The Prepared 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 (1966) The Secret of Childhood).
The prepared environment is unique to the Montessori method of education. The calm, well-ordered environment allows for movement and activity and facilitates independent learning and exploration. Children are active participants in their learning as they are free to choose and work on activities at their own pace.
The prepared environment is designed to meet the needs of each individual child at different stages of development. Montessori’s idea of the prepared environment was that everything the child came in contact with would facilitate and maximize independent learning and exploration. This calm, well-ordered environment has a lot of movement and activity. Children are free to choose and work on activities at their own pace. Here, they experience a combination of freedom and self-discipline, as guided by the environment. The consistency and order of the environment promotes independence and self-confidence and enhances problem-solving and critical thinking skills.