and organized. The baseline of their realizations is their classroom.
Montessori classrooms are clean, uncluttered, in order, and have a neutral color palette. The Montessori materials are made up of natural materials and are beautifully displayed on the shelf, accessible to the children. The classroom also has windows to get natural light and potted plants to bring positivity to them. This beautiful overall layout is inviting and is meant to inspire tranquility when compared to conventional classrooms.
Nature and Reality:
The cornerstone of Montessori education is interacting with the world around you. It is because of Montessori’s belief that children can learn more from nature than from a book that nature is incorporated into prepared environments.
Nature inspires children. Therefore, children are invited to play outside and interact with nature. They use learning materials made of natural wood, metal, bamboo, cotton, and glass rather than synthetics or plastics. These materials are child-friendly so that the child can work with them independently. Montessori activities use real objects such as sewing with a needle, transferring beans using a spoon, and many more to keep the child close to nature.
In a Montessori school, a prepared environment is more than the classroom setting. The prepared environment supports the social and emotional development of the child by encouraging freedom of interaction. Through Montessori learning, children develop empathy for others and a sense of compassion. Children are encouraged to learn grace and courtesy with the help of a multi-age classroom setting.
To achieve intellectual excellence, all the above five principles should be fulfilled. The ultimate goal of Montessori education is to develop the overall personality of the child using five key areas of the Montessori curriculum (Sensorial, Practical life, Mathematics, Science, and Culture). In addition to fostering cognitive development, the above principles also provide an infinite amount of learning and growth opportunities for the child.
Montessori education spends a great deal of time and effort to plan and develop a prepared environment for each class level. The environment is prepared by keeping the development needs of each child in mind and providing them with appropriate materials and opportunities to explore, learn, and grow. Thus, helping children succeed in life.
Watch the video to know more about the importance and benefits of a “Prepared Montessori Environment”.
Related Video Resources
To learn more about Montessori education, click here.
Video created by Aishwarya | I teach I learn
Parents | Montessori at Home | What is a Prepared Montessori Environment? (English)
This video has been added and used with the author’s permission. It is also available on the author’s YouTube, here.
- What are the 6 principles of a Montessori prepared environment?
The prepared environment of the Montessori classroom includes six basic components or principles: freedom, structure and order, beauty, nature and reality, social environment, and lastly intellectual environment.
- What are the benefits of the Montessori prepared environment?
A prepared environment gives every child the freedom to develop their unique potential through developmentally appropriate activities or materials. The materials range from simple to complex and from concrete to abstract, catering to every child’s age and ability.
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