Montessori School Freedom within Limits

Freedom Within Limits

Why is freedom essential in a Montessori classroom? When freedom is offered to people in society it develops a sense of responsibility in them. However, it is controlled by laws placed by the governing body to keep things in control. People that are given the freedom learn to make correct choices for themselves to meet their needs. The balance of free will and responsibility creates self-discipline in people.

In the same way, children in a Montessori environment require freedom to meet their natural laws of development. When a child chooses an activity that is developmentally appropriate, it results in a better understanding, deeper concentration, and a joyful experience. Children in a Montessori environment are free to choose work to suit their interests. The limitation is that the child must be presented with that material before choosing it. The child must also master the lessons already given to her in order to move on to the next level. Freedom expands as the child learns to use more materials throughout the classroom.

Children should always respect the materials they work with and not use them as toys as each of these materials serve a purpose. The children also restore their materials back to where they belong so that it is ready for another child to use. Children are free to move around in the class, as sitting in one place for a long period of time slows down their learning process. They learn to move around the class to choose different activities related to practical life, science/geography, language, math, and sensorial. The children also communicate with each other without disrupting anyone in the class.

In a Montessori classroom, freedom with limitations cultivates “Discipline”. Freedom of choice is crucial for children in their process of learning.

“Only through freedom and environmental experience is it practically possible for human development to occur.”

Maria Montessori