This system of education is both a philosophy of child development and a rationale for guiding such growth. It is based on the child's developmental needs for freedom within limits, as well as, a carefully prepared environment which guarantees exposure to materials and experiences. Through this, the child develops intelligence as well as physical and psychological abilities. It is designed to take full advantage of the child's desire to learn and their unique ability to develop their own capabilities. The child needs adults to expose him to the possibilities of his life, but the child must determine his response to those possibilities.
The main premises of Montessori education are:
- Children are to be respected as different from adults and as individuals who differ from each other.
- The child possesses an unusual sensitivity and intellectual ability to absorb and learn from his environment that are unlike those of the adult both in quality and capacity.
- The most important years of a child's growth are the first six years of life when unconscious learning is gradually brought to the conscious level.
The child has a deep love and need for purposeful work. He works, however, not as an adult for completion of a job, but the sake of an activity itself. It is this activity which enables him to accomplish his most important goal: the development of himself - his mental, physical, and psychological powers.