FAQs About the Montessori Prepared Environment

At the time when Dr. Montessori was developing her groundbreaking approach to education, traditional classrooms weren’t designed with the unique needs of children in mind. They had adult-sized furniture, with desks bolted into place in rows. They also had shelves out of reach of children. Dr. Montessori observed that a classroom intended for adults doesn’t support the learning of children. Today, Montessori schools follow the principles of the carefully prepared environment in accordance with Dr. Montessori’s observations.

How are Montessori classrooms decorated?

If you were to compare two side-by-side images of a Montessori classroom and a traditional classroom, you’d find several noticeable differences right away. Traditional classrooms often plaster the walls with brightly colored, eye-catching posters. These classrooms are decorated in a “busy” manner. Montessori schools prefer calm, uncluttered, orderly decorations that are evocative of nature. An uncluttered environment supports distraction-free learning . You’ll find clean walls with carefully chosen artwork arranged at intervals. All artwork is displayed at the child’s height. Montessori schools often incorporate natural elements, such as living plants.

How is furniture arranged in a Montessori classroom?

All of the furniture intended for the children’s use is sized appropriately for them. Students do not sit in rows. Instead, the focus is on the learning activities. Students can walk over to shelves positioned at an accommodating height, choose their learning activity, and carry it to a table. Or, they may choose to unroll an area rug and work on the floor.

How does the prepared environment change as a child grows older?

Classrooms intended for infants and toddlers are prepared with safety as the top priority. You won’t find any playpens in a Montessori school, as it’s important for children to develop their gross motor skills. Instead, children have plenty of space to explore learning materials and learn how to do things for themselves. In schools intended for older children, you’ll find the same dedication to order, beauty, and cleanliness. There is also plenty of storage space for older students to store their personal possessions and their works-in-progress.

The Montessori School offers welcoming, carefully arranged classrooms for learners from six weeks of age through sixth grade. Parents are invited to call (972) 985-8844 for information about enrollment in The Montessori School in North Dallas. Or, contact our campus in Allen at (972) 727-2800.

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