The prepared environment is one of the core components of the Montessori philosophy. According to Dr. Montessori, the learning environment, and everything that the child comes into contact with, should encourage independent learning and exploration.
Here are some main elements of the prepared environment in the Triangle Montessori Academy (TMA) classroom:
One of the main goals is freedom of choice. This is achieved through giving the child freedom to exploration, freedom of movement, freedom to interact socially, and freedom of interference from others. At TMA, we believe in giving our little ones enough independence to choose their daily activities. We also keep a close watch and correct them where needed. It improves the children’s cognitive skills.
The idea is to reflect the structure and order of the universe, so that the child can internalize the order of his surroundings and is therefore able to begin making sense of the world around him.
It is also important to make the environment inviting for learning. The atmosphere is prepared beautifully and simplistically, in such a way that evokes peace, tranquility and harmony. The learning environment should also be uncluttered and well-maintained.
Dr. Montessori believed that nature should be used to inspire children. That’s why Montessori teachers regularly take the children out into nature and use natural learning materials in the prepared environment. These materials include real wood, metal, bamboo, cotton, and glass, rather than synthetics or plastics. The materials should also be real and child-size, so the child is able to work with the materials on her own without frustration and without having to depend on adults for help.
The prepared environment should support social development by encouraging freedom of interaction. Montessori classrooms foster the development of a sense of compassion and empathy for others.
Once all other elements are addressed, educators reach children through the intellectual environment, which develops the whole personality of the child.
Triangle Montessori Academy is a Cary preschool emphasizing art, mathematics, practical life, Spanish, yoga, meditation, and music. The private, year-round school was founded in 2008 and accepts children from 18 months old up to six years old. The school is a member of the American Montessori Society and all teachers are AMS-certified. Students at the school are exposed to Montessori-style teaching approaches, including individual learning according to each child’s style and pace, multi-age classrooms that allow children to advance when they are ready, and a nurturing of students’ natural curiosity.
For more information, call 919.463.7770, or visit our Website at www.trianglemontessori.org.