Montessori philosophy is based on the fact that curiosity, learning, and developmental progression are inborn needs of children. Given the proper environment and guidance, youngsters will gravitate toward purposeful activity. This environment must accommodate individual interests, needs, and learning styles.
Characteristic of a good Montessori environment is discovery through manipulative and "real-life applications." This approach is far preferable to rote learning or mechanical imitation. Children also need freedom of movement and choice, but responsibility must accompany freedom. Students are responsible for completing assignments, maintaining order, and respecting the learning environment and rights of others.
To assure a comfortable transition into subsequent educational environments, students are also exposed to study skills required in traditional educational settings. Montessori apparatus is augmented by other carefully selected learning materials.