Montessori Core Principles

Montessori thought is founded on two core principles.

Principle 1: Children Teach Themselves

Like others I had believed it was necessary to encourage the child by means of some exterior reward that would flatter his baser sentiments such as gluttony, vanity, self-love, peace. 

And I was astonished when I learned that a child who is permitted to educate himself really gives up these lower instincts.

Trained Montessori teachers will teach. Their training is rigorous in theory and practice, developing skills in presenting all the manipulative materials and scientific charts to the children in all academic disciplines. But they will not teach as much they are to inspire. Inspired children, like any other human being, will accomplish more.

How then does Montessori inspire the child? By creating Prepared Environments.

These environments had been carefully thought out by Dr Montessori through decades of scientific research that began in the 1900s. She dedicated her life to documenting the natural tendencies and sensitivities of your growing child. This is what has come to be known as the Montessori Method of Education.

These Prepared Environments change because the child changes too. Dr Montessori observed that all children go through three distinct changes or Planes of Development in their maturing journey to adulthood. This is the second core principle of Montessori.

Principle 2: The Planes of Development:

“… for man is a unity, and individuality that passes through interdependent phases of development.  Each preceding phase prepares the one that follow, forms its base, nurtures the energies that urge towards the succeeding period of life.”


In each plane,  Dr Montessori observed certain ‘sensitivities’  that are unique only to that plane and that reach optimum levels only to wane and be replaced by another set of sensitivities that will be characteristic only of that succeeding plane. The sensitivities are not independent but interconnected and interdependent.

While these particular sensitivities are present and are at their optimum,  Montessori proposes to prepare environments that will naturally cause these sensitivities to develop to their fullest potentials.   Because they will not always be present, missing them out is irrecoverable to the detriment of the child.   Visit ‘Roadmap’ for discussion of the sensitivities to help guide your home and your child.

"I have found that in his development, the child passes through certain phases, each of which has its own particular needs. The characteristics of each are so different that the passages from one phase to the other has been described by certain psychologists as 'rebirths'."